Journal of Consumer Policy

, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 527–546

How Important is Procedural Justice for Consumer Dispute Resolution? A Case Study of an Ombudsman Model for European Consumers

Review Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10603-014-9269-x

Cite this article as:
Creutzfeldt, N. J Consum Policy (2014) 37: 527. doi:10.1007/s10603-014-9269-x


Recent EU legislation has mandated the extension of comprehensive coverage of consumer dispute resolution (CDR) throughout the EU. The extension of CDR has given rise to a range of questions about the theoretical and practical implications of these changes. The field of CDR is underexplored in academic literature and only a few studies provide an overview of this rapidly developing area. There is a need to base CDR schemes on empirical evidence to inform practice and to provide justice. Tyler’s procedural justice model of public compliance with the law might be beneficial in this inquiry. This exploratory study tests whether Tyler’s well-established normative model of social regulation holds true in the CDR context by applying it to the ombudsman. In doing so, this paper seeks to contribute to a richer understanding of how to assess consumer acceptance of an ombudsman model of CDR. The study finds that Tyler’s model cannot be fully translated to the UK ombudsman case study. The current dearth of comparative empirical evidence on the effectiveness of CDR in Europe fuels the need for further inquiry and re-evaluation of its theoretical foundations.


Consumer dispute resolution (CDR) Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) Procedural justice Ombudsman decision-making Legitimacy Access to justice 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Socio-Legal StudiesUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

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