In the Procedural Surroundings of Consumer Protection: Online Dispute Resolution, the Adversarial Principle, and Tendencies toward Settlement

Erik Björling

Abstract

The article builds on a pluralistic perspective on law and the understanding that legal research must take into account the procedural and institutional landscape where legal rights are enforced. In relation to online dispute resolution (ODR), two procedural mechanisms, namely the adversarial principle and the tendency toward settlements, are studied and discussed. The adversarial principle (argued to be integral to most ODR procedures) and tendencies toward settlements (also argued to be integral to most ODR procedures) are considered in relation to the overarching (and possibly contradictory) objectives of protecting individual consumer rights and the interest of increasing economic efficiency within the EU’s internal market.

Keywords

ADR; Adversarial Principle; Consumer Litigation; ODR; Procedural Law; Settlements

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