The Role of the ‘al-Ġobn’ Imbalance in Strengthening Arab Consumers: The Significance of the European Approach

In: Arab Law Quarterly


The concept of imbalance, al-ġobn, is a decisive factor in protecting consumers. In addition to consumer protection regulations, imbalance as a traditional defect in contracts (not in will) in Egypt and Syria is a cornerstone of increasing protection. However, the concept has not been developed and remains limited to certain occasions, mainly exploitation. Therefore, it is useful to examine imbalance in modern consumer laws in developed countries (e.g. in European consumer law). We first compare the perspectives of both traditional and European laws. Then we examine the interrelationship between both perspectives by demonstrating how the traditional defects of will became a source of imbalance rather than being limited to exploitation only. The conclusion thus reconsiders the concept of imbalance shifting to increase consumer protection in Arab countries, even though it may not be included in any separate legal instrument (e.g. in consumer-protection acts).