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Consumer Arbitration Regulation

Regulation will come into force on January 2, 2024.

Regulations of the Arbitration Center of the Autonomous University of Lisbon for Disputes in a Consumer Context


Chapter I

Object, nature and geographic scope

Article 1


The Arbitration Center of the Autonomous University of Lisbon, hereinafter briefly referred to as CAUAL, is a center of generic competence and nationwide, and can accommodate any legally arbitrable conflict, including consumer disputes, through alternative means of conflict resolution, such as negotiation, conciliation, mediation and arbitration, including necessary arbitration and providing information within the scope of consumer rights.

Article 2


1 – CEU – University Teaching Cooperative was authorized to create CAUAL, through Ministerial Order no. 8294/97, of September 29th, which is registered with the Directorate-General for Consumer Affairs as an alternative resolution entity for disputes, in accordance with articles 5 and 16 of Law no. 144/2015, of 8 September, which transposed Directive 2013/11/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council on ADR, which establishes the framework legal framework for extrajudicial resolution of consumer disputes (hereinafter RAL Law).

2 – In carrying out its activity, CAUAL cooperates with local consumer support structures or services throughout the national territory, as well as with the contact point for online dispute resolution and with networks of ADR entities that facilitate the resolution of cross-border disputes that may be included, in accordance with Regulation (EU) 524/2013, of the European Parliament and of the Council, of May 21, 2013.

Article 3

(Geographical scope)

The Center has a scope corresponding to the geographical area of the municipalities corresponding to the area covered by its territorial competence.


Chapter II


Article 4

(Material competence)

1 – CAUAL promotes the resolution of conflicts that can be classified as consumer conflicts.

2 – Consumer conflicts are considered to be those arising from the acquisition of goods, the provision of services or the transfer of any rights intended for non-professional use and provided by a natural or legal person, who carries out, on a professional basis, an economic activity that aims to obtaining benefits.

3 – The supply of goods, provision of services or transmission of rights by Public Administration bodies, public legal entities, companies with public capital or majority owned by the State or by local authorities, and by companies are considered to be included within the scope of the previous paragraph. essential public service concessionaires.

4 – CAUAL cannot accept or decide disputes in which crimes of a criminal nature are indicted or which are excluded from the scope of application of Law no. 144/2015, of 8 September.

5 – – The Center may refuse disputes in which the provisions of paragraphs a) to e) of paragraph 1 of article 11 of the RAL law are met, setting the period referred to in paragraph e) of the same provision at two years .

Article 5

(Territorial competence)

1 – CAUAL is responsible for resolving conflicts arising from consumer contracts concluded throughout the national territory.

2 – CAUAL is also responsible for resolving consumer conflicts arising from remote contracts or contracts outside the commercial establishment.

3 – CAUAL is also competent for resolving cross-border consumer disputes that relate to online contracting, in accordance with Regulation (EU) 524/2013, of the European Parliament and of the Council, of May 21, 2013 (hereinafter referred to as Regulation RLL).

Article 6

(Competence based on value)

The Center can hear and decide consumer disputes, whatever their value.

Article 7

(Language of arbitration)

1 – The parties may freely choose the language or languages of arbitration. In the absence of agreement between the parties, the language or languages of the arbitration are determined by the Court.

2 – Arbitration in CAUAL may be in Portuguese, English, French, Spanish, German and Chinese.


Chapter III

Consumer complaint

Article 8

(Consumer complaint)

A complaint is the means by which a consumer exposes the facts that he or she understands to be part of a consumer dispute, whereby the complainant and the defendant must be identified, the facts related to the consumer issue in dispute must be described and the request must be formulated, whenever possible, duly quantified.

Article 9

(Submission of consumer complaints)

1 – The complaint must be made via email, telephone and/or via CTT.

2 – When submitting the complaint, the complainant must indicate the most expeditious means of contact, as well as the possible acceptance that notifications in the arbitration phase be made via email.

3 – The complaint must be accompanied by all available supporting documentation.


Chapter IV

Conflict resolution

Article 10


1 – Mediation aims to reach an agreement, being a flexible procedure in order to adapt to the specific conflict that is intended to be resolved, as well as tending to be effective in its resolution and accessible to the parties under the terms of paragraph 1 of article 10 of the RAL Law.

2 – After a summary analysis of the facts alleged in the complaint and its legal framework, CAUAL contacts the complaining party, informing them of the content of the complaint and the request, requesting a response with a view to reaching an agreement between the parties.

3 – Mediation can take place without the joint presence of the parties or even through distance communication mechanisms, through successive intermediated bilateral contacts, until an agreement is concluded or the impossibility of reaching one.

4 – The content of the agreement is freely determined by the parties and must be reduced to writing, signed by the parties and the mediator.

5 – Once mediation has ended and if the process does not proceed to the conciliation/arbitration phase, the parties must be notified of its outcome through durable media and receive a statement indicating the reasons on which it was based if these have not already been determined in said notification.

Article 11

(Arbitration agreement and arbitration required)

1 – The submission of the dispute for decision by the Arbitration Court depends on the existence of an arbitration agreement between the parties or on being, under the terms of the law, subject to necessary arbitration.

2 – The arbitration agreement may take the form of an arbitration agreement or an arbitration clause and must adopt written form in accordance with the Voluntary Arbitration Law.

3 – Under the terms of the previous number, suppliers of goods and service providers will be able to fully adhere to CAUAL.

4 – Membership of CAUAL is carried out upon payment of an annual fee.

Article 12


1 – Prior to the arbitration hearing, an attempt may be made to resolve the dispute through conciliation of the parties, by the mediator/conciliator or on the day of the hearing, by the judge-arbitrator.

2 – The aforementioned attempt at conciliation must be carried out by the arbitrator, the director of CAUAL or a jurist responsible for alternative dispute resolution procedures.

3 – Once the parties reach agreement, it will be reduced to writing and, after approval by the arbitrator, it will produce the effects of an arbitration award.

Article 13


1 – If no agreement results from the conciliation attempt, the arbitrator will begin the arbitration hearing.

2 – Regardless of the beginning of the hearing, the parties may agree to resolve the dispute until its end, observing the provisions of paragraph 3 of the previous article.

Article 14

(Arbitral tribunal)

1 – The Arbitration Court is made up of a single Arbitrator, appointed to the process by CAUAL.

2 – The Arbitrator may be advised by CAUAL employees, who must maintain total impartiality and independence vis-à-vis the parties, particularly regarding the processes in which they have participated, in accordance with article 8 of the RAL Law.

Article 15

(Arbitration hearing)

1 – Hearings are held at CAUAL's headquarters, in person, by videoconference or in another location to be designated by CAUAL, and the parties must be called at least 10 days in advance.

2 – The Arbitrator conducts the work, gives the floor to the parties, can order investigations to be carried out, questions witnesses, or authorizes the parties to do so directly, and supervises the writing of the minutes.

3 – The Arbitrator decides according to the law, unless the parties agree that the conflict will be decided according to equity.

4 – The parties may be represented or assisted by third parties, namely lawyers, trainee lawyers, consumer associations or business associations.

5 – The complaining party may present a written response up to 72 hours before the time scheduled for the hearing, and the parties must produce all the evidence they consider relevant.

6 – All types of evidence admissible in law are accepted, with a limit of 3 witnesses for each party, this limit being doubled in cases whose value does not exceed the jurisdiction of the courts of first instance.

7 – Witnesses appointed by the parties are not notified by CAUAL, and it is the responsibility of the parties to ensure their presence at the hearing.

8 – Unless otherwise agreed, the costs of the means of evidence, namely the carrying out of expert opinions and technical analyses, are the responsibility of the party that presents or requests them.

Article 16

(Arbitration award)

1 – The arbitration award must contain a summary, be substantiated and contain the identification of the parties, the statement of the dispute and the facts proven, and its content may be made known to the parties, even if briefly and orally at the end of the audience.

2 – The arbitration award, the original of which is deposited at CAUAL, is notified to the parties by sending a simple copy, within a maximum period of 15 consecutive days counting from the date of the hearing.

3 – The period referred to in the previous paragraph may be extended for an equal period, due to the arbitrator's impediment or due to the complexity of the process.

4 – The arbitration award has the same mandatory nature and the same enforceable force as a judgment of a judicial court, and is only subject to appeal if the value of the case is higher than that of the jurisdiction of the judicial court of first instance and has been decided in accordance with the right.


Chapter V

Final dispositions

Article 17


Dispute resolution procedures may be subject to the payment of fees in accordance with the table in force in CAUAL, for Consumer disputes.

Article 18

(Procedural deadlines)

Complaint processes cannot last longer than 90 days, unless the dispute reveals particular complexity, and can then be extended a maximum of two times, for equal periods, in accordance with paragraphs 5 and 6 of article 10. º of the RAL Law.

Article 19

(Form of Notification in the conciliation/arbitration phase)

1 – In the context of conciliation/arbitration, notifications are made by registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt. Electronically, unless either party does not have it available, in which case notifications will be made by registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt.

2 – Notwithstanding the provisions of the previous paragraph, either party may agree with CAUAL that their notifications be made by another means that they consider to be more efficient.

Article 20

(Applicable legislation)

1 – Law No. 144/2015 of September 8, which transposed Directive 2013/11/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council, of May 21, applies to the creation and operation of Consumer Conflict Arbitration Centers. 2013, on alternative resolution of consumer disputes.

2 – Within the scope of the European online dispute resolution system, Regulation (EU) no. 524/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2013 applies.

3 – In addition to the legal diplomas referred to in the previous paragraphs, in everything that is not provided for in these Regulations, the Voluntary Arbitration Law, the Mediation Law and the Civil Procedure Code apply with due adaptations.


Lisbon, November 17, 2023.