Alternative dispute resolution

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Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) describes alternative dispute resolution methods to state court proceedings .

There is no uniform definition. The term is mostly used for structured dispute resolution methods in which a result is found with the help of a third party, although this does not have to be legally binding. This covers a broad spectrum of methods, from structured negotiations to legally binding arbitration .

The aim of ADR is to counter the restricted flexibility and the sometimes high costs of state court proceedings, to achieve a result that the parties perceive as more just and to establish legal peace . Flexibility and procedural fairness have also led to the integration of ADR procedures into court proceedings or to pointing out ways out of court proceedings towards ADR (multi-door courthouse, judge , court-related mediation) in order to find the appropriate procedure in each individual case.

Appropriate dispute resolution has also been used since the 2000s .


Dispute resolution without the involvement of state courts has a long history going back to antiquity.

The modern ADR movement began in the United States in the early 1970s. They began to look for alternatives to state court proceedings in order to save time and money. A big step was taken in 1976 when the Conference on the Causes of Popular Dissatisfaction with the Administration of Justice ( Pound Conference ) was founded in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Academics, court officials and lawyers came together to find new ways to resolve disputes.

Types of ADR

Practically important alternative dispute resolution methods are mediation and arbitration . This also includes the arbitration procedure . More recently, combined procedural models of mediation and arbitration have been developed (so-called MedArb). In the construction industry, the so-called adjudication is increasingly being practiced on a contractual basis for the rapid settlement of conflicts in disputes during the construction of buildings, in which an expert third party makes a provisionally binding decision.

The main difference is that in mediation or arbitration proceedings the parties involved in the dispute work out a conflict solution themselves with the support of the mediator or arbitrator, while in arbitration proceedings and adjudication a third party who is not involved in the dispute decides the conflict for the parties.

European Law

The ADR directive (ADR-RL) and the ODR regulation (ODR-VO) make certain requirements for alternative dispute resolution. The ARD-RL obliges the member states to make it easier for consumers to access alternative dispute resolution procedures ( AS procedure ) for certain disputes with companies (Art. 5 Para. 1 ADR-RL). The ODR-VO provides for the establishment of a European platform for online dispute resolution ( OS platform ).

The Consumer Dispute Settlement Act (VSBG) regulates the alternative dispute settlement bodies ( AS bodies ) and their procedures in Germany. The OS platform created in accordance with the ODR-VO is an interactive website and in the event of a dispute it forwards a complaint to the responsible AS office (Art. 9, Paragraph 6, ODR-VO). In this respect, the OS platform represents a central point of contact for consumers and entrepreneurs (Art. 5 Para. 2 ODR-VO).

The consumer arbitration board according to the VSBG is the place for alternative dispute resolution in Germany within the meaning of the ODR-VO ( § 39 VSBG).

National regulations





See also


  • Simon Johannes Heetkamp: Online dispute resolution in cross-border consumer contracts: European and global regulatory model in comparison. V&R unipress, 2017, ISBN 978-3847107774 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Harald Walther: Mediation in Administrative Jurisdiction - An Introduction to the Speyer Mediation Initiative 2005
  2. ^ Mediation website of the VG Freiburg , accessed on April 16, 2018
  3. ^ Mediation in Social Law Conflict Management Congress , Hanover 2008
  4. Carrie Menkel-Meadow: The History and Development of “A” DR (alternative / appropriate dispute resolution) 2016 (English); Gottwald, Family Partnership Law (Journal) 2004, p. 163.
  5. ^ Peter Daughtermann: Alternative Dispute Resolution - Introduction to Alternative Dispute Resolution JuS 2005, pp. 131-135
  6. ↑ On this Dendorfer / Lack, Arbitration VZ 2007, p. 195.
  7. ^ Lembcke, Zeitschrift für Immobilienrecht 2012, p. 667.
  8. Bea Brünen: Questions and answers on the OS platform without a year, accessed on April 21, 2018
  9. Jürgen G. Heim: ADR Directive and ODR Regulation of the EU at a glance June 30, 2014
  10. ^ Online Dispute Resolution (ODR). International / transnational private law University of Zurich, March 6, 2014
  11. Conferencing instead of litigation Website of the Universitäre Mediation Schweiz (UMCH) association, accessed on April 17, 2018