13 Colum. J. Eur. L. 125 (2006)
Leone Niglia. University of Aberdeen School of Law, Scotland, United Kingdom; Jean Monnet Fellow, University of Michigan School of Law, United States.
Community legislation on standard form consumer contracts has introduced previously unknown criteria for dealing with unfairness. Unfairness is no longer centered on rules that prohibit terms burdensome for the consumer, as has been typically the case of national legislation in the past. A burdensome term may now be judged not to be unfair, if compensated by an advantage for the consumer (for example, if a cheaper price is offered). This Article reconstructs the position taken by the European Court of Justice vis-à-vis the Community legislation, and points the reader’s attention to some dilemmas thrown upon us as a result of the abandonment of the traditional, rule-based mode of regulation.