Towards High-Quality Consumer ADR: The Belgian Experience
in: L. Cadiet, B. Hess, M. Requejo Isidro (eds.), Privatising Dispute Resolution - Trends and Limits, Nomos 2019, vol.18, pp.79-103
19 Pages Posted: 28 Dec 2018 Last revised: 26 Sep 2019
Date Written: August 1, 2019
Since the 1990s, the development of Consumer Alternative Dispute Resolution (CADR) schemes allowing consumers and traders to solve their disputes out-of-court has been an ever-growing phenomenon with increasing political importance at the European level. The EU regulatory framework for CADR started with informal measures and then evolved to more formal rules. Directive 2013/11/EU (the Consumer ADR Directive) has established a new regulatory framework with the intent to develop high-quality CADR schemes and to promote trust and confidence among consumers and traders. National ‘Competent Authorities’ are in charge of reviewing the quality of CADR providers and ensure that the quality requirements are met on an on-going basis. This paper investigates the impact of the Consumer ADR Directive at Member States level, and more specifically uses Belgium as a case study. It notably builds on an online survey completed in Winter/Spring 2018 by the Belgian Competent Authority. The objectives of the paper are threefold: it explores how quality criteria have been working in practice in Belgium, it sheds some light on several persisting issues, and finally tries to look to the future by proposing some policy recommendations aimed at further strengthening the Belgian framework for high-quality CADR.
Keywords: ADR, ODR, consumer protection, ombudsman, mediation
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