Australian Consumer Law

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The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) is uniform legislation for consumer protection, applying as a law of the Commonwealth of Australia and of each of Australia's states and territories. The law commenced on 1 January 2011, replacing 20 different consumer laws across the Commonwealth and the states and territories.[1] The text of the law is a schedule to the Commonwealth Competition and Consumer Act 2010,[2] which is incorporated into the law of each state and territory by reference in separate fair trading acts.

The law was developed by agreement of the Council of Australian Governments.[3]

The provisions of the Australian Consumer Law broadly reflects the provisions previously afforded by the Trade Practices Act 1974, although some additional protections have been added. The Australian Consumer Law also generally reflects most of the consumer protection provisions of the fair trading legislation in each state and territory.

Implementing identical consumer protection laws at Commonwealth and state/territory levels promotes consistency between jurisdictions. It will also make it easier for the Federal Parliament to amend the provisions which will then be reflected in the laws of the states and territories without the parliaments of each jurisdiction needing to debate and enact the amendments separately, although the states and territories reserve the right not to implement any amendments within their own jurisdiction.