Online Arbitration

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The way forward: International harmonised best practices

7.1 Future legislative trends

The deployment of online arbitration for commercial and consumer disputes makes dispute resolutions relatively easier and faster compared with traditional arbitration. Online arbitration may be more cost effective than traditional arbitration. However, it challenges the scope and sufficiency of national and international traditional arbitration laws. There is no specific legislation concerning online arbitration for commercial disputes, though there are some relevant legislative movements in the EU and the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). In 2013 the European Commission launched a general ODR regulation concerning online purchase/service consumer disputes only. The EU Regulation on Consumer ODR in conjunction with the EC Directive on Consumer ADR do not provide specific provisions on online arbitration. The greatest achievement of the EU Regulation on Consumer ODR is to boost consumers’ confidence in the online marketplaces by providing a single entry EU-wide ODR platform. Once consumers file a case, consumers and traders can choose a competent ADR entity on the list of approved ADR entities on the EU ODR portal/platform. Competent authorities in member states have the responsibility to monitor the quality of services provided by ADR entities. Between 2010 and 2016, the UNCITRAL ODR Working Group had been working on the UNCITRAL Draft ODR Procedural Rules, which are applicable to international commercial and consumer disputes. Track I of the Rules has specific provisions on online arbitration. In 2016 the UNCITRAL ODR Working Group produced the outcome of the work on procedural rules as Technical Notes on Online Dispute Resolution (2016). 1 The Technical Notes are non-binding, which are intended to foster ODR development and provide assistance in the ODR process. 2 In 2014,

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the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC) updated its institutional online arbitration rules.

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