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Intimations of conformity in a network society: the quality of goods and compliance with labour standards

Collins, Hugh ORCID: 0000-0002-2142-2208 (2014) Intimations of conformity in a network society: the quality of goods and compliance with labour standards. European Review of Private Law, 22 (5). 619 - 640. ISSN 0928-9801

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European contract law requires goods marketed to consumers to satisfy various standards such as to be fit for the purposes for which such goods are ordinarily used and to 'possess such qualities and performance capabilities as the buyer may expect' (Art. 100(g) Common European Sales Law (CESL)). Although the law tends to focus on the qualities of the goods in themselves, my question is whether the reasonable expectations of consumers include reference to the means of production up the supply chain and an expectation that the goods will not be produced through the use of labour that is employed under conditions that violate European Union (EU) labour laws, international labour standards, and human rights law. For instance, should consumers have the expectation that the clothes we purchase are not produced through child labour, or that the mobile phones we buy are not produced under working conditions that breach basic standards such as the International Labour Organization (ILO) and EU rules on working time, or that the tomatoes we eat are not picked by labourers working under conditions of servitude contrary to Article 4 of the European Convention of Human Rights? If consumers have such expectations and EU contract law can protect them, the law may provide a vehicle for addressing some of the worst instances of labour exploitation worldwide.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2014 Kluwer Law International
Divisions: Law
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2019 15:00
Last Modified: 02 Oct 2021 23:12

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