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In this report, some litigant procedures are suggested that assist the people to resolve the disputes without entering court. This Alternative dispute resolution system is described and its advantages and disadvantages are described in the report briefly. The courts and trial courts are overloaded with a lot of cases regarding different subject matters so, to solve this problem some ADR system methods are introduced and implemented.
With the implementation of these methods, disputes can be resolved easily, rapidly, and effectively. Critical discussion on the limits of party automation including investment, commercial, and consumer arbitration is also detailed in the report. Critical evaluation of the EU online dispute resolution system and platform is considered and described in this article. Some recent developments regarding the civil justice system are also detailed in the report. The ODR system and its functions are also described in this report.
The European Commission provides the European online dispute resolution system that accesses the quality dispute resolution tools that makes online shopping safer and fair for the people. (Hsieh, M. T., et al 2021) There are some benefits of ODR as it is cost effective, speedy, and convenient procedure. But some disadvantages of it can be as impersonal, and it can also create a great difference between parties and mediators. Under this system, parties can settle their disputes virtually and they need not go personally anywhere to resolve their disputes. But the decisions made through this process under a uniform domain name dispute resolution policy are not effective and binding on the parties. In this system, all online traders, and retailers in the EU, Iceland, and Norway are under obligation to render easily accessible links and platforms to the ODR to contact others. (Governatori, G., et al., 2018.)
In this system, the consumer can select the details that are to be shared in the complaint document and it can be reviewed before the official submission of the complaint. Customer is also able to share the images of the product through the dashboard directly and messages can also be shared via the dashboard.
Under this customer wishes to resolve the complaint with the help of a dispute resolution body. If any notification is identified for a complaint, then it ensures that the consumer would like to address the issue to an authorized dispute resolution body or structure. These bodies are also listed on the ODR platform and they also collaborate with high quality standards and independence. It is a dispute resolution body that acts as a third party and helps consumers and traders to resolve their issues in an inoffensive manner. This method is much cheaper and speedy rather than to go court and solving the dispute.
If any person trades or business in the EU, Norway, and Iceland then he has to follow all the required or established obligations regarding the ODR platform. These regulations are implied to all online traders whether they use the ODR platform or not. The customer needs to provide a proper email address on the website and only providing an interactive form is not sufficient. It is also necessary to provide a link from the website to the online dispute resolution system. (Tahura, U.S., 2019)
Under this system, if any person bought any online goods or services in an EU country then he has the option to file a complaint online if he has found any dispute with the product. Everybody has their own rules and procedures in this system that must be followed by the parties. There are some fundamental principles regarding the ODR system such as member states must put their confidence and trust in ODR. This system must not create any restrictions on access to justice. There should be general rules and regulations, the procedure should be implemented that is conducted in the court until any other specific nature of a particular ODR mechanism requires. Parties regarding disputes using this mechanism should be secure with the method. (Rule, C., 2020)
This system can be easily accessible for the consumers as they can understand it without any issue, it is affordable, and user friendly for the consumers so, they can implement this system comfortably. Parties must be informed in what manner the ODR system operates and filing application method, tracking the proceedings, access the decisions made by the system. Implementation of ODR must be advantageous for both parties regarding the dispute, this ODR system must be designed and implemented by internationally recognized technical standards so, most people can access and use these standards. The cost of ODR should not be higher than the normal court hearing fees or expenses. Under this method parties also must be informed about all mechanism that is implemented in the proceedings. (Ahmed, M. and QUEK ANDERSON, D., 2019)
According to this method or procedure, no one can remain prejudiced from the benefits or remedies regarding their right due to using the ODR proceedings. It is considered an independent and impartial adjudicative procedure. In this method, disputed parties must contain all access to the documents and materials that are to be used in the case, all material and information submitted by the other party. Under this method, parties should be allowed to present such evidence in a manner that does not create any disadvantage for them. Both the parties must have sufficient opportunities to present their case and evidence regarding the case. ODR should respect the principles of legal certainty and the safeguarding of legal expectations of the parties. The outcomes that render from the ODR must be transparent and there should not be any interference from others. (Menkel-Meadow, C., 2018)
There must be sufficient reasons to access the final decision using the ODR system, this decision should be implemented and enforceable. (Tan, V., 2019) This national law permits the automated decision and these kinds of decisions are open for review by the judge. There should be proper transparency and clarity in the design and operation, of the function of the ODR mechanism. The language of the ODR mechanism should be clear and not vague. This mechanism should guarantee proper and effective manners to ensure public scrutiny of proceedings. The parties should not get deprived of requesting an oral hearing before at least one level of jurisdiction. ODR should be designed effectively and clearly that contained the final judgment, other decisions or judgments, and any other notifications in clear and plain language that can be easily understood by parties. Both the parties related to the dispute should be aware of and have the ability to access all the information and rules regarding ODR.
A proper degree of online protection of ICT items, administrations, and cycles working with ODR ought to be guaranteed to meet the necessities. Articles 6 and 13 of the European Convention on Human Rights guarantee the essential trust and trust in ODR systems. The degree of online protection of ICT items, administrations, and cycles working with ODR ought to be viewed as suitable when shields are given against:
The European Commission provides the European online dispute resolution platform so, people can buy things from a safer and fairer platform. In the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway all retailers and traders are obliged to render an easily accessible link to the ODR platform. And an email address is also provided to the ODR platform. The development of online dispute resolution (ODR) is divided into four phases the first phase was an amateur stage, at this stage, the electronic solutions were in a test period. After that ODR developed dynamically and the first commercial web portal is established in the service area. ODR is considered a form of online settlement that implements various methods of resolving issues. Under this system, those disputes are covered which are resolved online and connected with some offline sources. It cannot be identifying the fixed number of entities that implement online dispute resolution. (Partington, M., 2021) Various countries implement this method differently. Under the ODR system, some existing forms of ADR have been implemented that permit its use on the internet. In the ADR procedure, the presence of a third party remains the same until finalizing the agreement. The ADR procedure has involved many changes with the implementation of different communication methods. There are various ways of submitting the requests or evidence via online procedure. Under the ODR system, the technological part is important and that should be effective. It is considered a different character due to modern forms of communication. All procedures are conducted online in this system and even the final decision is also issued online. It is considered as each form of ODR may implement a distinct technological system and individualize the course of the provided process. Under this platform online mediation can take distinct forms, the fully automated platform is used with the help of online chat or video conferencing. (Verreycken, Q., 2019)
There are many alternatives to conducting the procedure on this platform. These options are involving video meetings or online communication, it is identified that this is the best method of resolving the disputes because it provides a direct communication path with the mediator. Electronic arbitration is also an effective manner to resolve disputes and through these amicable proceedings can be conducted via the internet. ODR procedures can be implemented in different manners with a distinct level of integration into proceedings. These kinds of the system suggest the parties in arguments and evaluate the level of satisfaction at each stage.
There are many opportunities are provided by electronic commerce and the internet. The use of the internet is expanded and enhanced in recent times which also provides the facility to the business world to make their business transactions online and expand their business online. As the result, consumers can get the required products online without going to any store and it provides many other facilities for them, but it also creates some disputes between the consumers and business entities. The raised disputes can also be resolved with the implementation of an online dispute resolution system. The disputes arising from online business or e commerce are called e disputes. To ensure the consumers that if there is any e dispute is arising then it can also be solved with this system and they can safely make the online transactions with shopping websites.
The problem is enhanced whether the disputes arise across the cross border. These e disputes arise between Europe, Asia, and the US and are considered to cross the border. It has been identified that the ADR system can help resolve these disputes. It is considered a more efficient and effective manner to resolve disputes, and also saves them time and money. The issues can be addressed internationally and nationally. European convention contended that every human has the right to access the court. According to this parties are free to choose the method of resolving the dispute whether it can be out of court. For this, both the disputed parties must be agreed for adopting this method and there should be a certain form of legal control. Alternative dispute resolution is having many forms of solving the issue without access to the court. Arbitration and mediation are the procedures that are comprised under the ADR system.
Arbitration: it is considered a form of alternative dispute resolution and it provides a manner with the help of which any dispute can be solved. Parties are free to select the arbitrator who is responsible for resolving the disputed matter and the arbitrator is selected by both disputed parties. Once both the parties decide to take the dispute to the arbitrator then a party cannot unilaterally withdraw the dispute from arbitration. Under this procedure, some evidence is submitted by the parties and the arbitrator considers the all submitted evidence after that he takes the decision, and that provided decision is called arbitral award and it is binding on both the parties. This method of dispute resolution is mostly implemented when a dispute arises between the business. It also provides many advantages.
With the implementation of this resolution, method parties can get a rapid solution and it is at a much cheaper cost rather than the court proceedings. In this method, parties can keep secret their crucial information regarding business from the public because the proceeding is not open to the public like court proceedings. Parties are free to choose the arbitrator so, they can select the person who is professionally trained and has full knowledge about the matter of issue or dispute. The rules and regulations that are to be involved in the arbitration proceedings can be more perplexing and informal as parties agreed. The time and place can also be decided by the parties freely. The decision made by the arbitrator is final and binding on the parties, along with this parties cannot appeal the decision of the arbitrator. International arbitration is regulated in treaties, like the New York Convention. This kind of convention deals with issues of the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards.
It is another form of alternative dispute resolution system that is followed by many Dutch consumer complaint Boards. Under this method, some complaint boards are established and some terms and conditions are implemented by the members of trade associations. These terms and conditions described that consumers have an option to file the dispute with a supplier to the complaint board rather than to the court. If any consumer found any issue with the product, he will always attempt to resolve the dispute with the supplier. After approaching the supplier if he does not get any solution for his issue then he has the option to access the complaint to the board. The complaint board will collect all information regarding the issue from both the disputed parties and try to reach a final decision that is legally binding on the parties. (Luzon, G., 2018)
No appeal can be filed against the decision rendered by the board. Even it is possible to file the decision to the court of law within two months after the decision provided by the board. The judge can state that the decision taken by the board is not valid if it has been violated any rule of procedural law. When any decision is made by the complaint board then the trade association guarantees that the members will follow the decision. If any of the members do not follow the decision then the trade association itself will take over the obligation the complaints board has posed on its member. It is ensured by the trade association that the decision taken by the board is effective. In recent times there are more than 28 complaint boards active in the Netherlands, and all are forms of consumer complaint boards.
Other European countries have their own alternative dispute resolution methods for resolving the disputes but these methods are not providing quality solutions to the parties. There are many processes are implemented in the EU countries that offer a minimum number of quality guarantees such as independence, transparency, efficiency, and respect for the law.
It is also a form of alternative dispute resolution, under this method parties resolve the issue with the help of a third party who remains neutral. The main task of that third party is to provide the best possible suggestion to the disputed parties for resolving the issue. The main advantage that can be achieved from this method is that relations between the disputed parties cannot unnecessarily get damaged. It is always taken place voluntarily. Under this, no party can be enforced to enter into this procedure. This method of resolving the dispute can be selected at any stage. (Biard, A., et al, 2021)
The settlement agreement is always binding on the parties. It is evaluated that in the condition of nonobservance of agreement legal action can be taken. Generally, the mediation agreement is submitted by the parties to the mediator before submitting that to the judgment or arbitrator. In this method, parties are working combinedly and discuss their issue and they make the decision that is acceptable for both of them and that will be honored by both of them. The disputes can be rapidly resolved under the ODR system with the help of the internet.
Under the ODR some applications and computer networks for resolving disputes through the implementation of ADR methods are involved. There are four types of ODR systems are described:
Online settlement of financial claims is already very well developed in the U.S. and it is not a form of ODR that is specially related with e disputes. Even it is also considered online settlement is a well developed form of online dispute resolution. Cybersettle is the first website to offer an online settlement of fiscal claims. That website is later followed by Clicknsettle. This system or website has a system where no other party knows about the amount asked or offered by another party. If no settlement is attained, parties can negotiate without getting prejudice, because they will not know the amount asked by the other party offered or asked throughout e settlement procedure. These websites are created to reduce the time consumed in the negotiation or litigation process and the expenditure involved in the litigation procedure. (Kyriakides, N., 2019)
Dispute resolution techniques have methods where parties are free to control the litigation procedure, under this third party is appointed to control the process and results. Many primary resolving methods are complemented with information and communication technology. If the resolution method is referred to the online procedure, then it is referred to the ODR system. Some transactions are involved under the ODR system such as initial filing, neutral appointment, evidentiary procedure, and oral hearings, even decisions are also rendered online in this system. So, the ODR system is considered as a different manner to resolve disputes, from the starting to end regarding sue procedures principles. (Rabinovich-Einy, O. and Katsh, E., 2019)
ODR is the form of the synchronization between ADR and ICT. The main objective of its formation is to resolve the methods or issues that were raised online and disputes for which traditional methods of resolving the dispute are insufficient or improper.
ODR is the effective procedure and it is considered the court procedure to resolve matters. It is a more effective method of resolving the business to consumer disputes. There is a defined procedure to file a complaint on the ODR platform if any consumer has a complaint regarding the goods or services bought from any online platform. Consumers do not require to go to court to complain and they can save time and money by implementing the ODR method for resolving the case. The ODR platform is user friendly, multilingual, and accessible to all. The consumer has to fill out an online complaint form and submit it then that complaint is reached to the relevant trader, who proposes an ADR entity to the customer. (BANCIU, D.et al, 2019)
Once the consumer and trader admit to an ADR entity to handle the dispute then the EU ODR platform automatically transmits the complaint to that entity. After this whole case is entertained by the ADR entity and attained the results within 90 days. The main aim of establishing the ODR system is to provide easier, faster, and less expensive resolutions to traders and consumers online. This method provides a platform for easy contact of traders and consumers to settle their disputes for both domestic and cross border online purchases. (Engin, Z. and Treleaven, P., 2019) The term ADR includes the various methods of resolving disputes which do not involve going to court. In the ADR procedures mediation, conciliation, ombudsman, arbitration, or complaints boards are included.
ODR platform also helps the traders to resolve the disputes arising with the consumers online and out of court. It involves the four steps that are as followed:
According to the first step, the consumer sends the complaint through the platform, after this trader receives all the information and suggested names of dispute resolution bodies that can resolve the disputes or complaints.
After the first step if the trader admits to being involved with the suggested dispute resolution manner, then the consumer and the traders have 30 days to agree on the ADR entity. If the agreement cannot be accessed the national contact point can provide the consumer with information about alternative sources of redress. (Muhamad, M.S., et al, 2018)
At this stage, if an agreement is reached the complaint is sent to the ADR body and that body has 90 to evaluate the dispute and find a solution.
After this ADR body obtained the best possible solution and this trader and consumer would be intimated about the decision.
There are some trade obligations for the traders in the EU that are as follows.
Traders who provide goods or services online have to follow some rules as are:
Traders must provide the link to the ODR platform that can be easily accessible by consumers or others and business email addresses to facilitate customers who wish to make contact in the event of a dispute. So, these are some obligations that must be followed by the traders. (Xu, H., et al, 2018)
The ADR technique has involved many changes with the execution of various specialized strategies. There are a few different approaches to presenting solicitations or confirmations through web-based methods. Under the ODR framework, the mechanical part is significant and ought to be successful. It is considered as a various person because of present day types of correspondence. All strategies are led online in this framework and, surprisingly, the ultimate conclusion is additional issues on the web. It is considered as each type of ODR might carry out the unmistakable innovative framework and individualize the course of the given process. Under this stage online intervention can take particular structures, the completely robotized stage is utilized with the assistance of online visits or video conferencing. (Islam, S. and Sultana, R., 2019)
There are numerous choices to lead the strategy at this stage. These choices are including video gatherings or online correspondence, it is distinguished that this is the best technique for settling the questions since it furnishes the immediate correspondence way with the arbiter. (Schmitz, A. and Rule, C., 2019)
The abovementioned report is stated about the encouragement of ODR procedures or facilities to litigants for settling disputes that are arising between parties. The meaning of the ODR system meaning, its main elements, and fundamental functions are also mentioned in the report. Some methods for resolving the disputes out of court are also mentioned in the report in detail that helps the people to solve their issues without going to court. In recent time courts are overloaded with many pending cases in that condition they are not able to solve the other new disputes rapidly and effectively for solving this issue some Alternative dispute resolution methods are also described in the report that helps to resolve the matter quickly and efficiently. Traders are also encouraged for settling the dispute with some ADR methods and their advantages to the people. The meaning and function of party autonomy and limits or restriction made upon this are also mentioned in the report.
This article also explained some recent developments that were made in the English civil justice system and their impacts on people. Some necessary functions of the English justice system and its continued changes in the legal system are also provided in the report. At the end of the report a critical review of the EU online dispute resolution system that enhanced the justice for EU consumers and a comparison of the ODR platform with other consumer ODR platforms.
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