Resolving Mass Disputes

Resolving Mass Disputes

ADR and Settlement of Mass Claims

Edited by Christopher Hodges and Astrid Stadler

The landscape of mass litigation in Europe has changed impressively in recent years, and collective redress litigation has proved a popular topic. Although much of the literature focuses on the political context, contentious litigation, or how to handle cross-border multi-party cases, this book has a different focus and a fresh approach.

Chapter 13: Online dispute resolution in the EU and beyond – keeping costs low or standards high?

Julia Hörnle

Subjects: economics and finance, law and economics, law - academic, arbitration and dispute resolution, comparative law, consumer law, law and economics, law and society


European consumer protection law is currently being widened to add Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) into the toolbox of European consumer redress. The European institutions are currently adopting a Directive on ADR and a Regulation on ODR based on Article 169 (1) and 169 (2) (a) of the TFEU. The proposed Directive on ADR is discussed further in Chapter 10. Cross-border Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) has extensively been discussed since at least 2000 in academic, theoretical literature as a kind of magic bullet solution for redress in international e-commerce, particularly for consumer disputes at the lower value end. Now, some 12 years later ODR has been firmly entrenched on the agenda of policy makers: both the EU and UNCITRAL have recently issued proposals on creating ODR systems for solving e-commerce disputes. The main focus of this chapter is to analyse the new proposed EU regime supporting and regulating ODR. However, this has to be placed in the context of the discussions of and proposals for ODR at UNCITRAL, which this chapter will discuss first. By comparing and contrasting the UNCITRAL proposals with those of the EU, the differences in approach will become evident.

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