The field of consumer online dispute resolution is going through important developments throughout Europe. New ODR providers are entering the field and a growing number of ADR bodies are relying on digital technologies to resolve consumer complaints. Also, consumers are increasingly resorting to online platforms to achieve redress. ODR has the potential to increase consumers’ access to redress by taking the procedure online. At the same time, the quality of cODR procedures remains a challenge. For instance, transparency is difficult to achieve, especially when algorithmic software is used, and a fair procedure cannot always be safeguarded in text-based online procedures. The fundamental right of access to justice not only underscores the right to access a dispute resolution body to emulate an enjoyment of substantive rights, but also the right to a procedure that complies with fairness standards. This book explores what procedural standards must be in place to secure consumers’ access to fair ODR procedures in Europe, by way of a theoretical and empirical legal study. This research is financed by the ERC research council.
Emma van Gelder is an assistant professor at Utrecht University, Molengraaff Instituut. She worte a PhD at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, conducting research on online dispute resolution for consumers as a means of enhancing consumers’ access to justice in the EU. She received a master’s degree in Legal Research (cum laude, 2017) at the Utrecht University. This thesis was the result of research conducted during a traineeship at the European Court of Auditors, Luxemburg. During her Master’s she worked part-time as a research assistant at Utrecht University, conducting research within several departments.