Unfair Contract Terms Under the Australian Consumer Law

Substantive Law

CPD Points 1


There have been a number of developments in the laws regulating unfair terms in standard form consumer and small business contracts, and further significant reforms are expected in 2021.

The legislative provisions regulating unfair contract terms in standard form contracts play an important role within the Australian Consumer Law. These provisions initially only applied to consumer contracts, but since 12 November 2016 have expanded in scope to apply to certain contracts with small businesses. 

Further expansions in the scope of application of the unfair contract terms provisions are scheduled for 2021. Most standard form contracts of insurance will fall within the scope of these provisions starting from 5 April 2021, and the definition of a consumer is set to broaden significantly with the increase of the monetary threshold for goods and services acquired from 1 July 2021. There are also proposed reforms which may further expand the eligibility for protection for small businesses and introduce new penalties for breaching the unfair contract terms provisions.

All of this means that understanding and complying with the legislative provisions governing unfair contract terms is becoming increasingly relevant for a much wider range of businesses – and their lawyers. This course provides an overview of the law relating to unfair contract terms, its practical application and recent developments.


Last Updated: September 2022 

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LawCPD author: Hugo De Kock

Hugo de Kock

Hugo is an experienced litigator with expertise in a range of areas including contract law, consumer law, trade practices, insolvency and corporations.

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  1. 5.0/5
    Covered a lot of ground.
    I felt this course covered a lot of ground covering a challenging topic.
    - Liz Hollingdale
  2. 4.0/5
    Very good case material.
    This course had very good case material.