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ITALY--Emilio Tosi


Consumer Protection under Italian Law


Milan, Nov. 30, 1999

E-Commerce and consumer protection: italian legal frame

Under Italian law consumer protection is mainly ensured by the following legal provisions which can be easily applied to e-commerce transactions:

a) sec. 1469 bis et seq. of Civil Code introduced by implementing EU Directive 93/13 ruling over unfair clauses of consumer contracts;

b) Law n. 185 of May 22, 1999 introduced by implementing EU Directive 97/7 ruling over contracts concluded using communications devices such as e-mail or the Internet World Wide Web;

c) Decree n. 513 of Nov. 10, 1997 ruling over digital signature under italian legal regime of forms.

As far as concerning jurisdiction over consumer:

- sec. 1469.3- bis provides that the contract clause ruling the choice of a forum different from the domicile of the consumer is deemed unfair and as such void unless the stronger party (namely the entrapeneur) demonstrate the existence of dealings over that clause with consumer;

- sec.1469.5 - quinquies of Civil Code provides that any clause of contract establishing a law of a non EU country is deemed as void if:

- that clause has the effect to render applicable a law less favourable to the consumer;

- and the consumer contracts presents the closest connection to an EU country.

Emilio Tosi

Ricercatore di Diritto Privato

Università di Milano-Bicocca

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