Reflections on Consumer Law and Policy in Seychelles

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Abstract

Consumerism only reached Seychelles after a wave of market-liberalisation reforms adopted in 2008 as a response to a dire economic crisis. Consumer law is therefore only a recent phenomenon in the country. The main sources of inspiration for Seychelles legislation are the UN Guidelines on Consumer Protection, the EU Directive on unfair contract terms, and the South African Consumer Protection Act. Policy initiatives tend to be modelled either on other small island countries or Commonwealth countries. The formal legal framework is overall modern and in line with international guidelines. However, the article identifies two sets of challenges encountered in practice. First, local standardization efforts fail to address the matter of poor quality products entering the market, and this lack local capacity is insufficiently complemented by reliance on international standards. Secondly, consumers seldom rely on the adjudicatory mechanism provided by consumer laws and informal settlement mechanisms are preferred, which comes at the cost of depriving consumer law operatives of precious interpretative materials, leaving areas of legal uncertainty. While policy guidance from the political sphere would be needed, it is unclear how much attention consumer matters will receive in the medium term.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-410
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Consumer Policy: consumer issues in law, economics and behavioral sciences
Volume41
Issue number4
Early online date29 Jun 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018

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Consumer protection
Guidance
Product quality
Consumerism
Economic crisis
United Nations
Legislation
Legal framework
Africa
EU directives
International standards
Market liberalization
Standardization
Uncertainty

Cite this

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title = "Reflections on Consumer Law and Policy in Seychelles",
abstract = "Consumerism only reached Seychelles after a wave of market-liberalisation reforms adopted in 2008 as a response to a dire economic crisis. Consumer law is therefore only a recent phenomenon in the country. The main sources of inspiration for Seychelles legislation are the UN Guidelines on Consumer Protection, the EU Directive on unfair contract terms, and the South African Consumer Protection Act. Policy initiatives tend to be modelled either on other small island countries or Commonwealth countries. The formal legal framework is overall modern and in line with international guidelines. However, the article identifies two sets of challenges encountered in practice. First, local standardization efforts fail to address the matter of poor quality products entering the market, and this lack local capacity is insufficiently complemented by reliance on international standards. Secondly, consumers seldom rely on the adjudicatory mechanism provided by consumer laws and informal settlement mechanisms are preferred, which comes at the cost of depriving consumer law operatives of precious interpretative materials, leaving areas of legal uncertainty. While policy guidance from the political sphere would be needed, it is unclear how much attention consumer matters will receive in the medium term.",
author = "Marco Rizzi",
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AB - Consumerism only reached Seychelles after a wave of market-liberalisation reforms adopted in 2008 as a response to a dire economic crisis. Consumer law is therefore only a recent phenomenon in the country. The main sources of inspiration for Seychelles legislation are the UN Guidelines on Consumer Protection, the EU Directive on unfair contract terms, and the South African Consumer Protection Act. Policy initiatives tend to be modelled either on other small island countries or Commonwealth countries. The formal legal framework is overall modern and in line with international guidelines. However, the article identifies two sets of challenges encountered in practice. First, local standardization efforts fail to address the matter of poor quality products entering the market, and this lack local capacity is insufficiently complemented by reliance on international standards. Secondly, consumers seldom rely on the adjudicatory mechanism provided by consumer laws and informal settlement mechanisms are preferred, which comes at the cost of depriving consumer law operatives of precious interpretative materials, leaving areas of legal uncertainty. While policy guidance from the political sphere would be needed, it is unclear how much attention consumer matters will receive in the medium term.

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