Chapter 10 Outline answers to essay questions

Chapter 10 Outline answers to essay questions

Critically evaluate the extent to which the Consumer Rights Act 2015 has improved the consumer’s rights.


This is a very wide question examining your understanding of the CRA 2015 and, in particular, the rights it affords to consumers. As with all exam questions, it is important to follow the rubric of the question which, in this case, requires you critically to evaluate improvements to consumers’ rights made by the CRA. Merely explaining consumers’ rights will not suffice. When discussing the improvements to consumers’ rights, you should compare them to what was in place before the CRA came into force; namely, the Sale of Goods Act 1979.     

A good introductory paragraph should introduce the CRA, explain when it came into force, and point out that it only applies to contracts between traders and consumers (as defined). It is worth pointing out that despite its title, the CRA does not apply to contracts between consumers themselves: these contracts remain to be governed by the SGA.

You should then set out the many similarities between the SGA’s implied terms and the terms to be treated as included in the contract by the CRA, noting that these terms have the same effect as a statutorily implied term although are just not referred to as implied terms. A few examples should assist: the most obvious being that both regimes require goods to be as described, be of satisfactory quality, and fit for a particular purpose. These are set out in ss 13, 14(2) and 14(3) of the SGA and in ss 11, 9 and 10 of the CRA.

You should then address in detail the improvements made by the CRA to consumers’ rights. One key improvement relates to “digital content”. Similar to other sections in the CRA, digital content, too, needs to be of satisfactory quality, fit for a particular purpose, and as described, as provided for in ss 34, 35 and 36 of the CRA.

Unlike the terms implied by the SGA which are classified by the SGA itself either as conditions or warranties, the terms to be treated as included in the contract under the CRA are not to be treated as conditions. There is no need to pre-classify the terms in the same way as the SGA because the remedies available to the consumer buyer, including the right to reject, are dealt with separately as specific remedies available under the CRA. This additional clarity can also be related back to the question as an improvement. 

Back to top