Restorative justice measures could change trader attitudes
Jan 17, 2011
Restorative justice is the most significant advance for consumers of a pilot of civil sanctions to be enforced by the Office of Fair Trading and selected Trading Standards Services, says [Citizens Advice policy officer] Susan Marks.
“This scheme brings in the possibility of compensation for consumers which is a huge thing for us, something we really supported in the Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Act 2008 in the first place,” she says.
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has launched a consultation on the pilot scheme this month.
“The restorative justice aspect of this creates the opportunity for businesses to put past breaches of the law right,” Marks says.
This will create the conditions for an important shift in commercial mind-set, she believes. “If you are having to repay consumers and perhaps apologise to them it brings a different sort of light onto the situation because then you have to be much closer to the effect your bad practices are having on your customers and to their circumstances. You’re going to have to ask yourself if your business practices are fair.”