Developing Online Dispute Resolution for Consumers in The EU: A Proposal for the Regulation of Accredited Providers
International Journal of Law and Information Technology, Vol. 19, No. 1, pp. 1-28, 2010
28 Pages Posted: 12 May 2011
Date Written: January 1, 2010
This paper evaluates the development of online dispute resolution (ODR) methods in resolving small value disputes arising out of e-commerce transactions and the need for designing a regulatory model to realise its full potential in the EU. The paper proposes the drafting of a European Regulation in the field of ODR that would set legal standards for mandatory ODR. The proposed Regulation would create a pan-European trustmark that would be granted to those ODR providers that comply with its legal provisions. Compliance would be monitored by the co-operation between national and regional authorities through the European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net). The ECC-Net national offices and online businesses would refer national and cross-border disputes to accredited ODR providers. The proposed Regulation would encourage the use of consensual ODR processes as a step previous to the adjudicative processes for all accredited and mandatory ODR. Decisions will be legally binding but appealable, when appropriate, through an online procedure akin to the European Small Claims Procedure.
Keywords: online dispute resolution (ODR), alternative dispute resolution, consumer protection, access to justice, consumer disputes, EU, due process
JEL Classification: K40, Jj52
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation