First Principles of Business Law

The regulation of undesirable business practices

3.1. Protection against unconscionable conduct

3.1. Statutory provisions




You should already be familiar with the general law doctrine of unconscionable dealing, which is explained in the module 'Circumstances that may invalidate a legal transaction'. You should review the following cases:

Blomley v Ryan (1956) 99 CLR 362.

Commercial Bank of Australia Ltd v Amadio (1983) 151 CLR 447.

Garcia v National Australia Bank Ltd (1998) 194 CLR 395.

In addition to the general law of unconscionable dealing, there are statutory provisions prohibiting  'unconscionable conduct'. These statutory provisions exist alongside the general law of unconscionable dealing and, to a certain extent, the statutory provisions depend on the existence and continued development of the general law doctrine. Importantly, the statutory provisions expand the scope of the general law doctrine and make additional remedies available.

These sections do not distinguish between ‘consumer’ and ‘commercial’ transactions.

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