Understanding the Unfair Contract Terms Legislation


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Introduction

This paper will outline the recent changes to the Australian Consumer Law 2010 (ACL), which introduced prohibitions on unfair contract terms in small business standard form contracts.

It is vitally important for all Australian businesses to have a thorough understanding of these new laws, which came into effect on 12 November 2016. Any contractual term found to be an unfair contract term will be void and unenforceable. While it is ultimately up to a court or a tribunal to determine whether a term is an unfair contract term, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Australian Securities and Investment's Commission (ASIC) have signalled that they will be taking enforcement action in relation to unfair contract terms they find in small business standard form contracts.

It is vitally important for all Australian businesses to have a thorough understanding of these new laws, which came into effect on 12 November 2016. Any contractual term found to be an unfair contract term will be void and unenforceable.

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