Abstract: Credit, telecommunications and energy providers have obligations to assist people who have difficulties in paying their debts. There is also legislation to prevent provision of unsuitable credit. All of this depends on the concept of hardship. Being in hardship is a state or condition. Its meaning requires more judicial attention. There are clear indicators of hardship for the provision of credit. There is no clarity regarding what difficulties there are in repaying an amount due to hardship for credit or paying telecoms or electricity bills. While rules require providers to vary contractual obligations, providers, who are private entities, make their own decisions which can be adjudicated by complaint bodies. This article argues that three sets of rules and three complaint bodies for a person in hardship is not consumer-centric and there should at a minimum be a one stop shop for a person in financial difficulty.
Keywords: Australian Energy Regulator; Australian Communications and Media Authority; Australian Financial Complaints Authority; Australian Securities and Investments Commission; consumer credit; Energy and Water Ombudsman; financial hardship; Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman
JICL welcomes full length articles (generally not exceeding 13,000 words inclusive of footnotes), shorter contributions in the form of notes and comments (generally not exceeding 8,000 words inclusive of footnotes) and book review articles of not more than 6,000 words.
We accept contributions for consideration on an exclusive submission basis. When submitting an article please certify that it is an unpublished article (that is, it has not been previously published in substantially similar form or with substantially similar content) and that it is not under consideration by any other journal.
To facilitate anonymous review, please give the names of authors and their short biographical information and acknowledgments in a separate page.
Authors retain copyright in the words used, but upon submission of material for publication, grant Sweet & Maxwell a licence to publish the submission in print and/or digital formats. Sweet & Maxwell retains copyright in the design, format and layout of all material published in JICL.
Once submissions are published, authors are entitled to one copy of the issue, 10 offprint copies and a PDF version of the submission.
Authors who send articles published in JICL to other publishers or media must include a reference to the publication of the article by JICL and Sweet & Maxwell.
Contributions and book reviews should be submitted in Microsoft Word format by way of email attachment to Professor Anton Cooray at Anton.email@example.com.
Authors should follow the OSCOLA citation system (http://www.law.ox.ac.uk/publications/oscola.php), except that we prefer authors to use indenting sparingly.
JICL uses the following heading levels: Main headings are in bold and preceded by a Roman numeral; second-level headings are in bold and italics and preceded by an uppercase alphabet; third-level headings are preceded by an Arabic numeral; and fourth-level headings are in italics and preceded by a lowercase alphabet.