The Legality Requirement of the ADR Directive: Just Another Paper Tiger?
Journal of European Consumer and Market Law (EuCML) 2016-2 (Forthcoming)
19 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2016
Date Written: March 10, 2016
The EU Directive on alternative dispute resolution (ADR) aims at making available alternative ways of resolving disputes between consumers and businesses which are fast, simple and affordable. It sets out many quality requirements ADR schemes established under said Directive must comply with: expertise, impartiality, transparency, effectiveness, fairness and legality. This paper focuses on the legality requirement laid down in Article 11 paragraph 1 lit. (a). This provision in a nutshell requires Member States to warrant that ADR rulings binding the consumer do not depart from mandatory law to his detriment. The question is whether this requirement will help achieve the high level of consumer protection aimed at by the ADR Directive. The conclusion of this paper is not an optimistic one. Neither the ADR Directive nor the transposition legislation in the investigated Member States seems to have put much thought into the effective enforcement of the legality requirement. In the paper we make some suggestions for improvement.
Keywords: Alternative Dispute Resolution, Consumer Law, EU Directive, Consumer Protection, Enforcement
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