The Law Society has welcomed a long-awaited move to consolidate consumer rights legislation and bring it into the digital age.

A draft Consumer Rights Bill published last week by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills will give consumers new rights over faulty goods and substandard services, including the supply of downloads and e-books.

Consumer minister Jo Swinson said: ‘For too long the rules that apply when buying goods and services have been murky for both consumers and businesses. The situation is even worse in relation to digital content.’

Law Society president Lucy Scott-Moncrieff said the Society had long argued that consumer law is too complicated and costly.

‘A more streamlined set of laws will help consumers know their rights and give them more confidence to purchase goods and services. On the other side of the transaction, the bill will help businesses to understand their obligations and, with improved levels of consumer confidence, sell more goods and services.’

The bill now goes to pre-legislative scrutiny, during which the Society will be engaging with the parliamentary process.

Fraser Whitehead, chair of the Society’s consumer law reform reference group, said: ‘It’s crucial that the rights enshrined in the bill can be directly and effectively enforced by consumers and this is where the Society is able to provide legal expertise of real value to the consultation process.’ â