Protecting Consumers in the Online Market from Unfair Contract Terms: The Nigerian Perspective

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Ilobinso, I.K
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Nigerian Journal of Contemporary Law
The key principle of contract law is that parties should have autonomy to enter into contracts on terms voluntarily agreed upon without external interferences. This is referred to as the doctrine of freedom of contract. However, the strict application of this doctrine has caused hardship for parties with unequal bargaining powers. This is especially so in Business-to-Consumer e-commerce where consumers enter into contracts by the mere click of a mouse, without truly appreciating the consequences of their actions. Since most consumer contracts are in standard form, consumers are usually exposed to unfair terms which restrict their rights and leave them without remedy in the event of a dispute. Hence, there is need for judicial and legislative interventions which are aimed at protecting consumers from unfair terms. This paper, therefore, evaluates the legal measures for the protection of consumers who engage in electronic commerce from unfair contract terms. It also offers recommendations on how consumers in Nigeria can be provided with optimum protection from unfair terms.
Unfair terms, consumer contracts, electronic transactions, standard form contracts.
1. Ilobinso Ihuoma K, ‘Protecting Consumers in the Online Market from Unfair Contract Terms: The Nigerian Perspective’ Nigerian Journal of Contemporary Law (2018) Vol.19 (1), pp 51-69.