July 18, 2016
McGill Journal of Dispute Resolution, Vol. 2, No. 1, 2016
Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) is an interesting means of giving online consumers efficient remedies in cross-border disputes. While the effectiveness of ODR is sometimes problematic, ad hoc solutions can be implemented depending on whether the ODR procedure is adjudicative or non-adjudicative, and whether the outcomes are binding or non-binding. This allows parties to seek enforcement before a court or a public authority, or to rely instead on private enforcement mechanisms. The analysis of each of these situations shows that the enforcement of binding outcomes obtained through ODR should be sustained by public regulation. However, important instruments such as the Rome I, Brussels I and Brussels I recast European Regulations prohibit pre-dispute ODR agreements, but this scenario might rapidly change thanks to the European ADR Directive. Efforts of this kind pave the way for greater trust in engaging in cross-border transactions and should be encouraged.