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The importance of consumer protection for the development of electronic commerce: the need for reform in Jordan

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

  • Ahmad Abed Alla Alhusban
The present thesis argues that the current Jordanian legal frameworks are insufficiently developed to provide an adequate level of consumer protection to redress the imbalance of power between parties in electronic commerce consumer contracts. This argument is triggered due to the Jordanian legislation placing great emphasis on the freedom of contract principle to govern all types of contracts, regardless of whether one of the contracting parties suffers from an inequality of bargaining power. This principle does not serve consumer protection as consumer contracts are usually presented on a take-it-or-leave-it basis where a consumer has no realistic bargaining opportunity. On the other hand, such a principle does not allow the legislature to intervene in the contract in order to redress that imbalance. By depending on the freedom of contract principle, Jordanian legislation has, to a large extent, failed to provide consumers with an acceptable level of protection.
This subject will be analysed and discussed alongside European Union legislation in order to illustrate the existing weaknesses in the legal frameworks in Jordan in relation to consumer contracts.
After concluding the legal analysis and determining the weaknesses in Jordanian law, the thesis will provide an empirical study to measure the impact of the lack of consumer protection law on the growth of electronic commerce in Jordan. This empirical study, which has been conducted by way of a questionnaire survey, has revealed that one of the factors that prevents consumers engaging in e-commerce activities, and which undermines their confidence, is their perception of the protection provided by the law.
This thesis concludes that basic consumer protection, which aims to rebalance the power in Business-to-Consumer contracts, is essential for consumer confidence and the development of e-commerce in Jordan. There is a positive correlation between purchasing online and the protective measures selected in this thesis (i.e. information requirements, protection from unfair contract terms and consumer rights). Therefore, a comprehensive model has been suggested in order to fill the gap in the Jordanian legislation.
Original languageEnglish
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Award dateApr 2014

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