Small in Value, Important in Essence: Lessons learnt from a Decade of Implementing the European Small Claims Procedure in Italy and Belgium

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Abstract

This study examines the extent to which the European Small Claims Procedure (ESCP) has served the main purpose of the EU legislature to establish a legal framework to improve access to justice for creditors of cross-border small claims through a simplified, expedited and inexpensive redress mechanism. This paper first analyses the implementation of the ESCP in Italy and Belgium. These two countries were chosen because of the authors’ research on the Small Claims Analysis Net (SCAN) Project . The second part of this study deals with the impact of this regulatory instrument on access to justice for citizens, in view of the principle of judicial efficiency. Finally, this paper focuses on the possibility of using this instrument for collective redress, on the one hand, and linking this procedure to online dispute resolution, on the other.

Keywords: European Small Claims Procedure, ESCP, Small Claims, National Implementation, Italy, Belgium, Access to Justice, Collective Redress, Online Dispute Resolution

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Private International Law
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

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