How to enforce the Consumer Protection Act
Enforcement of the Consumer Protection Act
The Consumer Protection Act stipulates who may approach a court, the National Consumer Tribunal or the National Consumer Commission to enforce the rights bestowed in the Consumer Protection Act. Only the following persons may do so:
- A person acting on his or her own behalf;
- An authorized person acting on behalf of another person who cannot act in their own name;
- A person acting as a member of, or in the interest of, a group or class of affected persons;
- A person acting in public interest with the leave of the Tribunal or court;
- An association acting in the interest of its members.
Where a matter is brought before a court, the court is empowered to develop the common law as necessary in a bid to improve “the realisation and enjoyment of consumer rights generally.” (Section 4(2)(a)). The National Consumer Tribunal and court when adjudicating any matter, are bound to promote the spirit and purposes of the Consumer Protection Act, and to give practical effect to the consumer rights entrenched in the Consumer Protection Act. Such practical effect shall be seen in the issue of orders provided for in the Consumer Protection Act and any other “innovative order” that enhances the realisation of the consumer’s rights.