Online Dispute Resolution and the Future of ADR:
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Online Dispute Resolution and the Future of ADR: Lessons Learned from ECODIR The Electronic Consumer Dispute Resolution Project Brian Hutchinson Vice Dean, School of Law University College Dublin Ireland Project Supervisor, ECODIR. What is ECODIR? E lectronic Co nsumer Di spute R esolution

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What is ECODIR? E lectronic Co nsumer Di spute R esolution B2C Research Project

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What is ecodir e lectronic co nsumer di spute r esolution b2c research project

Online Dispute Resolution and the Future of ADR:Lessons Learned from ECODIRThe Electronic Consumer Dispute Resolution ProjectBrian HutchinsonVice Dean, School of LawUniversity College DublinIrelandProject Supervisor, ECODIR


What is ecodir e lectronic co nsumer di spute r esolution b2c research project

  • What is ECODIR?

    • Electronic Consumer Dispute Resolution

    • B2C

    • Research Project

    • Supported by EU & Irish Government

    • www.ecodir.org

  • Why?

    • Consumer Confidence in e-commerce

    • Access to justice for consumers

    • Could it work?


What is ecodir e lectronic co nsumer di spute r esolution b2c research project

Centre de Recherches Informatique et Droit, Namur, Belgium

EU Commission

DG SANCO

Centre dEtudes sur la Cooperation Juridique Internationale, CNRS, Paris, France

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Centre De Recherche en Droit Publique, University of Montreal, Canada

Arbitration of International Disputes Ltd

CITA, Univ. Notre Dame de la Paix, Belgium

GlobalSign, Belgium

Institut fur Informations-Telekommunikations-und Medienrecht, Meunster, Germany

CMAP – Centre de Mediation et d’Arbitrage de Paris, France

Centre d’Estudis de Dret i Informatica, de Balears, Spain

OnlineResolution, USA

National Arbitration Forum, USA


Methodology

Methodology

Survey of Offline ADR and Consumers Groups

  • Confidence and Confidentiality

  • Efficiency

  • Cost

  • Effectiveness

  • Language

  • Fairness and Transparency

SOCIO-ECONOMIC STUDY

LEGAL STUDY

TECHNICAL STUDY

PILOT STUDY


Methodology1

Methodology

EC Recommendations 98/257/EC and 2001/310/EC.

Contractual Nature of ADR

  • Consensus

  • Mandatory Norms

    Rights-based v.s Interest-based solutions

    Enforceability of solutions

SOCIO-ECONOMIC STUDY

LEGAL STUDY

TECHNICAL STUDY

PILOT STUDY


Methodology2

Methodology

The ECODIR Process

Achieved through Rules and Technology

Adversarial / Legalistic Solutions Avoided

SOCIO-ECONOMIC STUDY

LEGAL STUDY

Structured Negotiation

TECHNICAL STUDY

Mediation

PILOT STUDY

Recommendation


Methodology3

Methodology

Pilot Study – Proof of Concept

Oct 2001 – May 2002

Feb 2003 – June 2003

www.ecodir.org

Dissemination & Follow -up

SOCIO-ECONOMIC STUDY

LEGAL STUDY

TECHNICAL STUDY

PILOT STUDY


What is ecodir e lectronic co nsumer di spute r esolution b2c research project

www.ecodir.org


Indications

Indications

  • Levels of Activity

    • Case Numbers

      • Low to begin with

      • Analysis of 51 Cases Filed to 28 June, 2003

      • Some test cases

      • 23 appear not test

      • From within this 23 were 2 settlements

    • Level not surprising,

      • Not unlike levels for offline consumer adr;

      • But does indicate that there is little automatic/unsolicited demand.

    • More surprising that settlements were reached by parties having no special or prior knowledge of ECODIR


What is ecodir e lectronic co nsumer di spute r esolution b2c research project

  • Locations of the parties:

50% +/- involving cross border disputes


Nature of the dispute

Nature of the Dispute

A high proportion concerned non-deliveryof goods or services


Reactions

Reactions

  • Consumer Reps Consulted

    • Eg: Director of Consumer Affairs; European Consumer Centre Dublin; Consumer Associations of Ireland and abroad

  • Benefits perceived by Consumers:

    • Transparency and control of process

    • Ease of access and use

  • Business Associations Consulted

    • Eg: Internet Retailers Association; Small and Medium Sized Enterprises; Direct Marketing Federation:

  • Benefits perceived by Businesses

    • Potential for Increased efficiency in customer relations management

    • Potential for Added value for customers

    • Potential “Savings and increased business”


  • Impediments and challenges

    Impediments and Challenges

    • Lack of cooperation by the second party…

      • Little

        • Awareness

        • Trust

        • Of Ecodir, of ODR, of ADR!

    • ODR as a tool for advancing ADR?

    • Pan European Solutions? Cross Sectoral Solutions?


    Issues and perspectives

    Issues and Perspectives

    How to get businesses “to play”?

    • Prove Added Value!

    • Present ODR as an element of complaints handling and customer relations management

    • Present consumer demand for ODR

    • Present regulatory need for ODR

    • Prove efficiency and savings to business processes

    • Prove increased customer loyalty / activity


    Improving efficiency

    Improving Efficiency

    • Prepopulated References

    • Unique Identifiers

    • Timeline Monitoring

    • Data analysis – more complete data


    Issues and perspectives1

    Issues and Perspectives

    How to sustain ODR services?

    • Case generated revenue unlikely to sustain in short term.

    • Licence right to display “brand” (trustmark) and use process to businesses.

      • Necessitates a trust mark business model

      • Proliferation of trustmarks

    • Co-funding between State, Business and Consumer bodies?

    • Specialised focus particular markets / customers

      • Narrows access

    • Combination of the above


    Possibilities for government official involvement

    Possibilities for Government / Official Involvement

    • Promoting awareness of ADR and ODR – including using ADR & ODR

    • Cybercourts using online processes?

    • Cyber Appeals from ODR?

    • Accreditation of ODR providers?

    • Establishing clearing houses networks?

    • Funding and Co-Funding?

    • Requiring mandatory use of ODR in some licensing processes?

    • “Kehl Initiatives”


    Future steps for ecodir

    Future Steps for Ecodir

    • End-user pilot project involving consumer centre and business associations.

    • EEJ-NET

    • Co-operation in E-Government initiatives in Ireland and Europe


    Thank you

    Thank You!


    For further information please contact

    For further information please contact:

    Brian Hutchinson,

    Tel: +353 1 716 8756 / 8754Fax:+353 1 269 2655

    E-mail: [email protected] / [email protected]

    School of Law, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland


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