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From the Brussels office

16 March 15

Recent developments in the EU: unfair contract terms; victim protection orders

Unfair contract terms apply to lawyers

The CJEU has held in case C-537/13, which concerned a Lithuanian client and her lawyer, that a lawyer is bound by EU legislation on unfair terms and clauses in contracts.

It concluded: “Council Directive 93/13/EEC of 5 April 1993 on unfair terms in consumer contracts must be interpreted as applying to standard form contracts for legal services, such as those at issue in the main proceedings, concluded by a lawyer with a natural person acting for purposes which are outside his trade, business or profession.”

Recognition for victim protection orders

New rules protecting victims of violence, especially domestic violence or stalking, entered into force on 11 January 2015. Restraining, protection and barring orders issued in one EU member state can now be made quickly and easily recognisable in any EU member state by a simple certification process, through two separate instruments: the Regulation on Mutual Recognition of Protection Measures in Civil Matters, and the Directive on the European Protection Order. The hope is that this will guarantee the safety of victims wherever in the EU they choose to travel. 

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