Senior Policy Makers Explore Consumer Dispute Resolution and Redress at OECD Workshop
Washington, DC, 19-20 April 2005
“Realising the promise of the global digital economy requires a high level of consumer trust,” said Nobuo Tanaka, OECD Director for Science, Technology and Industry, in his opening remarks at this morning’s workshop. “Unless consumers are confident that disputes can be resolved in a fair and effective way they will be reluctant to engage in cross-border or online transactions.”
The OECD Workshop on Consumer Dispute Resolution and Redress in the Global Marketplace aims to enable a better understanding of existing mechanisms for addressing consumer disputes and to consider ways to improve the effectiveness of remedies in cross-border cases.
According to a background report for the workshop, there are currently serious practical and legal obstacles to pursuing remedies in many consumer cases, particularly across borders. Tony Sims, Chair of the OECD’s Committee on Consumer Policy (CCP) emphasised the commitment of OECD consumer policy-makers to address these challenges. “The low value of most consumer disputes requires solutions that are cheap, speedy, and efficient,” he said. “Fostering the development of effective consumer dispute resolution and redress mechanisms is a key element of the Committee’s work.”
The workshop brings together representatives from 23 countries, including senior government officials, and experts from business, consumer groups and academia. Keynote speeches will be given by Deborah Platt Majoras, Chairman of the US Federal Trade Commission and Markos Kyprianou, European Union Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection.
Workshop presentations and panel discussions will address the following topics:
New developments in industry-sponsored or voluntary dispute resolution and redress mechanisms.
The various court and other state-run procedures for the resolution of individual and collective low-value consumer disputes.
The role that consumer protection enforcement agencies can play in facilitating consumer redress; and
Ways to improve the effectiveness of monetary judgments in cross-border cases.
The full agenda and background report are available on the workshop website.
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