Citizens Advice response to Law Commission consultation which includes recommendations for new laws regarding ‘civil recovery’
12 April 2011
Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice said:
“We warmly welcome proposals, published today by the Law Commission, which seek to create a new law under which individuals can bring their own legal action against companies where they have been the victim of unfair commercial practice.
“We particularly welcome the Commission’s thorough consideration of how existing regulation applies to the growing retail practice of threatened ‘civil recovery’ - an issue on which we have been campaigning for two years* - and its recommendation that, to avoid any doubt, the practice should be covered by its proposed reform of consumer protection legislation.
“We are also delighted that the Law Commission has confirmed that there is no legal basis for ‘fixed sum’ demands** such as those demanded in every single alleged shoplifting related case we have examined.”
*See our reports Uncivil recovery, December 2010 and Unreasonable demands, December 2009
**Paragraph 3.33 (of Part 3) of ‘Reforming Consumer Redress for Misleading and Aggressive Practices’, Law Commission, April 2011
Notes to editors
- The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local bureaux, all of which are independent charities, and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more information in England and Wales see www.citizensadvice.org.uk
- The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential, and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality. For online advice and information see www.adviceguide.org.uk
- Citizens Advice Bureaux in England and Wales advised 2.1 million clients on 6.9 million problems from April 2011 to March 2012. For full 2011/2012 service statistics see our quarterly publication Advice trends
- Out of 22 national charities, the Citizens Advice service is ranked by the general public as being the most helpful, approachable, professional, informative, effective / cost effective, reputable and accountable (nfpSynergy’s Brand Attributes survey, May 2010).
- Most Citizens Advice service staff are trained volunteers, working at around 3,500 service outlets across England and Wales.