UCT article series

30 January 2023

Welcome to our ‘UCT’ article series, designed to assist businesses in preparing for new reforms to the unfair contract terms (UCT) regime under the Australian Consumer Law1 introduced by the Treasury Laws Amendment (More Competition, Better Prices) Act 2022 (Act). The reforms to the UCT regime under the Act will take effect from 9 November 2023.

In the ‘UCT 101’ series, we set out the basics, discussing some of the preliminary foundational questions associated with the application of the UCT regime and some of the ‘usual suspects’ when it comes to the UCT risk – that is, those terms that by their nature run a higher risk of being unfair.

In the ‘UCT 102’ series, we take what we have learned in the UCT 101 series and delve deeper into some of the more nuanced questions relating to the UCT regime and its application to different types of contracting arrangements.

UCT 101

  1. What is a standard form contract?
  2. What is a small business contract?
  3. What makes a term unfair?
  4. The usual suspects #1 – automatic renewal clauses
  5. The usual suspects #2 – unilateral variation clauses
  6. The usual suspects #3 – liability and indemnity clauses

UCT 102

  1. Master Agreements entered into before 9 November 2023 – are SOWs, POs and other instruments issued after 9 November 2023 immune from changes to the unfair contract terms regime? 
  2. The UCT goes global: Unfair contract terms regime held to have extraterritorial application by the High Court

1Competition and Consumer Act 2001 (Cth), Schedule 2 (‘Australian Consumer Law’ or ‘ACL’).

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