Prof Chris Hodges delivers opening Keynote at UN Intergovernmental meeting on Consumer Protection

01 August 2017

On 3-4 July, Professor Christopher Hodges of the Oxford Faculty of Law and Board member of the Foundation for Law, Justice and Society delivered the Keynote speech to open a United Nations Conference on Consumer Protection in Geneva, Switzerland. 

Professor Hodges addressed 2nd Session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Consumer Protection Law and Policy at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), presenting his research to demonstrate the most effective and efficient approaches to protect the rights of individuals in consumer disputes with traders. The research shows that empowering regulators and ombudsmen with adequate powers of redress is much more effective than individual or collective litigation approaches.

Professor Hodges discussed mechanisms and structures that deliver more than essential dispute resolution and redress, but which also deliver consumer advice and provide feedback information to consumers, traders, and regulators in order to improve compliance and innovation in delivery.

FLJS Research Fellow and Oxford One Belt One Road Deputy Director Dr Ying Yu also attended the conference, at which her research on innovative payment methods and consumer protection challenges in China was cited in UNCTAD's Trade and Development Board Report prepared for the session, titled 'Consumer Protection in Electronic Commerce' (p. 8).

The report draws on Dr Yu's finding that, "In China, an increasingly widespread practice is the third-party payment method, whereby a consumer deposits the due amount with a third party who keeps it until the consumer receives the goods without complaint, at which time the payment is transferred to the trader. This escrow system also provides for fair, accessible, rapid and low-cost online mediation." 

Dr Yu coordinates the China Programme at the Foundation of Law, Justice and Society, which provides a platform for China, the EU, and the rest of the world to address the urgent need to establish an effective system of consumer protection or China's 1bn citizens.