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Applying the Unfair Contract Terms Directive to Public Contracts

Carri Ginter, Mari Kelve-Liivsoo


Extending the effects of the unfair contract terms rules to public contracts produces unwanted side-effects. What is otherwise a level playing field in procurement, gets distorted by rules originally meant to protect consumers. Effectiveness of safeguards surrounding the process of procurement providing for equal opportunities and transparency is adversely affected if the balance of the contract can later significantly shift by applying private law apparatus and removing provisions from the concluded contracts.
Keywords: standard terms; public procurement; procurement contract; public contract; invalidity; transparency; EU law; internal market; contract law; equal treatment; level playing field; consumer law; unfair contract terms

Carri Ginter is an Associate Professor of European law of the University of Tartu School of law and a Dispute Resolution and Risk Management partner at Sorainen. He holds the Jean Monnet chair at the faculty. Mari Kelve-Liivsoo is an associate with PwC’s litigation and public procurement team. This article has been written with the support of the Erasmus+ programme of the EU within the #UProEU programme <>. For correspondence: <> and <>.


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