Online dispute resolution and consumer disputes in Australia

Graduate Research Project

This thesis seeks to provide a critical conceptual analysis of the potential of ODR to be used for the resolution of consumer claims in Australia. This analysis will be undertaken through the theoretical lens of a dispute system design (“DSD”) framework. The development and application of the framework allows for a critical analysis of considerations and choices relating to two key DSD aspects, namely the system design (normative and functional questions regarding how disputes should be resolved, and through what structures) and the process design (appropriateness of tools and processes to be used).

Vivi argues that a critical dispute system analysis on ODR in the consumer redress context is imperative given the increasing use of ODR in practice, both by private and public institutions, and the potential for ODR to significantly impact consumers’ access to justice and ability to obtain redress.