Online Dispute Resolution Rules

The Rules are intended for use in the context of low-value, high-volume transactions involving the sale of goods and performance of services. Parties under these Rules include customers, retailers and/or service providers.

Article 1: Scope of application

The Rules are intended for use in an online dispute resolution framework of YOUSTICE. The following documents form an integral part of the Rules:

(a) Eligibility scope defining the scope of permissible claims, defences and remedies as they are implemented in YOUSTICE; and

(b) Guidelines and minimum requirements for online dispute resolution providers (ODR providers) as specified in: United Nations Commission
on International Trade Law
Working Group III (Online Dispute Resolution): Proposal on principles applicable to Online Dispute Resolution providers and neutrals, Twenty-fifth session
New York, 21-25 May 2012, 6 pages.

Article 2: Communications

All communications in the course of ODR proceedings shall be submitted by electronic means via the YOUSTICE ODR platform.

Article 3: Appointment of neutral

  1. 1. In the event the complainant and respondent do not settle their dispute during the negotiation stage, the ODR provider through the YOUSTICE ODR platform shall appoint a single neutral by selection from a list of qualified neutrals maintained by the ODR provider.

  2. 2. The neutral shall declare his or her independence and shall disclose to the ODR provider any circumstances arising at any time during the ODR proceedings likely to give rise to justifiable doubts as to his or her impartiality or independence. Based on the information disclosed, the ODR provider may at its discretion, not appoint the neutral. Once the neutral is appointed, the ODR provider shall notify the parties of such appointment.

  3. 3. Either party may object to the neutral’s appointment without giving reasons therefor.

  4. 4. Where a party objects to the appointment of a neutral, that neutral shall be automatically disqualified and another appointed in his or her place by the ODR provider. Each party shall have a maximum of three (3) automatic challenges to the appointment of a neutral.

  5. 5. If the neutral has to be replaced during the course of ODR proceedings, the ODR provider through the ODR platform will appoint a neutral to replace him or her from the list of qualified neutrals approved by the ODR provider and will inform the parties without delay. The ODR proceedings shall resume at the stage where the neutral that was replaced ceased to perform his or her functions.

Article 4: Powers and responsibilities of neutral

  1. 1. Subject to the Rules and any applicable legal obligations, the neutral may conduct the ODR proceedings in such manner as he or she considers appropriate.

  2. 2. The neutral, in exercising his or her functions under the Rules, shall conduct the ODR proceedings so as to avoid unnecessary delay and expense and to provide a fair and efficient process for resolving the dispute. In doing so, the neutral shall remain at all times wholly independent and impartial and shall treat both parties equally. The neutral shall not engage in any communication with one party without copying the other party at the same time.

  3. 3. The neutral shall determine the relevance of materials filed by the parties and any communications made by them. The ODR proceedings shall be conducted on the basis of these materials and communications only unless the neutral decides otherwise.

  4. 4. The neutral cannot examine the complaint if it is manifestly unfounded or abusive.

  5. 5. In the event that a party, in the absence of exceptional circumstances, does not comply with any of the time periods established by these Rules or the neutral, the neutral shall proceed to a decision on the complaint. If a party, in the absence of exceptional circumstances, does not comply with any provision of, or requirement under, these Rules or any request from the neutral, the neutral shall draw such inferences therefrom as it considers appropriate.

Article 5: Neutral resolution

  1. 1. The neutral shall render a decision without delay and in any event within seven (7) calendar days after his or her appointment. The ODR provider shall communicate the decision to the parties.

  2. 2. In all cases, the neutral shall decide taking into consideration any relevant facts and circumstances including any alleged rights claimed by the parties.

  3. 3. The decision shall indicate the date when it was made and brief grounds or the decision. The decision may be made public with the consent of all parties or where and to the extent disclosure is required of a party by legal duty, to protect or pursue a legal right or in relation to legal proceedings before a court or other competent authority.

  4. 4. The decision shall be binding on the parties as if it represents their private agreement unless the party which is a customer in the disputed transaction refuses the decision via YOUSTICE online platform within 3 days of the date the decision was issued; however, any such refusal shall not affect the validity of the allocation of administrative costs of the ODR provider (see Article 7 below) which forms part of the decision and which will become valid and binding on the parties as of the date the decision is issued.

  5. 5. Parties still have the right to bring a lawsuit over the same matter. Neither party shall provide to the court information generated during negotiation or ODR proceedings under these Rules without the written consent of the other party.

  6. 6. The parties shall carry out the decision without delay.

Article 6: Exclusion of liability

Save for intentional wrongdoing or gross negligence, neither the neutral nor the ODR provider shall be liable to the parties for any act or omission in connection with any ODR proceedings under the Rules.

Article 7: Costs

The neutral shall in its decision allocate administrative costs of the ODR provider to one or both parties. Each party shall bear its own costs.