Taking the Prohibition of Unfair Commercial Practices Seriously

Assessing Misleading Statements
  • Mariusz J. Golecki
  • Piotr TereszkiewiczEmail author
Part of the Economic Analysis of Law in European Legal Scholarship book series (EALELS, volume 7)


Under the European Union Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, a commercial practice is misleading if it “is likely to deceive the average consumer or is likely to cause him to take a transactional decision that he would not have taken otherwise.” Advertising statements constitute a major example of commercial practices. In this contribution, we analyse the issue as to how the misleading character of advertising statements should be assessed. We use the example of risky mortgage loan contrast to demonstrate how courts and consumers assess pre-contract statements.



The paper has been prepared within the framework of the research project 2015/17/HS5/00495 financed by the National Science Centre, Poland.


  1. Albors-Llorens A, Jones A (2016) The images of the ‘consumer’ in EU competition law. In: Leczykiewicz D, Weatherill S (eds) The images of the consumer in EU law: legislation, free movement and competition law. Hart, Oxford, pp 43–92Google Scholar
  2. Balogh C, Gereben Á, Karvalits F, Pulai G (2011) Foreign currency tenders in Hungary: a tailor - made instrument for a unique challenge. Bank for International Settlements Papers No 73, Available at:
  3. Bennett H, Broe G (2010) Judicial decision-making and neurobiology: the role of emotion and the ventromedial cortex in deliberation and reasoning. Aust J Forensic Sci 42(1):11–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Damasio A (1994) Descartes’ error: emotion, reason and the human brain. Nature 372(6503):287–287CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. De Vries S (2016) The Court of Justice’s ‘Paradigm Consumer’ in EU free movement law. In: Leczykiewicz D, Weatherhill S (eds) The images of consumer in EU law. Hart, Oxford, pp 401–429Google Scholar
  6. Domurath I (2013) The case of vulnerability as the normative standard in European consumer credit and mortgage law — an inquiry into the paradigms of consumer law. J Eur Consum Mark Law 2:124. 133–35Google Scholar
  7. Fischhoff B (1982) For those condemned to study the past: heuristics and biases in hindsight. In: Kahneman D, Slovic P, Tversky A (eds) Judgment under uncertainty: heuristics and biases. Cambridge University Press, New York, pp 335–354CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Fuller L (1978) The forms and limits of adjudication. Harvard Law Rev 92:353–409CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Giliker P (2017) The Consumer Rights Act 2015 – a bastion of European consumer rights? Leg Stud 37(1):78–102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Golecki MJ (2015) New York Times v. Sullivan in European Context. In: Anonymous European perspectives on behavioural law and economics. Springer, New York, pp 243–267Google Scholar
  11. Golecki MJ, Romanowicz M, Wojciechowski J (2016) Nudging in tax law? Eyetracking research on limits of efficacy of legal definitions. In: Mathis K, Tor A (eds) Nudging-possibilities, limitations and applications in European law and economics. Springer, Heidelberg, pp 289–313CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Jolls C, Sunstein CR, Thaler R (1998) A behavioral approach to law and economics. Stanf Law Rev 50:1471–1550CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kahneman D (2011) Thinking, fast and slow. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  14. Kahneman D, Tversky A (1979) Prospect theory: an analysis of decision under risk. Econometrica 47:263–291CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Keirsbilck B (2011) The new European law of unfair commercial practices and competition law. Hart, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  16. Petersen N (2013) Avoiding the common-wisdom fallacy: the role of social sciences in constitutional adjudication. Int J Constitutional Law 11(2):294–318CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Posner RA (2007) Economic analysis of law. Aspen Publishers, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  18. Rachlinski JJ (1998) A positive psychological theory of judging in hindsight. Univ Chic Law Rev 65(2):571–625CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Rachlinski JJ (2010) Processing pleadings and the psychology of prejudgments. DePaul Law Rev 60:413Google Scholar
  20. Reich N (2016) Vulnerable consumer in EU law. In: Leczykiewicz D, Weatherhill S (eds) The images of consumer in EU law. Hart, Oxford, pp 139–158Google Scholar
  21. Sibony A-L (2014) Can EU consumer law benefit from behavioural insights? An analysis of the unfair practices directive. Eur Rev Private Law 22(6):901–942Google Scholar
  22. Sunstein CR (ed) (2000) Behavioral law and economics. Cambridge series on judgment and decision making. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  23. Sunstein CR (2001) One case at a time: judicial minimalism on the Supreme Court. Harvard University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  24. Tereszkiewicz P (2015) Obowiązki informacyjne w umowach o usługi finansowe. Wolters Kluwer Poland, WarszawaGoogle Scholar
  25. Vermeule A (2006) Judging under uncertainty. An institutional theory of legal interpretation. Harvard University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Legal Theory and Philosophy of Law, Faculty of Law and AdministrationUniversity of ŁódźŁódźPoland
  2. 2.Faculty of Law and AdministrationJagiellonian University of CracowCracowPoland

Personalised recommendations