The special legal regulation of relationships between companies and individuals, based primarily on the legislative activities of the European Union in the recent decades, has radically transformed the classic law of contracts. The provisions of special consumer legislation (ZVPot, ZPotK-1, ZVKSES, ZVPNPP, ZIsRPS) take precedence over the general rules of the Code of Obligations, differing from them significantly. Specific consumer rights apply to contractual and non-contractual relationships and to rules of procedure, so they are used every day. In the monograph, the authors examine the current situation of the Slovenian and European consumer law and analyse the consequences of the application of special rules in the fields where outstanding issues arise.
EU consumer protection directives, Commission recommendations, and different EU consumer programmes provide for encouragement and in certain fields already for an obligation of establishment of voluntary out-of-court settlement and alternative dispute resolution mechanisms and procedures (ADR). The cost risk of litigation in ordinary courts of law is usually not proportionate to the economic value of a typical consumer claim. Besides, a typical feature of a consumer dispute is the existence of a factual inequality between the trader and the consumer with regard to, inter alia, experience in handling of disputes, with regard to access to legal advice and funding of litigation. Therefore a lack of an appropriate ADR schemes for consumer disputes in reality often means that access to justice for consumer is frustrated.
The reform of the Brussels I Regulation brought some changes also concerning jurisdiction in consumer, labour and insurance disputes. Thereby, procedural protection of typically weaker parties shall be brought to a higher level. The most important changes relate to the extension of scope of the Regulation's applicability against third-state defendants and to restriction of the possibility that jurisdiction by submission is acquired to the detriment of the weaker party.