By July 2015 all EU traders must sign up to consumer ADR systems to handle consumer complaints. A pan-EU framework of consumer ADR entities is being created. There are major implications for all business sectors over choice and design of new frameworks, and ADR entities and ombudsmen.
Implementing the EU legislation is a challenge in different ways for nearly every EU Member State, whose existing consumer ADR mechanisms are almost all different and in varying stages of development. The UK’s main challenge is to try to fill the gaps in coverage (of which air travel is an important one) and to consider joining up the existing arbitration-based sectoral ADR systems and a number of ombudsmen schemes.
Consumer ADR is attractive to governments since it is not just a low cost and speedy dispute resolution mechanism (at a time in which access to justice is being restricted through legal aid cuts and other constraints) but also forms an integral part of future regulatory systems, in that links between ombudsmen and regulators have proved to be highly effective in other sectors, such as financial services and legal services. Consumer ADR needs to be taken very seriously by business sectors. If it does not work, then class actions will become commonplace. If it is designed and harnessed properly, it can assist good trading and business success - rather than hinder them. So making the right strategic choices now is vital.
Professor Hodges is the leading expert on consumer ADR systems and will explain the options for air carriers and the strategies that need to be addressed.
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This lecture will be followed by the Air Law Specialist Group's Summer Reception. Tickets for the Reception will cost £30.00 (+VAT) per person. More details can be found on the dedicated event page here.
Professor Christopher Hodges, Head of the Cms/Swiss Re Research Programme on Civil Justice Systems, Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford
Professor Hodges is the leading expert on consumer ADR systems and will explain the options for air carriers and the strategies that need to be addressed. In addition to leading a major research team at Oxford,funded by business, on devising new forms of regulation anddispute resolution in Europe, Professor Hodges is ErasmusProfessor of the Fundamentals of Private Law at ErasmusUniversity, Rotterdam.He had 25 years’ experience as a lawyer in City of London law firms before completing a PhD in 2003 and moving back to Oxford, where he has established a global reputation in class actions, consumer ADR, and regulatory systems and enforcement.He regularly advises the European Commission, various EUgovernments and regulators on policy matters. As Honorary Professor at the China University of Political Science and Law, Beijing he also advises the Chinese Government.