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Uniform definition of the Concept of the Consumer and the Business for Cross-border consumer contracts - Focus on International Contract Laws, EU Directives and the laws of the European countries -

  • DONG-A LAW REVIEW
  • 2017, (76), pp.167-199
  • Publisher : The Institute for Legal Studies Dong-A University
  • Research Area : Social Science > Law
  • Received : July 15, 2017
  • Accepted : August 30, 2017
  • Published : August 31, 2017

Song, Hye Jin 1

1Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

Accredited

ABSTRACT

A Consumer contract is a contract between a consumer and a business. To protect consumer in the consumer contract, it has to be preceded about definition to the concept of consumers to be protected. In response, the concept of a business, one party of a consumer contract, should also be established. For consumer protection, International Contract Laws(CISG, PICC, PECL, DCFR etc.), EU Directives and the laws of the European countries(hereinafter International Contract Laws etc.) have established the concept of consumer and business. The aim of this study is to find out the characteristics of definition of a consumer and a business in International Contract Laws etc. and to comparatively analyze them Korean consumer law. The result of this study is like this: there are three differences in the definition of the concept of a consumer and a business between International Contract Laws etc. und Korean consumer law. First, in International Contract Laws etc., a consumer is only natural person while in Korean consumer law can be legal person. Korean consumer law contain special protection for small business and similar enterprises. Second, in International Contract Laws etc., a “consumer” means any natural person who is acting primarily for purposes which are not related to his or her trade, business or profession(negative definition). However, in Korean consumer law, a consumer means those who use the goods and services provided by business for their daily lives as consumers or for their production activities(positive definition), who are designated by Presidential Decree(the comsumer of the politic meaning). Third, in some cases the natural or legal person could be acting both within and outside a trade, business or profession. In such cases, International Contract Laws etc. determein whether a consumer or a business is based on the primary purpose. But in Korean consumer law, there is no standard rule for mixed cases. A comparative legal review with International Contract Laws etc. is useful for the Uniform definition of the Concept of the Consumer and the Business for Cross-border consumer contracts. The harmonization with International Contract Laws etc. should strive for a higher level of consumer protection.

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