Why Apply Criminal Law in Consumer Protection?

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Why Apply Criminal Law in Consumer Protection?

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It can be argued that consumer protection should be resolved by the forces of the free market economy and the civil justice system and that the government does not need to play a major role in that field. Despite this the Israeli legislator decided to impose criminal liability on violators of the Consumer Protection Law as it believed that for the markets to function well, it is crucial that the state provide them with a strong framework in which they can operate freely [2]. Israeli scholars explained that the application of criminal law to the consumer protection field is required due to the inherent difference in powers between the private consumer and the corporation. This disproportion in powers between the parties (consumer-corporation) differs from classic contract laws which assume a relative symmetry between the contracting parties [3]. The state is therefore expected to play a larger role in order to balance this a-symmetry and in some cases is doing so using the criminal law.

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