Conference on Consumer Rights

Avicenna University, November 7, 2019

The conference started at 11:00 AM with citation of Holy Quran and participation of lecturers and students of Avicenna University. There were two speakers in this conference who presented their speeches. Dr. Abdul Wahab Karimi spoke about the protection of consumers against criminal actions and Dr. Abdulla Shafaee who spoke about the philosophy of consumer rights and its processes through decades.

Dr. Karimi started his speech by providing definition of consumer and what rights they may have after consuming goods and services. He added that by definition, consumer is purchasing goods and services for his/her personal consumptions and there is chances that consumer may be affected negatively after consuming the goods and the services. In order for consumer to not be harmed by consuming the goods and services, he/she must have some rights and the rights should be protected by the law. Law should not only protect the rights of consumers but also to ensure that productions are made based on some certain quality standards. Not following these standards should have criminal consequences to better maintain consumer rights.

Dr. Karimi continued that producer need to follow certain standards for production and violating those standards are criminal acts by itself either the consumer used the products or not. He mentioned that criminal actions committed by the producers are reflected in Afghanistan Criminal Code. In this code there are 18 actions that are considered crimes where different punishments are predicted for criminals.

Dr. Abdulla Shafaee who was the second speaker, started his speech by asking question, why consumer rights and why consumer rights need to be protected? He added that before the technological and industrial revolution, producers and consumers were able to contact each other and could find the criminals of this process when consumers were affected. Both of them were looking for the guilt party but after those revolutions, goods and services are produced massively by companies and incorporations. Producers and consumers are divided with distance and consumer’s rights are violated extensively after the revolutions where guilt theory was not applicable anymore and identification of criminals are not so easy so the lawyers were in search of new methods of protecting consumer rights.

Dr. Shafaee continued that with complication of these behaviors, consumers and producers are free to agree on the conditions and requirement of the contract and violation of the contract are criminal acts and this principle could not protect consumers so lawyers came about with new suggestion which was establishment of principle of relativeness of the contracts where the government were also requested to interfere in order to fully protect consumers rights. Based on the new contemporary theory, the goods and services are produced with specific standards and guides to make the consumers aware that how to use the goods and services. He concluded that Afghan laws are developed very well but they need to be implemented fully. One of the problems in this area is that criminal code has anticipated a committee to investigate on the criminal acts but this committee is not yet established so far.

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