Date of Award
Mr. Shum Chun-yau
Consumption of goods and services is inevitable in our daily life. So consumer protection is essential for every consumer. However, the existing consumer protection system in Hong Kong is not comprehensive enough to protect consumers. Thus, this project concentrates on studying the consumer protection law in Hong Kong to evaluate its sufficiency for protecting consumers. Besides, we also investigate the Hong Kong consumer protection system, including the functions and powers of the Consumer Council, and make compare it with Australia’s consumer protection system.
The Consumer Council is the only statutory consumer protection body in Hong Kong. It is not an independent unit in its operation. Moreover, it lacks investigative, legislative and enforcement powers. Furthermore, the laws and ordinances are not sufficient and comprehensive enough to protect all consumers. Most importantly, the government’s attitude towards consumer protection is non-interventionist.
After a comparison is made with the Australia’s system, we discover that Australia’s consumer protection body, the National Consumer Affairs Advisory Council, is a purely advisory body to deal with the matters about consumer protection. It is independent from the other non-government consumer organizations, such as the Trade Practices Commission. Not only does it have investigative, legislative and enforcement power, it also has a comprehensive competition policy to protect consumers.
Due to the lack of the consumer protection law in Hong Kong, we recommend that other developed countries’ consumer protection systems, such as Australia, should be used as an example to improve our consumer protection system. The comprehensive competition policy, including competition laws and authority, should be introduced in order to ensure that more consumers could be in the protective net. Besides, the Consumer Council should be given more powers to operate and deal with the consumer problems.
In addition, the government should do more for consumer protection. It can be done by increasing the resources to the Consumer Council and educating the public about their consumer rights. Most importantly, the Consumer Council should act independently to achieve its objectives on consumer protection. Thus, all consumers can be better protected under these improvements.
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Lee, P. L., & Chung, C. K. (1999). A study of consumer protection law in Hong Kong (UG Dissertation, Lingnan University, Hong Kong). Retrieved from http://commons.ln.edu.hk/acct_fyp/6/