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Consumer Disputes and ODR Research

Consumer Disputes and ODR Research

Tell me about your research on consumer disputes and ODR.

 

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So all this started when I was doing my masters, and I decided to look at how electronic contracts are formed by ways of resolving or enforcing when one party does not comply.

 

Then I noticed that we enter into online transactions all the time. We know. We book flights. We buy stuff on the Internet. The courts are not a suitable way of resolving these sorts of disputes, particularly if they are of low value, typically, again, consumer disputes. Let alone, if they are cross-border. I mean, then the courts are completely a sort of forum for these disputes.

 

So I started exploring this area, looking at how we can resolve consumer disputes or typically low-value disputes. Courts are not the option, except when maybe you use a small claims process.

 

So I started looking at the small claims process to see what they can offer. So I looked at small claims and the court process. I looked at ADR and how they can be more user-friendly for consumers who bought stuff online, in the e-commerce context. I looked at also what is the substantive law of consumers and how consumers can rely on the rights that they acquire by the law.

 

So my interest is on enforcing these rights and what are the avenues that consumers have to resolve the problems they face. This is something that has been picked up recently by the EU and also by the UN, that are creating legislation or, in the case of the UN, a model procedural law to enhance these more informal processes that takes place online to assist consumers or sometimes also businesses who have low-value disputes, to be resolved with assistance of technology and the use of ADR techniques, like mediation and arbitration.

About the mediator

Pablo Cortes Profile Pic

Pablo is a Senior Lecturer and a non-practising Spanish attorney. He conducts research in the field of dispute resolution, civil procedure and consumer law. He was invited to be a keynote speaker in two international conferences, and he has been invited as a speaker at many other conferences in 15 different countries. He was invited to participate in expert meetings by various organisations, including the UN Commission for International Trade Law... View Mediator