Arbitration of Cross-Border Consumer Transactions in Australia: A Way Forward?

Sydney Law Review, 39(4) (2017), 569-599

U of Melbourne Legal Studies Research Paper No. 759

32 Pages Posted: 2 Mar 2018

See all articles by Richard Garnett

Richard Garnett

University of Melbourne - Law School

Date Written: March 1, 2018

Abstract

As Australian consumers increasingly engage in electronic transactions with foreign suppliers, they are often subjected to clauses that require foreign arbitration for the resolution of disputes. This article examines the status and enforceability under Australian law of such clauses. While a clear trend in favour of international arbitration of commercial disputes now exists in Australia and elsewhere, it is arguable that such an approach should not be applied in the consumer context. Not only is there an imbalance of power between the parties, but an Australian consumer will often lose substantial protections under Australian law in a foreign arbitration. Reference is made to the divergent treatment of consumer arbitration in other jurisdictions, before discussion on whether an online system of dispute resolution may be the best path forward.

Keywords: arbitration, international arbitration

JEL Classification: K00, K19

Suggested Citation

Garnett, Richard, Arbitration of Cross-Border Consumer Transactions in Australia: A Way Forward? (March 1, 2018). Sydney Law Review, 39(4) (2017), 569-599, U of Melbourne Legal Studies Research Paper No. 759, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3132884

Richard Garnett (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - Law School ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia

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