June 15, 2012

A public meeting of the Study Group on Online Dispute Resolution was held under the auspices of the Advisory Committee on Private International Law on June 15, 2012, at the main State Department building (Harry S Truman Building), 2201 C Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20520.

The meeting was convened to discuss the fourth meeting of the UNCITRAL working group on online dispute resolution which took place in New York May 21-25. The Study Group reviewed the results of that session, including the addition to the draft Rules of a new provision, modeled on Article 1(3) of the UNCITRAL 2010 Arbitration Rules, providing that where the ODR Rules conflict with a provision of the law applicable to the arbitration from which the parties cannot derogate, that provision should prevail. The Study Group also discussed the working group’s modification of the references in Article 1 to "informed consent" to instead require "express consent" to any ODR agreement, as well as the reasons why ODR arbitral decisions need to be final and binding.

The public meeting specifically addressed security issues relating to use of the ODR Rules, including measures to address the risk of fraud involving vendor claims against consumers. The Study Group reviewed the basis for the earlier decisions of the Working Group (May and November 2011) that both buyers and vendors should be permitted to bring claims. It also reviewed the measures to address the risk of fraud that have been included in the draft Rules and measures that are expected to be implemented privately by ODR platforms and providers.

No matter was resolved. No report was approved. Another meeting of the Study Group is expected to be scheduled in advance of the next session of the working group in the fall of 2012.