Primary dispute resolution
During our lives, we are all involved in one or more legal disputes, such as when we disagree with the insurance company on the value of the damaged goods, with the landlord on the appropriate level of increase of the rent, or with the seller of a used item on whether it was in accordance with what was agreed. Although we resolve most of these disputes through negotiation, sometimes the assistance of a third party is needed. However, litigation in court is very costly, and thus often not accessible in practice. Dispute resolution boards, ombuds and other organisations are, in practice, an important substitute for courts.
The project's main goal
Under the project "Primary dispute resolution", a group of researchers from the Faculty of Law at the University of Bergen will investigate how small and medium-sized legal disputes are resolved, whether it is desirable to use courts more often to resolve such disputes, and how court proceedings should be changed to render them accessible, as well as how alternatives to courts can be improved to be a good and legally sound alternative.
The project will study three types of disputes in detail: consumer cases, personal injury cases, and cases between smaller business owners. In collaboration with international experts, the project will also look at how similar disputes are resolved in other European countries, such as Germany, France, and Spain, in addition to the other Nordic countries.