University Of Tasmania

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From safety nets to support networks: beyond 'Vulnerability' in protection for consumers with cognitive disabilities

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 09:27 authored by Yvette MakerYvette Maker, Paterson, GM, Anna Arstein-Kerslake, McSherry, B, Brophy, LM
This article considers the significance of the obligations in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (‘CRPD’) for consumer protection law and policy. The current legal response to consumers who require additional decision-making support is primarily focused on mechanisms to release consumers classified as ‘vulnerable’ from transactions tainted by concerns about a lack of genuine consent. While these legal responses provide an important safety net of protection against predatory and exploitative behaviour, they are limited in their ability to encourage social participation and equal access to goods and services for consumers with cognitive disabilities. We argue that the CRPD requires an approach to consumer protection that provides more meaningful support for consumers with cognitive disabilities and make suggestions about what this support might entail in terms of changes to both the legislative regime and contracting practices.


Publication title

University of New South Wales Law Journal








Faculty of Law


University of New South Wales

Place of publication


Rights statement

Copyright 2019 University of New South Wales Law Journal

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Ability and disability; Civil justice; Law reform