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    05. 02. 2016

    As we have already informed you in our news section on January 25, 2016, the Act no. 634/1992 Sb., on Consumer Protection (hereafter "the Consumer Protection Act“) has been substantially amended at the end of the last year. The amendment is going to affect relations between businesses and consumers as it introduces the obligation of businesses to inform the consumer about the possibility of alternative dispute resolution and name the responsible body designated to handle such disputes, as well as take an active part in the proceedings once commenced.

    The obligation on the part of any business or undertaking is to inform the consumer in a clear, comprehensible and accessible manner about who to turn to in the event they want to make an ADR claim. Pursuant to the Consumer Protection Act, the responsible authority to handle such disputes is the Czech Trade Inspection Authority (hereafter "ČOI“). The Act then goes on to exclude explicitly out of the scope of ČOI´s jurisdiction the following instances:

    i. financial services, where it is the financial arbitration;

    ii. electronic communication and postal services, where it is the Czech Telecommunication Office;

    iii. energy, gas and heating sectors, where it is the Energy Regulatory Office; and

    iv. other areas, where other bodies may be designated by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

    In view of the attorney-client privilege, the Czech Bar Association (hereafter "ČAK“)has proposed that disputes between lawyers and their clients, i.e. consumers, are settled before the Bar body and not by the Czech Trade Inspection Authority. The Ministry of Industry and Trade has endorsed the Bar´s application for the status of designated authority for ADR in consumer protection matters and the Czech Bar Association was charged with Alternative Dispute Resolution between lawyers and consumers.

    More specifically, it will be the Conciliatory Commission of the Czech Bar Association which will review any claims, applying the Bar Conciliatory Rules of Procedure, namely the Resolution of the Board no. 2/1998 of the Journal.

    For more information, go to www.cak.cz.

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