Unfair Terms

  • Jiangqiu Ge


The law has to evolve and reflect economic and societal developments in order to adapt to the new circumstances it needs to regulate. Nowadays, contract terms are scarcely negotiated in a real sense. This development challenges the traditional approach of contract law and raises the question: how should contract law adapt to this new reality? Put differently, with the widespread use of pre-formulated or standard contracts, it is necessary to reconsider the traditional understanding of contract law in line with the principles of ‘party autonomy’ and ‘freedom of contract’. These principles have to reflect this new trend and to some extent change in several fundamental ways. For example, the traditional understanding of the principle of party autonomy suggests that the parties can decide the substantive content of their contract and the law should not interfere. However, nowadays the substantive fairness of such contract is addressed in most jurisdictions, primarily to protect the weaker party. In this context, the law needs to first establish legitimacy to interfere with contracts so as to achieve these policy objectives, and then develop legal mechanisms to control these terms.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jiangqiu Ge
    • 1
  1. 1.School of LawFudan UniversityShanghaiChina

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