Rita Simon
Author’s affiliation: Institute of State and Law

Enhancing environmental sustainability through reforming the contract law

Jurisprudence 1/2023 Section: Articles Page: 21-26

Keywords: sustainability, durability, consumer sales law, Directive 2019/771/EU, contract law

Abstract: Originally, European consumer law was framed for boosting the internal market and welfare. The main aim of consumer legislation was “trough the achievement of a high level of consumer protection, to contribute to the proper functioning of the internal market”. However, since the growing awareness of planetary boundaries and climate change, consumer habits acquired a different accent in European lawmaking. To ensure the European Union’s commitments towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals, a more sustainable single market for businesses and consumers was to be achieved. Thus, the first packages of Sustainable Consumption and Production targeted only production and, slowly but steadily, consumer legislation opens up to this trend. The new Consumer Directive, which should re-draft and modernise the Consumer’s Sales Law, was the first step towards enhancing environmental sustainability in consumption. Ensuring longer durability of consumer goods via longer warranty periods, and software updates enabling consumers to require repair are the two mentioned aims of the Directives to encourage more sustainable consumption patterns and a circular economy. This article will investigate how far the Czech implementation contributed to these aims. After a brief explanation why promoting sustainability is a binding target for the European and national legislator (1), national best practices will be presented which are designed to improve sustainability trough contract law in other European countries (2), and finally, it will be followed by an analysis of how far the Czech transposition of Directive 2019/771/EU ensures these targets (3).

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