Journal of Consumer Policy

, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 283–296 | Cite as

The Expulsion of the Concept of Protection from the Consumer Law and the Return of Social Elements in the Civil Law: A Bittersweet Polemic

  • Hans-W. MicklitzEmail author


Consumer law started in the 1960s and 1970s as consumer protection law, meant to compensate for the risks and deficiencies of the consumption society which led to an enormous increase. The target of the first generation of national consumer law was the weak consumers, those who could not cope with the increased choice and the resulting risks. The argument here presented is that the European Union by taking over consumer legislation gradually but steadily changed the outlook, from consumer protection law into consumer law. The weak consumer is not the one who is needed for the completion of the Internal Market. This is the famous average consumer which governs today’s’ normative design of the consumer law making and enforcement. However, the shift in paradigm does not set aside the need to strive for legal rules that cover the weakest in the society.


Consumer law Private law European private law The average consumer The weak consumer 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.BambergGermany

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