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Freedom and Protection in Contemporary Contract Law


  • Ton Hartlief

    () (Professor of Private Law, University of Maastricht. Postal address: Capgroep Privaatrecht Universiteit Maastricht, Postbus 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands. Fax: +31 43 325 8981)


How should contemporary contract law be characterized? Freedom or protection? Ewoud Hondius has made a plea for increased protection of the weaker party in contract law. In this contribution some critical remarks are made. It is argued that freedom of contract should be put back on the agenda. This accords with the new belief in the blessings of the free market and the awareness that protection is not always effective and may sometimes even generate adverse effects. The application of competition law and the regulation of information should have a higher priority than mandatory substantive contract law.

Suggested Citation

  • Ton Hartlief, 2004. "Freedom and Protection in Contemporary Contract Law," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 253-267, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jcopol:v:27:y:2004:i:3:p:253-267

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    Cited by:

    1. Sparks, Beverley A. & Bradley, Graham L. & Jennings, Gayle R. & Johnston, Nicole R., 2014. "Cooling off and backing out: Understanding consumer decisions to rescind a product purchase," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 2903-2910.
    2. Michael Faure & Hanneke Luth, 2011. "Behavioural Economics in Unfair Contract Terms," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 34(3), pages 337-358, September.

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