The Regulation of Online Dispute Resolution: Effectiveness of Online Consumer Protection Guidelines


  • Kananke Chinthaka Liyanage University of Colombo



Regulation of online dispute resolution (ODR) has become an important element in the conceptualisation of its role as an appropriate dispute resolution mechanism. Given the lack of specific legislation regarding ODR nationally and internationally, there is a growing tendency towards seeking appropriate regulatory models for its regulation in the ODR literature, international organisations, governments and the private sector. While recognising the valuable contributions made in all these fields, this article maps the regulatory approaches for ODR adopted by governments in the Guidelines for Consumer Protection in the Context of Electronic Commerce developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in 1999 and the Australian Guidelines for Electronic Commerce in 2006. In addition, the viability of the regulatory approaches of these instruments is explored in the context of online consumer arbitration used for the resolution of cross-border business-to-consumer electronic commerce disputes. In the course of the discussion, some insights on further improvements to these guidelines are also provided.