Delivering Collective Redress for Consumers

Professor Chris Hodges demonstrates that alternative dispute resolution mechanisms are more effective at delivering collective redress to consumers.

Professor Chris Hodges is Professor of Justice Systems, Supernumerary Fellow of Wolfson College, and Head of the Swiss Re/CMS Research Programme on Civil Justice Systems at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies. His work principally concerns collective redress. 

There has been considerable interest in collective redress for some decades, particularly in the context of consumer protection at the European Union (EU) and at the individual Member State level. To a large extent, current research explores the advantages and disadvantages of private enforcement mechanisms, which are otherwise referred to as collective actions, representative actions or, in England and Wales, the Group Litigation Order.

Professor Hodges recently completed a major review of all main types of dispute resolution mechanisms in England including courts, the Online Court, Tribunals, public and private Ombudsmen, and injury compensation schemes covering consumer, family, employment, claims involving SMEs, property, personal injury, and claims against the State. Through this review and his on-going research, Professor Hodges identified new mechanisms for delivering collective redress, most of which he considers to be more effective than litigation-based mechanisms. 

Most importantly, through his research, Professor Hodges clearly demonstrates that alternative dispute resolution mechanisms are more effective at delivering collective redress to consumers. These findings have been referred to in prominent political discussions, debates, and fora across Brussels, London, and Geneva.

Most notably, Professor Hodges’ work has been cited in Australia where there is a burgeoning vibrant class action industry. Professor Hodges worked closely with the President of the Australian Law Reform Commission, Sarah Darrington, to incorporate his research into the current reporting and work of the Australian Law Reform. Professor Hodges’ research is currently cited in the Interim and Final Report on Class Actions and Litigation Funding of the Australian Law Reform Commission. Professor Hodges continues to lead important discussions on delivering collective redress to consumers.

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