A Dispute System Design Perspective on the Future Development of Consumer Dispute Resolution
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Williams, J. & Gill, C. (2016) A Dispute System Design Perspective on the Future Development of Consumer Dispute Resolution. In: Cortes, P. (ed.) The New Regulatory Framework for Consumer Dispute Resolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 371-391.
This chapter explores the concept of dispute system design in the context of consumer dispute resolution (CDR). While there is a growing literature on dispute system design (DSD) in North America, practitioners and scholars in the UK and Europe have failed to give significant attention to DSD as a discrete activity. As the role of CDR within civil justice systems across Europe continues to grow, the activity of ‘designing justice’ in this area should increasingly be seen as a matter of constitutional as well as practical significance. A failure to address this issue risks undermining the continued legitimacy of state-sanctioned dispute resolution for consumer-to-business disputes. In this chapter, we present a new dispute design model for CDR mechanisms and, drawing on several case studies, demonstrate how it may be applied in practice.