Nora Beausang, Consumer and SME Credit Law (Dublin: Bloomsbury Professional 2021)

AuthorMax Barrett
[2022] Irish Judicial Studies Journal Vol 6(2)
Nora Beausang, Consumer and SME Credit Law (Dublin:
Bloomsbury Professional 2021), ISBN 9781526515872
Author: Mr Justice Max Barrett
Beausang’s Consumer and SME Credit Law is a great book. It will, I expect, quickly become an
essential purchase for the many lawyers whose practices touch on the issue of
consumer/SME credit law. For the busy judge dealing with summary debt applications, it
will doubtless become a definitive guide on the applicable law, offering a trustworthy work
on which to ground judgment. To those of us who have worked in-house in financial
institutions and long relied on well-thumbed and heavily marked-up versions of Bird’s now
near-quarter century old Consumer Credit Law in Ireland ,
Ms Beausang’s book represents a
welcome, worthy successor to that venerable volume.
Ms Beausang’s book comes at a notable moment for consumer credit law: the expected
enactment of the Consumer Rights Bill 2022 (and hence the transposition of the Omnibus
the EU Digital Content Directive,
and the EU Sale of Goods Directive
Irish law) means that this already complex area of law seems set to become even more heavily
regulated. As Ms Beausang (whose book treats with the Bill) sagely observes in her
introductory remarks,
[R]egulation in the area of consumer credit is only going one way. A failure
of regulated firms…to accommodate the growing corpus of regulatory
requirements [and, it might be added, a failure by lawyers to familiarise
themselves with the changes being made] will not serve their own interests,
quite apart from those of the consumers with which they deal.
As I read Ms Beausang’s book, I was struck by a number of ways in which consumer/SME
credit law seems, in my respectful view, not always best to serve those it seeks to protect.
First, it is notably complex. It may be that the Consumer Rights Bill will assist in this regard.
It is certainly the case that Ms Beausang’s book makes the complex more accessible. Even
so, one cannot but recall the observation of Clarke L.J. for the English Court of Appeal in
its turn-of-the-century decision in McGinn v. Grangewood Securities Ltd:
Dublin: Round Hall Press, 1998.
Directive (EU) 2019/2161 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 November 2019 amending
Council Directive 93/13/EEC and Directives 98/6/EC, 2005/29/EC and 2011/83/EU of the Eu ropean
Parliament and of the Council as regards the better enforcement and modernisation of Union consumer
protection rules (O.J. L328, 18.12.2019, 7).
Directive (EU) 2019/770 of the European Parlia ment and of the Council of 20 May 2019 on certain aspects
concerning contracts for the supply of digital content and digital services (O.J. L136, 22.5.201 9, 1).
Directive (EU) 2019/771 of the European Parlia ment and of the Council of 20 May 2019 on certain aspects
concerning contracts for the sale of goods, amending Regulation (EU) 2017/2394 and Directive 2009/22/EC,
and repealing Directive 1999/44/EC (O.J. L136, 22,5,2019, 28).
Beausang, vii.
[2002] EWCA Civ. 522, para.1.

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