Summary: 1. Introduction. – 2. European Small Claims Procedure. – 2.1. Civil court proceedings and small claims in the Portuguese environment. - 2.2 Some unresolved procedural issues in small claims – the role of internal systems and their different solutions. – 2.3. The weak points of small claims. - 3. An Online Platform for Small Claims Procedure – A Proposal. - 3.1. Management and administration of the European Small Claims Platform and national entities. – 3.2 Procedure: stages and platform functions. – 4. Conclusions.
AJEE Collection of Articles on Small Claims
Statistics concerning the use of the European Small Claims Procedure implemented by Regulation 861/2007 (as amended by Regulation 2015/2421) show that this mechanism has not been as successful as expected. When choosing between a domestic and a European instrument, the creditor most often opts for the domestic procedure. They avoid an instrument that is less well known, that they do not fully manage, and that has limited integration in domestic law.
This article starts with the legislative analysis of the European Regulation 861/2007, using analytical and hermeneutic approaches. Empirical methodologies will also be applied since the practical application of the rules established by the European Regulation will be analysed in order to build the proposal of an online platform for the small claims procedure.
Bearing in mind the weaknesses of the European Small Claims Procedure, we conclude that an online platform incorporating alternative dispute resolution mechanisms is the best option to promote access to justice. A list of arbitrators or judges designated by each member state to decide the cases submitted on the platform could be a solution to overcome lengthy court processes. The decision shall be standardised for all proceedings according to a model incorporated into the platform. Thus, the enforceability will be facilitated, and the process will be more accessible to the parties, ensuring the right of access to justice in this context.