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Simon Shields, LLB

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Simon Shields,
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General Requirements of Disclosure

Any supplier disclosure required by the CPA "must be clear, comprehensible and prominent" [CPA 5(1)], and when delivered physically (as opposed to by telephone or internet) must be in a form which can be retained by the consumer [CPA 5(2)].

Any ambiguities in the content of the disclosure shall be interpreted to the benefit of the consumer [CPA 11]. This provision probably means that when it comes to interpreting the terms of the consumer agreement (as in a contract dispute), that the most consumer-generous interpretation shall be taken (like the legal doctrine of contra proferentum).

Ironically this interpretive principle may also 'improve' the content of the disclosure, perhaps even bringing it into compliance with CPA disclosure duties when a non-generous interpretation would not have - ultimately making it harder for a consumer to argue that the disclosure was not CPA-compliant, thus hindering their ability to use it as a basis for rescinding the consumer agreement.

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