Search result: 59 articles

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Year 2016 x
Article

Access_open Legal Constraints on the Indeterminate Control of ‘Dangerous’ Sex Offenders in the Community: The English Perspective

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 2 2016
Keywords Dangerous, sex offenders, human rights, community supervision, punishment
Authors Nicola Padfield
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article explores the legal constraints imposed on the rising number of so-called ‘dangerous’ sex offenders in England and Wales, in particular once they have been released from prison into the community. The main methods of constraint are strict licence conditions, Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements and civil protective orders such as Sexual Harm Prevention Orders. ‘Control’ in the community is thus widespread, but is difficult to assess whether it is either effective or necessary without a great deal more research and analysis. Post-sentence ‘punishment’ has been largely ignored by both academic lawyers and criminologists. The article concludes that financial austerity might prove to be as important as the human rights agenda in curbing the disproportionate use of powers of control.


Nicola Padfield
Nicola Padfield, MA, Dip Crim, DES, Reader in Criminal and Penal Justice, University of Cambridge. I thank Michiel van der Wolf for involving me in this project and for his many useful insights and comments.
Article

Access_open Legal Constraints on the Indeterminate Control of ‘Dangerous’ Sex Offenders in the Community: The German Perspective

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 2 2016
Keywords Supervision, twin track system, principle of proportionality, human rights, violent and sex offenders
Authors Bernd-Dieter Meier
AbstractAuthor's information

    After release from prison or a custodial preventive institution, offenders may come under supervision in Germany, which means that their conduct is controlled for a period of up to five years or even for life by a judicial supervising authority. Supervision is terminated if it can be expected that even in the absence of further supervision the released person will not commit any further offences. From the theoretical point of view, supervision is not considered a form of punishment in Germany, but a preventive measure that is guided by the principle of proportionality. After a presentation of the German twin track system of criminal sanctions and a glimpse at sentencing theory, the capacity of the principle of proportionality to guide and control judicial decisions in the field of preventive sanctions is discussed. The human rights perspective plays only a minor role in the context of supervision in Germany.


Bernd-Dieter Meier
Prof. Dr. Bernd-Dieter Meier is the Chair in Criminal Law and Criminology at the Law Faculty of Leibniz University Hannover.
Article

Access_open Legal Constraints on the Indeterminate Control of ‘Dangerous’ Sex Offenders in the Community: The Dutch Perspective

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 2 2016
Keywords Dutch penal law, preventive supervision, dangerous offenders, human rights, social rehabilitation
Authors Sanne Struijk and Paul Mevis
AbstractAuthor's information

    In the Netherlands, the legal possibilities for post-custodial supervision have been extended considerably in recent years. A currently passed law aims to further increase these possibilities specifically for dangerous (sex) offenders. This law consists of three separate parts that may all result in life-long supervision. In the first two parts, the supervision is embedded in the conditional release after either a prison sentence or the safety measure ‘ter beschikking stelling’ (TBS). This paper focuses on the third part of the law, which introduces an independent supervisory safety measure as a preventive continuation of both a prison sentence and the TBS measure. Inevitably, this new independent sanction raises questions about legitimacy and necessity, on which this paper reflects from a human rights perspective. Against the background of the existing Dutch penal law system, the content of the law is thoroughly assessed in view of the legal framework of the Council of Europe and the legal principles of proportionality and less restrictive means. In the end, we conclude that the supervisory safety measure is not legitimate nor necessary (yet). Apart from the current lack of (empirical evidence of) necessity, we state that there is a real possibility of an infringement of Article 5(4) ECHR and Article 7 ECHR, a lack of legitimising supervision ‘gaps’ in the existing penal law system, and finally a lack of clear legal criteria. Regardless of the potential severity of violent (sex) offenses, to simply justify this supervisory safety measure on the basis of ‘better safe than sorry’ is not enough.


Sanne Struijk
Sanne Struijk, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at the Erasmus School of Law.

Paul Mevis
Paul Mevis is a Professor at the Erasmus School of Law.
Article

Ethical Principles for Online Dispute Resolution

A GPS Device for the Field

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2016
Keywords ODR, ethics, alternative dispute resolution, technology
Authors Leah Wing
AbstractAuthor's information

    The disruptive force of technology has led to innovative dispute resolution practices that increase access to justice and also raise new ethical considerations. In response, there have been assertions about the importance of applying to online dispute resolution (ODR) the shared values already enshrined within alternative dispute resolution (ADR) as well as calls to more carefully assess ways they may be insufficient or need refining to adequately address the new ethical challenges emerging in ODR. As ODR is increasingly incorporated into legislation, regulation and a wide variety of sectors in society, it is timely to explore the importance of ethical principles specifically for ODR. In the hope of contributing to these efforts, this article examines the benefits and challenges of articulating a set of ethical principles to guide the development and implementation of ODR systems, technology and processes.


Leah Wing
Leah Wing is Co-Director, National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution, and Senior Lecturer, Legal Studies Program, Department of Political Science, University of Massachusetts at Amherst (USA).

    Online dispute resolution (ODR) has been developed in response to the growth of disputes in electronic commerce transactions. It is based on the legal framework of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) by taking into consideration electronic communications and information technology. This article will introduce the current legal framework and practice of ODR in China, find legal issues that affect the development of ODR and, finally, propose suggestions to overcome these barriers.


Jie Zheng
Jie Zheng is a PhD researcher in Ghent University, Faculty of Law, Department of Interdisciplinary Study of Law, Private Law and Business Law. E-mail: <jie.zheng@ugent.be>.
Article

Quo Vadis, Europa?

Loopholes in the EU Law and Difficulties in the Implementation Process

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2 2016
Keywords EU Law, Quality of Legislation, Loopholes, Implementation, Joint Practical Guide
Authors Markéta Whelanová
AbstractAuthor's information

    EU law is a very wide-ranging legal system that comprises thousands of legal acts. It endeavours to regulate many relationships in the Member States of the European Union and effects everyday lives both of individuals and public bodies. EU law is, however, not always positively accepted. Such non-acceptance often follows from the increasing number of cases when EU law cannot be effectively applied on the national level. Significant reason for that lies in the poor quality of EU law.
    The article describes features that cause ambiquity of EU legislation, its complexity and incompleteness, that have a very detrimental effect on the application of EU law on the national level. Further it refers to defects of form of certain pieces of EU legislation that give rise to questions concerning legal certainty and due implementation into national legal orders. The article contains many illustrative examples supporting the presented points of view and indicates ways to be taken in the future.


Markéta Whelanová
Head of the Analytical Unit of the Department for Compatibility with EU Law of the Czech Office of the Government and Deputy Director of this Department. Vice-president of the Working Commission for EU Law of the Legislation Council of the Czech Government.
Article

Defining ‘Better’

Investigating a New Framework to Understand Quality of Regulation

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2 2016
Keywords better regulation, businesses, cross-disciplinary approaches, quality of regulation, European Union
Authors Morten Jarlbæk Pedersen
AbstractAuthor's information

    Better regulation is a political and scholarly theme, which has gained in both relevance and salience throughout the last two decades or so. Regulatory quality is the epicentre of these discussions. Despite this, quality is seldom conceptualized in its own right. Thus, beyond loose principles, we are rarely aware of what we mean by ‘better’ regulation, and academic discussions hereof usually centre themselves on other topics such as meta-regulation and processes. This leaves the notion of quality hard to asses especially from a comparative perspective. In this article, a core concept of quality is suggested. This concept is founded on an acknowledgement of the importance of the legal texts when it comes to achieving regulatory aims and objectives. The concept and methodology proposed has components from both law and political science and is sought to be of relevance to scholars and practitioners alike.


Morten Jarlbæk Pedersen
Morten Jarlbæk Pedersen is a Ph.D. fellow at the Department of Political Science at the University of Copenhagen. He has an affiliation with the Confederation of Danish Enterprise, where he has been employed for 5 years before engaging in this research project. For the purpose of the project, he was relieved of responsibilities as a consultant at the Confederation.
Article

The Quality of Regulation in the Service of Preventing Corruption

Corruption Impact Assessment (CIA)

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2 2016
Keywords corruption, regulation, quality, impact assessment, risk
Authors Luca Di Donato
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article describes the Corruption Impact Assessment (CIA), which is a better regulation tool suggested by the OECD, with the fundamental purpose to enhance the regulatory quality.
    The first part explains some risk-corruption factors of the legal framework. The first factor is represented by the number and complexity of rules, which can be a negative incentive to corruption as well as to produce negative consequences for the proper functioning of the market. The second factor is intrinsically linked to the ambiguity in legal drafting, which does not encourage the right interpretation of norms; therefore, there is the question of the rule of law. The third factor refers to the lack of regulation concerning pressure group participation in the regulatory process and, as a result, the lack of transparency in identifying both benefits from norms and the relevant beneficiaries.
    The second part focuses on CIA, which is considered a sub-category of traditional Regulatory Impact Assessment. It detects the factors in regulations that cause corruption, and its main potential is to prevent future corruption facilitated by bad regulation. Then, this part illustrates the implementation of CIA by Korean governments: the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission (ACRC) carries out the CIA, realizes its guidelines – which are based on three fundamental criteria, i.e., compliance, discretionality and transparency – and supports the application of the tool in the regulatory cycle.
    Finally, the third part discusses the results given by CIA. This new anti-corruption strategy needs that regulators take into account the results, providing for their publication to inform stakeholders; otherwise there is the possibility of the CIA use being formal, rather than substantial.


Luca Di Donato
PhD candidate at LUISS University.
Article

Responses to Climate Change in Bangladesh

An Appraisal

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2 2016
Keywords climate change, adaptation, Bangladesh, impacts, vulnerability
Authors Nour Mohammad
AbstractAuthor's information

    Climate change is a global problem. The impacts of climate change are worldwide. It’s not only detrimental for developing countries but also harmful for developed countries. Bangladesh is recognized as one of the countries most vulnerable to and affected by the impacts of climate change and global warming. This is due to its geographical location, geo-morphological conditions, low elevation from the sea, density of population, poverty, and remarkable dependence on nature, as well as its resources and services. As a developing country, Bangladesh is least responsible for the GHGs emission and an innocent victim of adverse impacts of climate change. This article explores the situation of climate change, its various causes and the impacts faced by the developing countries, in particular Bangladesh. The author aims to highlight how to reduce the causes of climate change for developing countries and the obligations of developed countries to combat the climate change under the existing international legal framework.


Nour Mohammad
Assistant Professor of Law, Premier University, Chittagong, Bangladesh.
Article

Enforcement of Judgments in SEE, CIS, Georgia and Mongolia

Challenges and Solutions

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2 2016
Keywords enforcement, bailiffs, judgments, CIS, SEE
Authors Kim O’Sullivan and Veronica Bradautanu
AbstractAuthor's information

    The article considers the results of the Assessment of enforcement systems for commercial cases, carried out by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in 2013-2014. In phase I the Assessment looked at the systems in thirteen countries, namely Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, Mongolia, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan (“CIS+ region”); and in phase II another eight countries were reviewed: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, FYR Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia (“SEE region”).
    On the basis of the information gathered during the Assessment, the article compares the three forms of enforcement systems and their manifestation in the assessed regions: public (state), private and mixed (hybrid) systems. Using examples from the reviewed jurisdictions, the article discusses the benefits and downsides of each form. There is no preferred form; however, each may borrow elements from the other to result in a stronger system.
    The Assessment attempted to provide a comprehensive overview of the enforcement frameworks and practices and to pinpoint areas that might need reform and attention in order to improve the quality of the service. It looked at the following elements of enforcement: resources and framework, supervision and integrity issues, searching for assets, seizure of assets, sale of assets, speed of enforcement, cost and fees.
    The article discusses in detail the two areas of enforcement that emerged from the Assessment as most challenging: searching for debtors’ assets and sale of seized assets. Facilitated access to registers, wider use of electronic means of communications and clear process are identified among the contributors to better practice in searching for assets. Similarly, use of electronic platforms, establishing a fair price, ensuring sufficient flexibility in methods and process of sale would help improve the outcome of enforcement.
    The article further analyses another two components often overlooked by the regulatory bodies and policymakers, which permeate the enforcement system, significantly influencing the enforcement process. This refers to gathering of statistical data about the results of enforcement and its effective use; as well as efficient supervisory system over enforcement agents. The article argues that gathering data about, for example, enforcement timeline and percentage of recovered claims, and publicizing such data shall contribute to improved results. Furthermore, having an adequate complaints system will help build trust in the enforcement profession.


Kim O’Sullivan
Kim O’Sullivan is a Principal Counsel at EBRD.

Veronica Bradautanu
Veronica Bradautanu is a Consultant to the EBRD.
Article

Access_open Raising Barriers to ‘Outlaw Motorcycle Gang-Related Events’

Underlining the Difference between Pre-Emption and Prevention

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 3 2016
Keywords Prevention, pre-crime, pre-emption, risk, outlaw motorcycle gangs
Authors Teun van Ruitenburg
AbstractAuthor's information

    Fighting outlaw motorcycle gangs is currently one of the top priorities of many governments around the world. This is due to the notion that outlaw motorcycle gangs do not consist solely of motorcycle enthusiasts. Numerous cases reveal that these clubs, or at least their members, are involved in (organised) crime. In order to tackle these clubs, the former Dutch Minister of Security and Justice announced a whole-of-government strategy towards outlaw motorcycle gangs in 2012. As part of this effort, authorities such as the Dutch National Police, the Public Prosecution Service, the Dutch Tax Authority and local governments aim to cooperate in order to disrupt and restrict outlaw motorcycle gangs by means of Criminal, Administrative and Civil Law. Part of this strategy is to hinder club-related events. This article discusses the latter strategy in light of the distinction between prevention and pre-emption. As the latter two concepts are often used interchangeably, this article attempts to use a more strict division between prevention and pre-emption. Thereby, it becomes apparent that outlaw motorcycle gangs are to some extent governed through uncertainty. The author suggests that maintaining the ‘prevention–pre-emption distinction’ can offer an interesting and valuable point of departure for analysing today’s crime policies.


Teun van Ruitenburg
Teun van Ruitenburg, MSc., is PhD Candidate at the Criminology Department of the Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Article

Access_open A Theoretical Framework to Study Variations in Workplace Violence Experienced by Emergency Responders

Integrating Opportunity and Vulnerability Perspectives

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 3 2016
Keywords Workplace aggression, workplace violence, emergency responders, blaming the victim, victimology
Authors Lisa van Reemst
AbstractAuthor's information

    Emergency responders are often sent to the front line and are often confronted with aggression and violence in interaction with citizens. According to previous studies, some professionals experience more workplace violence than others. In this article, the theoretical framework to study variations in workplace violence against emergency responders is described. According to criminal opportunity theories, which integrate the routine activity theory and lifestyle/exposure theory, victimisation is largely dependent on the lifestyle and routine activities of persons. Situational characteristics that could be related to workplace violence are organisational or task characteristics, such as having more contact with citizens or working at night. However, they do not provide insight in all aspects of influence, and their usefulness to reduce victimisation is limited. Therefore, it is important to consider the role of personal characteristics of the emergency responders that may be more or less ‘attractive’, which is elaborated upon by the victim precipitation theory. Psychological and behavioural characteristics of emergency responders may be relevant to reduce external workplace violence. The author argues that, despite the risk of being considered as blaming the victim, studying characteristics that might prevent victimisation is needed. Directions for future studies about workplace violence are discussed. These future studies should address a combination of victim and situation characteristics, use a longitudinal design and focus on emergency responders. In addition, differences between professions in relationships between characteristics and workplace violence should be explored.


Lisa van Reemst
Lisa van Reemst, M.Sc., is a Ph.D. candidate at the Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Article

Access_open A World Apart? Private Investigations in the Corporate Sector

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 4 2016
Keywords Corporate security, private investigations, private troubles, public/private differentiation
Authors Clarissa Meerts
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article explores the investigative methods used by corporate security within organisations concerned about property misappropriation by their own staff and/or others. The research methods are qualitative: interviews, observations and case studies carried out between October 2012 and November 2015. The findings include that, even though corporate investigators do not have the formal investigative powers enjoyed by police and other public agencies, they do have multiple methods of investigation at their disposal, some of which are less used by public investigative agencies, for example the in-depth investigation of internal systems. Corporate investigators also rely heavily on interviews, the investigation of documentation and financial administration and the investigation of communication devices and open sources. However, there are many additional sources of information (for example, site visits or observations), which might be available to corporate investigators. The influences from people from different backgrounds, most notably (forensic) accountants, (former) police officers, private investigators and lawyers, together with the creativity that is necessary (and possible) when working without formal investigative powers, make corporate security a diverse field. It is argued that these factors contribute to a differentiation between public and private actors in the field of corporate security.


Clarissa Meerts
Clarissa Meerts, MSc., is a PhD student at the Criminology Department of the Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Article

Prohibition of Discrimination: Citizenship as a Possible Discrimination Basis

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2016
Keywords anti-discrimination law, Serbian Law, harmonization, right to a personal name, European Court of Justice
Authors Olga Jović-Prlainović and Jelena Belović
AbstractAuthor's information

    In modern society, the right to equality is not just a universal moral obligation; it is rather an expression of a generally accepted rule in international law that all people have equal rights, independently of differences based on innate or acquired personal characteristics. Prohibition of discrimination is a civilization heritage, and it is determined by systematically overcoming prejudices and stereotypes as key factors of discrimination, where educational institutions, media, public authority, and non-governmental organizations all have a vital role. Tackling with discrimination is not just the application of rules regulated by law and taking necessary measures towards social groups which are in an unequal position, but it is also a continuous development of tolerance when it comes to ethnicity, religion, gender, minorities, as well as acceptance of the existing interpersonal differences. It is well known that the area of West Balkans is often a breeding ground where stereotypes and prejudices thrive for decades. The strategic aim of the Republic of Serbia is membership in the European Union, and so nation-wide law regulation concerning this matter is directed at complying with the European Union Law since the prohibition of discrimination is one of the pillars of the European Union Law. In this article, the influence of the European Union Law and practical measures taken by the European Court of Human Rights in order to prohibit discrimination in a specific international and private domain are analyzed.


Olga Jović-Prlainović
Olga Jović-Prlainović is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Pristina, Kosovska Mitrovica.

Jelena Belović
Jelena Belović is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Pristina, Kosovska Mitrovica.
Article

Access_open The Erosion of Sovereignty

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2016
Keywords sovereignty, state, Léon Duguit, European Union, Eurozone
Authors Martin Loughlin
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article presents an account of sovereignty as a concept that signifies in jural terms the nature and quality of political relations within the modern state. It argues, first, that sovereignty is a politico-legal concept that expresses the autonomous nature of the state’s political power and its specific mode of operation in the form of law and, secondly, that many political scientists and lawyers present a skewed account by confusing sovereignty with governmental competence. After clarifying its meaning, the significance of contemporary governmental change is explained as one that, in certain respects, involves an erosion of sovereignty.


Martin Loughlin
Martin Loughlin is Professor of Public Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science and EURIAS Senior Fellow at the Freiburg Institute of Advanced Studies (FRIAS).
Article

Access_open Power and Principle in Constitutional Law

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2016
Keywords sovereignty, constitutional law, positivism, constructivism, common law
Authors Pavlos Eleftheriadis
AbstractAuthor's information

    Legal and sociological theories of sovereignty disagree about the role of legal and social matters in grounding state power. This paper defends a constructivist view, according to which the constitution is a judgment of practical reason. The paper argues that a constitution sets out a comprehensive institutional architecture of social life in terms of principles and official roles that are necessary for any legitimate scheme of social cooperation to exist. It follows that legal and sociological theories of sovereignty capture only part of the truth of sovereignty. Legal reasoning engages with political power, but it is not determined by it. There is no causal chain between power and validity, as suggested by the legal positivists. The relation between power and law is interpretive, not causal. It follows that the circularity of law and the constitution, namely the fact that the law makes the constitution and the constitution makes the law, is not a vicious circle. It is part of an ordinary process of deliberation.


Pavlos Eleftheriadis
Pavlos Eleftheriadis is Associate Professor of Law and Fellow in Law at Mansfield College, University of Oxford.
Article

The New Handshake: Where We Are Now

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 2 2016
Keywords consumers, consumer protection, online dispute resolution (ODR), remedies, e-commerce
Authors Amy J. Schmitz and Colin Rule
AbstractAuthor's information

    The internet has empowered consumers in new and exciting ways. It has opened more efficient avenues for consumers to buy just about anything. Want proof? Just pull out your smartphone, swipe your finger across the screen a few times, and presto – your collector’s edition Notorious RBG bobblehead is on its way from China. Unfortunately, however, the internet has not yet delivered on its promise to improve consumer protection.


Amy J. Schmitz
Amy J. Schmitz is the Elwood L. Thomas Missouri Endowed Professor at the University of Missouri School of Law and Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution, and the founder of MyConsumertips.info.

Colin Rule
Colin Rule is co-founder and Chairman of Modria.com and the former Director of Online Dispute Resolution for eBay and PayPal.
Article

Identifying and Establishing Standard ODR Processes

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 2 2016
Keywords alternative dispute resolution (ADR), online dispute resolution (ODR), e-justice, standards, low-value
Authors Zbynek Loebl
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article describes future ODR standards. It differentiates between two layers of ODR standards: (i) access layer and (ii) integration layer. An access layer will contribute to achieving general access for individuals to the most convenient ODR system available, depending on circumstances and preferences of the parties involved. The integration layer will enable wide and flexible sharing of ODR know-how.


Zbynek Loebl
zbynek@loebl.info.

Ethan Katsh
Ethan Katsh is Director and Co-Founder of the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution, and Professor Emeritus of Legal Studies, University of Massachusetts.

Orna Rabinovich-Einy
Orna Rabinovich-Einy is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Haifa, Israel.
Article

European Businesses and the New European Legal Requirements for ODR

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 2 2016
Keywords online dispute resolution (ODR), alternative dispute resolution (ADR), consumer disputes, EU legislation, e-commerce
Authors Graham Ross
AbstractAuthor's information

    In terms of practical use outside of e-commerce platforms such as eBay, ODR has not advanced as speedily as many thought might be the case. Two pieces of legislation by the European Parliament applying to consumer disputes, being the European Directive on Alternative Dispute Resolution For Consumer Dispute and the associated Regulation on Online Dispute Resolution have opened up the opportunity for that to change. For the first time, there now is a law that effectively requires businesses to promote ODR. However, with widespread breach, evidence of which is referred to in this paper, this law has not as yet been implemented or honoured as it should be and is in danger that its impact could thereby become counter-productive to its essential objective, albeit not its whole scope, in increasing public confidence in cross-border buying of products and services online. One problem is that the EU decided in their wisdom to stop short of making participation in online ADR mandatory. So we have the odd situation in which it is an offence for businesses to not inform a dissatisfied customer of the web address of an online ADR provider who has been approved under the legislation by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, yet when that customer seeks to use that service the business can refuse to participate. If refusal to participate is extensive, the situation could lead to a loss of trust generally in a law designed to improve consumer rights and access to justice. This is especially so if traders carry on their website the mandatory link to an EU portal that will refer dissatisfied consumers to an approved provider of online ADR, and which may have been a deciding factor for that consumer in selecting the particular trader to buy from, yet, when a complaint arises, refuse to participate in the provider selected by the consumer.
    Whilst awareness of ODR will grow as a result of this legislation, albeit as an awareness of ADR that will, in the sense of the medium for discussions and exchange of documents, operate online, I have concerns that broad awareness of the fullest extent of what ODR can offer by way of more advanced forms of ODR will not be fully achieved for some time. Whilst this law does indeed present a significant opportunity to expand the use of ODR, it will not happen without effort by those with interests, commercial or otherwise or both, in promoting the expansion of access to justice that ODR offers. Only in this way will this legislation help ensure that there is a commercial need to explore increasingly innovative technology.
    There is an even greater opportunity currently being lost by this legislation beyond consumer disputes. Given that ODR can enable mediation to take place at much more proportionate cost for disputes below the higher levels of value, ODR offers the opportunity to increase mediation’s share of ADR over arbitration. Further, if the public can begin to experience mediation in the busier field of consumer disputes, it would help more quickly embed mediation into our society’s vision of justice and make engagement in mediation for more complex disputes much more frequent. Instead, by lumping mediation in with ombudsman style adjudication, as does this legislation, a much less satisfactory process with at least one party, and often both, dissatisfied with the outcome, it lowers the satisfaction level of all forms of ADR.


Graham Ross
Head of the European Advisory Board to Modria.com Inc, Member of the Civil Justice Councils’ ODR Advisory Group and of its ADR Working Party, and Fellow of the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution.
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