International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution

Article

Disintegration of the State Monopoly on Dispute Resolution

How Should We Perceive State Sovereignty in the ODR Era?

Keywords online dispute resolution, sovereignty, justification
Authors Riikka Koulu LLM
Author's information

234652 Riikka Koulu LLM
Riikka Koulu, LLM, trained on the bench, is currently a doctoral candidate in procedural law at the University of Helsinki, Finland.
  • Abstract

      The interests of state sovereignty are preserved in conflict management through adoption of a state monopoly for dispute resolution as the descriptive and constitutive concept of the resolution system. State monopoly refers to the state’s exclusive right to decide on the resolution of legal conflicts on its own soil, in other words, in the state’s territorial jurisdiction. This also forms the basis of international procedural law. This conceptual fiction is derived from the social contract theories of Hobbes and Locke, and it preserves the state’s agenda. However, such a monopoly is disintegrating in the Internet era because it fails to provide an effective resolution method for Internet disputes in cross-border cases, and, consequently, online dispute resolution has gained ground in the dispute resolution market. It raises the question of whether we should discard the state monopoly as the focal concept of dispute resolution and whether we should open a wider discussion on possible justificatory constructions of dispute resolution, i.e. sovereignty, contract and quality standards, as a whole, re-evaluating the underlying structure of procedural law.

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