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ACCC urges businesses to remove unfair contract terms before 9 November 2023

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The reforms to the unfair contract terms regime including the introduction of substantial penalties for contraventions come into effect on 9 November 2023. Are your standard form contracts at risk?

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has urged businesses to remove unfair contract terms in standard form contracts before reforms to the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) come into effect on 9 November 2023. Significantly the reforms prohibit the use of unfair contract terms in standard form contracts and impose substantial penalties for contraventions of the prohibition. Legal update, ACCC urges businesses to remove unfair contract terms ahead of 9 November 2023 changes provides a brief recap of the reforms and an overview of Practical Law resources to help navigate compliance.

Practical Law has also published Checklist, Key findings: ACCC investigation and prosecution of unfair contract terms. This new checklist provides a summary of key findings from the ACCC investigation and prosecution of unfair contract terms pursuant to the protections contained in the ACL. It identifies terms flagged by ACCC investigations as likely to be unfair and terms determined by the courts as unfair (including the key reasons for such determinations). It is designed to assist legal practitioners to understand the application of the unfair contract terms regime in different contexts and to identify when terms in standard form contracts may constitute unfair terms.

This new checklist complements and is intended to be read in conjunction with Checklist, Application of the unfair contract terms regime and assessing whether a term is unfair.

By Practical Law Commercial Team

Practical Law Australia’s expert legal writers have practical expertise gained from some of the country's leading law firms and corporate legal departments, including Ashurst, Baker & McKenzie, Gilbert + Tobin, Herbert Smith Freehills, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and more. They understand the pressure to deliver timely and cost effective legal advice, which is why Practical Law’s fully maintained practice notes, precedents, drafting notes and checklists offer clear and concise know-how with a practical perspective.

For more information on Practical Law Australia’s legal writing team, visit

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