International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution


Measuring the Effectiveness of Public Consumer ADR Schemes

Assessing Evidence from the Greek Consumer Ombudsman

Keywords European Union, Greece, consumer disputes, mediation, alternative dispute resolution
Authors Aristotelis E. Stamoulas
Author's information

Aristotelis E. Stamoulas
Mr Aristotelis Stamoulas is a graduate of the Philosophy School of the Kapodistrian University of Athens and holder of a PgD in Human Resource Management and European Industrial Relations from the University of Keele, an MA in Political and Social Theory from the University of Kent at Canterbury, and an MPhil in Government from the University of Essex. He has worked as an executive consultant at the Hellenic Parliament and to the Greek Minister of Culture. He has been a senior administrator in the Greek Consumer Ombudsman since 2007. In parallel, he has been acting as deputy director of the European Consumer Centre of Greece since 2012, holding the post of the director from 2019 until today. His research interests and publications focus on international human rights and cultural relativism, economics of education, and the protection of consumer rights in domestic and cross-border commerce.
  • Abstract

      The resolution of disputes lies at the heart of every system of justice. Unfortunately, bottlenecks at courts tend to make tribunal procedures quite lengthy and therefore sometimes unattractive. Also, not all disputes are brought before courts if appealing costs are highly disproportional to the value of claims, at the expense of the latter. Clearly, the situation may harm the prestige of justice by giving the impression that it cannot always serve a fast and fair solution to all needy citizens. The growing area of consumer disputes has been experiencing the consequences of stiff and expensive court systems and has long been searching for a new resolution medium. Satisfaction of such a need would benefit not only single consumer-trader relationships but economic development in general, since it relies largely on the outcomes of a robust and healthy commerce. In many countries in and outside the European Union, the modern institutional reaction to this exploration has led to the realms of the ‘alternative resolution of consumer disputes’. What is it and how truly accessible and effective can it be? How is it performed, what outcomes can it produce and, in the final analysis, why and to what extent could it be preferable to courts? The present article will illustrate answers to such questions by making explicit evaluative references to the most basic operational aspects and productive outcomes of Greece’s single public ADR entity, the Greek Consumer Ombudsman.

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