Consumer Protection in the Communications Industry: Moving to best practice - Issues Paper (July 2008)

3.5. Common principles

A number of basic threshold principles for co-regulation can be extracted from common practice across a range of sectors:

  • Co-regulation requires the close integration of legislation and codes of conduct;
  • Legislation should contain at least basic consumer protection principles and guidance;
  • Codes of conduct may enhance existing legislative consumer safeguards or provide more detailed industry guidance on compliance, but should not weaken existing consumer protections;
  • Codes of conduct should deliver real, enforceable outcomes;
  • Codes of conduct should be developed through comprehensive stakeholder consultation;
  • Subject to the nature and purpose of the particular code, codes of conduct should generally apply to all industry participants and not just those that sign up; industry members should be encouraged to communicate the existence of codes to which they are subject to their customers;
  • Codes of conduct should be subject to effective, transparent compliance monitoring – there is a trend towards independent, innovative compliance monitoring and the publication of compliance reports; and
  • Codes of conduct should be subject to regular independent review.