Collective Consumer Arbitration in Spain: A Civil Law Response to U.S.-Style Class Arbitration
University of Missouri School of Law
July 10, 2013
30 Journal of International Arbitration __ 2013, Forthcoming
University of Missouri School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2013-15
For years, the international legal community has debated the propriety of large-scale arbitration. Most of the analysis has focused on the pros and cons of class arbitration, based on the apparent assumption that any future forms of large-scale arbitration will follow the model initially developed by the United States in the 1980s. However, other types of group arbitration are also possible, as demonstrated by a unique form of collective consumer arbitration created by the Spanish legislature in 2008.
The Spanish approach to large-scale arbitral proceedings is intriguing in a variety of ways, not the least of which is its ability to overcome some of the obstacles to U.S.-style class arbitration that arise as a matter of European and national constitutional law. However, the Spanish model also reflects a number of areas of concern. This Article therefore takes an in-depth look at the Spanish statute on collective consumer arbitration to determine whether the procedure offers a realistic and widely applicable civil law response to U.S.-style class arbitration.
Keywords: consumer arbitration, class arbitration, collective arbitration, international commercial arbitration, ADR, comparative law, European law, Spanish law, consumer law, collective redress, group actions, European Union, civil law, arbitration, class action.
Date posted: July 11, 2013