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Browsing by Author "Pakaslahti, Hanna"

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  • Pakaslahti, Hanna (2017)
    Relevant to the study is the recent European Union legislation on ADR(Alternative Dispute Resolution) and ODR (Online dispute Resolution) and the cost and efficiency requirements for processes given. The regulation on ODR itself does not contain any specific provisions on costs but generally recommends that processes should be free for consumers. The Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Recommendation on Consumer Protection in E-commerce states that in consumer disputes fair, easy-to-use, transparent and effective mechanisms for redress should be provided for without unnecessary cost or burden. The needs of e-commerce in dispute resolution, not sufficiently met by traditional courts, have been the main reason for the development of private online dispute resolution. These needs, especially in consumer trade, have been recognized also in international and national policies and legal framework. Online dispute resolution has been promoted as a cost-effective solution. The purpose of the study is to examine how does using technology and the online environment impact the costs of processes? Technology alters the processes of dispute resolution in more profound ways than just decreasing the duration and costs of procedures and liberating parties from traveling to court. Cross-border problematics are solved by forming self-enforcing systems of resolution. The central problem in the study is that dispute resolution online and offline are difficult to compare, since limited data of procedures is available and, most importantly, because the nature and of the disputes and the methods used to solve them varies too much. In order to evaluate different processes a conflict resolution framework is first formed and then used to analyze cost-effect on various stages of processes. The conflict stages used are avoidance, access, method, mechanism ad enforcement. The separation of ITC tool properties, methods and mechanisms is necessary to be able to adequately assess the expenditure of each as a part of a whole conflict resolution system and as part of conflict management. Different systems and the qualities of processes and their possible impact on costs are evaluated as well as the impact of low user costs to dispute resolution systems. The study finds that although processes may greatly be expedited using ICT, the greatest possible impact of online processes are felt on specific stages, namely the avoidance and access stages and in enforcement. Efficiency on these stages also brings most cost benefit for the user as well as overall. However, the costs of dispute resolution method and mechanism stages are tied much more to other properties of processes, that a cost mitigation can not be result of online proceedings only and directly in all other than cross-border disputes. Further a finding of the study is that the recommendation of free recourse to consumers may bring about unintentional elements to online resolution processes.