Resource Centre > Current issues > ADR


On this page:

  1. General overview
  2. Where we stand

General overview

EJF's main objective has been to persuade national and EU governments to have consumer redress policy on ADR and not litigation. Speaking at European Parliament Public Hearing on Collective redress, EJF restated its' recommendations that redress be based on:

  • ADR
  • complemented by the consumer protection role of public authorities and
  • supported by the court assuming fairness, process and formality (click here for EJF's presentation)

Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms include mediation, conciliation, ombudsmen, etc. and involve a great number of institutions, bodies and schemes aiming at resolving disputes and providing redress without the use of court procedures (see our Glossary for definitions and descriptions of these mechanisms). The popularity of these mechanisms is growing across Europe and beyond. They are being developed on the national level as well as on the international and the EU level.

Note: Arbitration is sometimes seen as a form of ADR because it takes place outside the court. But arbitration is often as complex and expensive as litigation.

Where we stand

We wish to emphasise the importance, utility, efficiency and effectiveness of ADR mechanisms. They constitute a vital alternative to costly and lengthy court proceedings, and often provide much needed access to justice to those who, for various reasons, do not or cannot choose litigation. As seen in the Dutch model of collective settlements, ADR can be a very effective mechanism for resolving collective disputes.

We have seen SANCO's policy move to ADR, not least because of EJF' advocacy over the past years.

We have seen the Commission reject DG COMP's 2009 proposal Directive on Competition Damages which would have introduced collective litigation on that field.

We have been clearly engage into the tripartite (JUST, SANCO, COMP) consultation on Collective Redress.

The next steps will be:

  • SANCO's publication in late 2011 of two legislative proposals: a framework Directive on ADR and a Regulation on Online Dispute Resolution
  • The Commission Communication at the end of 2011 on the outcome of its tripartite consultation on Collective redress
  • Possible legislative proposals by DG COMP in early 2012.