LL5007 - Consumer Rights Law (2017/18)
|Module specification||Module approved to run in 2017/18|
|Module title||Consumer Rights Law|
|Module level||Intermediate (05)|
|Credit rating for module||30|
|School||Guildhall School of Business and Law|
|Total study hours||300|
|Running in 2017/18||
Consumer Rights Law is a 30 week module providing students with a thorough understanding of modern consumer rights in relation to the acquisition of goods and services. As well as studying the traditional requirements of a sale of goods contract, students will also examine the laws of consumer financing and credit, the principles of the laws relating to cheques and electronic payments, statutory liability for dangerous and defective products and the principles and responsibility for regulation of the consumer market. Assessment is by a combination of coursework and examination. The module will be of interest to all students who wish to develop a comprehensive understanding of modern consumer rights and responsibilities in relation to goods and services. The module is relevant to a range of careers in law, retailing and consumer advice and marketing of goods and services.
The module aims to:
Provide a detailed, critical and evaluative knowledge of sale of goods and supply of services, consumer credit and financing, and statutory liability for dangerous and defective products;
Create an awareness of the rights and responsibilities for internet transactions (e-commerce);
Enable students to appreciate the regulation of the consumer market;
Focus on the importance of consumer contracts to modern commerce;
Create an awareness of consumer advice roles;
Appreciate the importance of government regulation in relation to modern consumer transactions; and
Require students to undertake self-directed research on a designated topic and present their findings succinctly in coursework and under examination conditions.
The syllabus includes the following:
Introduction and commercial awareness of consumer sale transactions in a modern economy;
Sale of goods and supply of services contracts – The Sale of Goods Act – formation of consumer contracts, express and implied terms, exclusion clauses and unfair contract terms, passing of ownership and risk, passing of title and third party rights, rejection and financial remedies. Supply of services contracts.
Consumer credit and financing under the Consumer Credit Act – financing consumer transactions (e.g. loans, hire purchase, leasing, credit cards, shops’ revolving credit, rental agreements), advertising and seeking business (e.g. APRs), formation of consumer credit agreements, creditor’s liability for goods and services supplied, terms and enforcement of consumer credit agreements, default and termination, extortionate lending.
Cheques and electronic payments (e.g. Bills of Exchange Act and Cheques Act, Electronic Money Regulations, Payment Services Directive).
Liability for dangerous and defective products under the Consumer Protection Act.
Regulation of the consumer market (e.g. the powers and work of the Office of Fair Trading and Financial Services Authority), Trading Standards Departments, Codes of Practice.
Governmental, commercial and economic policy issues in relation to consumer transactions in a modern economy.
Learning and teaching
The module is taught by lectures and seminars with students required to read from statute, specified case law and legal journals. There is a logical progression through a complex syllabus relating to consumer rights. Students are given the opportunity to discuss theoretical issues as well as practical problem solving. Students are supported in undertaking on-line research using electronic law databases and encouraged to use Westlaw regularly. There is a virtual learning environment (VLE) containing handbooks, weblinks, past assessments, study skills materials and assessment criteria. Blended learning is emphasised in the delivery of the module and is actively encouraged as students engage with digital materials and develop a competent standard of digital literacy during their studies.
Two formative assessments are set and marked promptly with opportunities for feedback both in class and individually.
Knowledge of the topics covered will enhance students’ employability both within the legal profession and more generally in a range of consumer related activities. These include legal advice work (e.g. in Consumer Advice Bureaux or in a Trading Standards Department), retailing (e.g. liability for defective products), consumer banking and financial advice and consumer regulatory bodies such as the Office of Fair Trading. After studying this module, students will possess a substantial body of relevant legal knowledge applicable to the consumer sector. They will appreciate the importance of legal liability and regulation in relation to goods, services and the financing of consumer transactions.
Students’ study responsibilities are to attend all classes, research and prepare for seminar discussion and academic debate, engage in interactive IT related activities and to undertake all formative and final assessments.
On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
1. Comprehend and manage a substantial body of legal knowledge on consumer transactions and financing (sale of goods and supply of services, consumer credit, cheques and electronic payments);
2. Understand the statutory liability for dangerous and defective products;
3. Critically evaluate government regulation of the consumer market;
4. Possess a critical understanding of the role of a Trading Standards Department and the work of the Office of Fair Trading;
5. Appreciate the importance of high street consumer advice;
6. Research and manage legal information from paper and IT resources and present competent legal arguments orally in tutorials and in writing;
7. Synthesise relevant case law and statute, understand and present conflicting arguments and apply the law to problem scenarios relevant to consumer transactions; and
8. Display competence in the benchmark skills outcomes of subject knowledge & understanding, application & problem solving and analysis, synthesis, critical judgement and evaluation.
The learning outcomes will be examined each year by an essay and a two and a half hour examination. The essay will be 1,500 words. The examination will comprise of the researched seen part and the choice of unseen questions. The essay will be worth 40% of the overall module mark and the examination 60%.
Atiyah, Adams and MacQueen, Atiyah’s Sale of Goods, Pearson
Bridge, Benjamin’s Sale of Goods, Sweet and Maxwell
Dobson, Sale of Goods and Consumer Credit, Sweet and Maxwell
Dobson and Stokes, Commercial Law, Sweet and Maxwell
Goode and McKendrick, Commercial Law, Butterworths
Rose, Blackstone’s Statutes on Commercial and Consumer Law, Blackstone
Woodroffe and Lowe, Consumer Law and Practice, Thomson Sweet & Maxwell