House of Commons Library

Consumer Rights Act 2015

Published Monday, June 12, 2017

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 (CRA 2015) came into force on 1 October 2015. This briefing paper sets out in detail the background to the Act and the main provisions of Parts 1 and 2 (not Part 3).

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The Consumer Rights Act 2015 (CRA 2015) came into force on 1 October 2015. The Act represents the biggest overhaul of consumer law for many decades. In a nutshell, the CRA 2015 is designed to:

  • Set out a framework that consolidates in one place key consumer rights covering contracts for goods, services and digital content (Part 1).
  • Reforms and consolidates the law relating to unfair terms in consumer contracts (Part 2).
  • Introduce easier routes for consumers and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to challenge anti-competitive behaviour through the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) (Part 3).
  • Consolidate and simplify enforcers’ powers as listed in Schedule 5 to investigate potential breaches of consumer law and clarify that certain enforcers (Trading Standards) can operate across local authority boundaries (Part 3).
  • Give the civil courts and public enforcers greater flexibility to take the most appropriate action for consumers when dealing with breaches or potential breaches of consumer law (Part 3).  
  • Changes the way in which judges are able to sit as chairs in the CAT (Part 3).

This briefing paper sets out in detail the background to the Act and the main provisions of Parts 1 and 2 only (not Part 3). Specifically, it looks at new rules in respect of consumer contracts of sale for goods, digital content and services. It also considers how the Act treats unfair terms in consumer contracts and notices.

 

Commons Briefing papers SN06588

Author: Lorraine Conway

Topic: Consumers

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