Trusting the ‘middle man’: Impact and Legitimacy of Ombudsmen


End date

30 April 2014


09:00 to 16:30
Leonard Wolfson Auditorium, Wolfson College, Linton Rd, Oxford

The EU’s recent alternative dispute resolution (ADR) Directive was devised to help consumers in disputes with traders across Europe, but many questions remain about how it will be implemented, and the crucial role of ombudsmen in this process.
Nearly every consumer sector will be affected by the new legislation, and the current approaches of existing ADR bodies (ombudsmen being one example) responsible for overseeing these changes varies across sector and member state.
This conference will bring together academic, practitioner, and policy perspectives to identify the key challenges facing ombudsman schemes in this new legislative landscape, and to provide guidance on how to adapt in order to deliver the best outcomes for consumers.
Through the interaction of academic research and practitioner experience, alongside practical Q&A sessions, the conference will enable participants to share insights, brainstorm new approaches, and identify best practices from around Europe for implementing the ADR directive. In doing so, it will tackle a number of key questions:

  • What will be the impact of the growing number of ADR schemes which claim to be ombudsmen?
  • Should ombudsmen be seen as one of many possible ADR schemes or be afforded a particular status within the new ADR landscape?
  • How can quality of decisions and customer satisfaction be best upheld alongside the demand for fast and fair solutions?
  • How has the consumer landscape changed in recent years and how should ombudsman schemes adapt?

The conference will be opened with a dinner on Tuesday 29 April, to provide a networking opportunity for all participants.
Organizers: Naomi Creutzfeldt (University of Oxford) & Chris Gill (Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh)

Registration for this event is now closed. Please email with any questions.