Pillar III. Access to Remedy
Extrajudicial non-state resources [pages 42-43]
The Czech Republic acknowledges the benefits and advantages of alternative dispute resolution. Alternative dispute resolution is often faster, cheaper, less formal and more accessible to the parties. As the parties to a dispute are apt to accept an amicable solution better than an authoritative ruling, the Czech Republic welcomes and supports the development of alternative dispute resolution platforms among non-state entities, especially consumer organisations, trade unions and industrial associations. Nevertheless, no means of alternative dispute resolution must restrict access to an ordinary court. This means that arrangements must always be in place to ensure that both parties have decided on alternative resolution knowingly and voluntarily, except in situations where participation in an extrajudicial solution is required directly by the law. Under no circumstances, however, is the protection of the weaker party (e.g. the consumer) allowed to be violated.
Nonetheless, it should be remembered, first and foremost, that the ideal situation is one where no dispute occurs at all. When an action is brought before a court, this is not the start of the dispute, but the final step after previous attempts to reach a settlement have failed. The businesses themselves should offer a formalised mechanism for the amicable settlement of disputes. The dispute resolution instruments offered by the state should be geared towards prevention and actively assist in the search for an amicable solution.