FLJS experts named in UN Manual on Consumer Protection

31 August 2016

FLJS Board Member Professor Christopher Hodges and FLJS Research Fellow Dr Ying Yu have been named in a manual published by the United Nations to accompany its recently revised Guidelines for Consumer Protection.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Manual on Consumer Protection acknowledges the ‘major substantive input’ of Professor Hodges and Dr Yu, among other consumer rights experts.

The UN Guidelines on Consumer Protection aim to provide a ‘set of principles for … effective consumer protection legislation, enforcement institutions and redress systems’. The Guidelines were revised by the UN General Assembly in December last year to address the needs of developing countries and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the need for governments to cooperate across borders.

The Manual quotes from Professor Christopher Hodges’ paper commissioned by the UK Government’s Department for Business innovation & Skills Better Regulation Delivery Office entitled Ethical Business Regulation: Understanding the Evidence: ‘The basic idea is one of a collaborative approach between businesses, their stakeholders and public officials, based on a shared ethical approach.’ Professor Hodges finds that individuals will not volunteer information if they fear attracting criticism or blame, and that a ‘blame culture’ will inhibit learning and the development of an ethical culture, so businesses and regulators should support an essentially open collaborative culture in which complaints are treated as gifts.

A FLJS Policy Brief summarizing Professor Hodges’ findings will be published next month.

Dr Ying Yu is Coordinator of the FLJS Consumer Rights in China Programme and represents the International Law Association as Observer of the revisions to the UN Guidelines on Consumer Protection.

consumers
The basic idea is one of a collaborative approach between businesses, their stakeholders and public officials, based on a shared ethical approach