Online Consumer Dispute Resolution and the ODR Practice in Taiwan – A Comparative Analysis

  •  Chi-Chung Kao    


Online dispute resolution can be roughly categorised in into online negotiation, online mediation, and online arbitration. Online negotiation means direct communication between the parties via electronic means. Online mediation involves a neutral third party communicating with and between the parties by online means to facilitate negotiation and encourage the parties to reach a settlement. Online arbitration involves a neutral third party, the arbitrator, with the competence to hear the arguments of the parties and make a decision on the merits of the dispute. In online arbitration process, submission of documents, text-based hearings, and live hearings may be carried out via electronic communication over the internet. In ODR processes, certain principles have to be followed. The neutrals must be impartial and independent. The ODR services must be affordable for the parties. The dispute resolution process must be transparent. The proceedings must be fair. As far as effectiveness is concerned, the dispute resolution process should not be protracted beyond a reasonable period of time, and the result must be implemented effectively. In Taiwan, ODR can serve as an alternative to civil proceedings to avoid complicated legal issues and enhance consumer confidence. The Taiwanese laws do not prohibit the conducting of ADR processes over the internet. The legal status of electronic signature and electronic document in ODR proceedings is also recognised. There is no legal obstacle for ODR in Taiwan.

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