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NOTÍCIAS
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Resolução Alternativa de Litígios transfronteiriços na UE

resolução alternativa de litígios 

A large number of academics, ECC-Net practitioners, national authorities and ADR representatives gathered together in Oxford on 9 and 10 November for a conference on EU Alternative Dispute Resolution. ECC-Net had the privilege to give a presentation on the procedures for users of ADR in this joint conference hosted by Oxford University and KU Leuven.

 

 

 

 

ECC-Net was represented by Lars Arent, Director of ECC Denmark. In his presentation Arent focused on the importance of improving awareness of ADR, especially in a cross-border context. As BEUC’s Alexandre Biard aptly summarised: “Procedure is the glue of the ADR system in order to ensure the access and trust of the users.”

Consumer journey
Arent’s key message emphasised the necessity for well-functioning procedures that provide support throughout consumers’ entire ADR journey: from the moment a consumer realises there is a dispute with a trader and that they need the help of a specialised and professional third party, to the final resolution of the problem.

All users are different, with varying levels of knowledge about the role of ADR entities and different difficulties with the required procedural steps. This means that ADR procedures should ensure that consumers are made aware of the option to receive assistance from an ADR, at the exact time they may need this information. Raising such awareness is not only the responsibility of ADR entities: it is a responsibility shared with public authorities and other organisations. It is also essential that consumers are able to easily file their complaint to an ADR body, and that they will be properly assisted through the entire process until they hear the outcome of their case.

Cross-border disputes
Furthermore, it was reaffirmed that ensuring easy and understandable procedures at national ADRs often proves particularly problematic in cross-border complaints against a trader in a foreign country. In his presentation, Arent referenced the findings and recommendations of ECC-Net’s newly published report on ADR in Europe. The existence of ADR entities, private dispute entities and private ADRs within the structures of some big traders, confuses many users. There is a clear need for more cooperation, cohesion and clarification of the system.

Sir Geoffrey Vos, head of civil justice in the court system of England and Wales, remarked that many or most disputes will be cross-border in the near future. The ADR system should be designed to deal with these disputes. This is not the case at present, as the ECC-Net report found.

Modernisation of the ADR Directive
“Justice is an aspiration”, said Sir Geoffrey Vos, continuing that most people simply want to solve their problems. Justice will change its procedures and so will ADR. Digitalisation and the use of artificial intelligence will definitely help manage disputes, although ECC-Net is well aware that all complaints are different. The modernisation of the ADR Directive is a great opportunity to create a more effective system and to define how to effectively use technology to make sure all consumers have access to justice, to ensure plurality and cohesion within online procedures and to reach desired outcomes.

ECC-Net can play an important role in providing information on out-of-court settlement in the future, Herbert Woopen from the European Justice Forum commented. The ECC Network is ready to contribute to and support new ADR mechanisms with its experience and knowledge of solving cross-border disputes.

 

ECC-Net Report on Alternative Dispute Resolution in Europe