Subject: one of the major novelties introduced in corporate law in recent years is certainly the transposition, within the Consumer Code (Legislative Decree No 206 of 2005), of the directive concerning unfair business practices (Dir. 2005/29/EC).
This choice, in fact, is not only relevant for the purpose of securing a more effective protection of consumers – in which context it evidently arises – but is part, as already mentioned in the literature, of a systematic crossroads, with heavy repercussions on the discipline of the market and competition.
The repercussions of enforcement of regulations on the civil courts are also very significant: think, first, of the problem of identifying the scope of the appeals against unfair business practices, in which case it would be necessary to verify whether the action for damages can be accompanied – for the deceived consumer or victim of aggressive business practices – also by those aimed at rescission of contract for lack of consent. Thing, also, of the problem of the relationship between the law regulating unfair business practices and that governing unfair competition, and – more generally – matters concerning the coordination between the civil courts’ power to prosecute and the Competition Guarantor Authority’s power to impose penalties. This latter topic raises the need to question ourselves not only on the possibility of exporting, also in this context, the established principles and solutions for the repair of damages caused by the infringement of antitrust regulations, but also on the vexata quaestio related to the role of the authorities and to their (contended) configuration as “economic judiciaries”.
Lastly, the picture is futher complicated by the observation that the context under analysis here is susceptible to the mechanism of class action, as regulated by Art. 140 bis of the Consumer Code.
Structure and methodology: the aims of the course impose the need to adopt various didactical methods based on the different sessions (sessions dedicated to discussions between two or more participants and, to a lesser extent, to face-to-face presentations, as well as sessions dedicated to study groups, for an analysis of real cases handled by first instance and high courts, having special regard to the topics discussed in morning sessions).
Candidates: civil magistrates of first instance and high court.