PARLe: An Effective Access to Justice Tool for Consumers
Assessment of the Consumer Protection Office's online mediation project after 3 years of implementation
Quebec City, December 2, 2019
Minister of Justice Sonia LeBel today marked the 3rd anniversary of the "Online Dispute Resolution Platform" (PARLe), an innovative web-based tool that provides courts with an alternative solution to solve consumer problems.
Developed by the Cyberjustice Laboratory of the University of Montreal and adapted to the needs of the Consumer Protection Office, PARLe has been available since November 2016. It allows the parties to find an amicable solution to their dispute, with or without the intervention of a mediator, in a confidential, neutral and secure digital environment. The process, which can be undertaken by a consumer by contacting the Agency, is completely free of charge.
"First launched as a pilot project, PARLe has proven to be a formidable tool for access to justice, simple, quick and efficient, that meets the needs of consumers. In 3 years, it has enabled thousands of them to assert their rights while avoiding the stress, costs and delays associated with a legal remedy. In the context of the Government's Digital Transformation Strategy, which calls on the public administration to offer more digital services, PARLe will develop in the coming years to be even more efficient and accessible to citizen."
Sonia LeBel, Minister of Justice, Minister responsible for Democratic Institutions, Electoral Reform and Access to Information, Minister of Canadian Relations and Francophonie
- As of November 1, 2019, nearly 7,500 consumers have been referred to the platform. According to the data collected, 68% of cases are settled by agreement, within an average of 26 business days. The tool has an 88% satisfaction rate from users.
- In addition to providing convenience, speed and efficiency to its users, this method of resolution allows disputes to be handled at a low cost to society, regardless of the value of the good or service in question.
- Some 150 merchants are now active on PARLe, including superstores, furniture, appliance and pool retailers, used car dealers and the home improvement sector.
- About twenty accredited mediators, members of the Bar of Quebec or the Chambre des notaires du Québec, can intervene in cases on the platform.
- This Office project won the 2018 Award of Excellence from the Institut d'administration publique du Québec in the Digital Initiatives category.
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For more information, see the page PARLe: Online Dispute Resolution Platform on the Consumer Protection Office's website.
This content has been updated on 3 December 2019 at 13 h 53 min.