Consumer ADR and the Proposed 'Consumer Law' in Australia: Room for Improvement

QUT Law and Justice Journal, Vol. 9, No. 2, February 2010

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 09/10

27 Pages Posted: 13 Apr 2009 Last revised: 13 Dec 2009

See all articles by Luke R. Nottage

Luke R. Nottage

The University of Sydney Law School; The University of Sydney - Australian Network for Japanese Law

Date Written: March 29, 2009

Abstract

Australia has a quite complex system for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) of consumer disputes, due in part to jurisdiction over consumer affairs being shared between federal and state governments. This has allowed some experimentation involving diverse forms of consumer ADR. Indeed, some of these experiments may also provide inspiration for the Japanese government as it discusses greater centralization of jurisdiction over consumer affairs (including possibly a new independent Consumer Affairs Agency), and new roles for the government-funded Consumer Lifestyle Centres (Shohi Seikatsu Senta). Australian law also provides for almost all major categories of consumer redress reviewed by the OECD in its comparative report on 'Consumer Dispute Resolution and Redress in the Global Marketplace' (2006). Yet there remain gaps, complexities and other problems. Unfortunately, Australian politicians and officials appear to be neglecting these in proposing a nation-wide 'Consumer Law', focusing on harmonization of substantive law and greater centralisation of enforcement powers.

Keywords: Australia, Japan, consumer law reform, alternative dispute resolution (ADR), mediation, ombudsman schemes, small claims courts, construction disputes, legal profession, legal services disputes

JEL Classification: K10, K13, K30

Suggested Citation

Nottage, Luke R., Consumer ADR and the Proposed 'Consumer Law' in Australia: Room for Improvement (March 29, 2009). QUT Law and Justice Journal, Vol. 9, No. 2, February 2010; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 09/10. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1370106

Luke R. Nottage (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

The University of Sydney - Australian Network for Japanese Law

Room 640, Building F10, Eastern Avenue
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

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