Business-to-consumer e-commerce

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Introduction:

The long-term prosperity of business-to-consumer e-commerce depends upon the existence of consumers’ confidence and the availability of adequate supporting legal framework with effective means of enforcement.

Because of the technological development e-commerce industry is growing with enormous speed. Majority of consumers prefer to buy products online and make electronic transactions with companies situated outside their national boundaries.

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The expansive use of e-commerce and the existence of complex legal framework necessitate that efforts should be made to introduce new means of enforcing Business to Consumer e-contracts and disputes resolution across state borders.

This research work will mainly concentrate upon the existing issues in enforcing business to consumer e-contracts across national borders. These include the issue of jurisdiction, the issue of applicable law and the issue of enforcement.

Furthermore it will evaluate thoroughly the need for new means of disputes resolution in cross border B2C e-commerce transactions. It will further assess the potentials of B2C e-commerce disputes resolution through internal complaint handling mechanism and direct contact with business. It will also evaluate the Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms, such as facilitative ADR, Advisory ADR, Determinative ADR, Combined ADR etc and will recommend how these forms of disputes resolution can be effectively implemented on national level and to be of binding nature. basic principle such as equality, fair treatment, affordability, Awareness about the ADR principles, accessibility to ADR mechanism, finality and rapidness of ADR process, and objectives of ADR.

The research work will further analyse the concept of ADR in legal perspective and will suggest that what efforts should be made on international, regional and national level to promote the use and development of ADR, particularly in disputes arising out of cross-border transactions. It will take into consideration various legislative and other legal instruments i.e. European Union Directive on Electronic Commerce, OECD E-commerce Guidelines, European Commission Recommendations 1998, European Commission Recommendations 2001, International Chamber of Commerce best practices, ADR Guidelines 2003, International Consumer groups and International Businesses groups, and EEJ-NET etc and will suggest if necessary amendments are needed.

The research work will also focus on the current obstacles in the expansion of ADR mechanism, such as unawareness of businesses and consumers of ADR process and its benefits, Lack of trained and educated specialist in dispute resolution, cultural and linguistic issues Due to cross-border nature of e-commerce, and jurisdictional and procedural issues resulting from the multi-national nature of e-commerce etc.

Moreover this research will propose certain recommendations that how the current obstacles may be removed to paved a way for an effective dispute resolution system, compatible with the need of time, such as making of legislation on international, regional and national level to determine the issue of jurisdiction, applicable law and enforcement of judgement, making efforts by the governments to create awareness and educate people about the effective means of enforcing their rights and resolving disputes,

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