Ijodr_2016_cover_large
Rss

International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution

About this journal  
Issue 1-2, 2018 Expand all abstracts
Editorial

Online Dispute Resolution and Public and Private Justice Systems

Editor’s Introduction

Authors Ethan Katsh
Author's information

Ethan Katsh
Ethan Katsh is Professor Emeritus of Legal Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Director of the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution and co-author (with Orna Rabinovich-Einy) of Digital Justice: Technology and the Internet of Disputes (Oxford University Press, 2017).
Part I Courts and ODR

Court-Connected Online Dispute Resolution

Outcomes from Family, Civil, and Traffic Cases in the United States

Keywords court-connected ODR, domestic relations ODR, small claims ODR, traffic ODR, Texas ODR, Michigan ODR, Ohio ODR
Authors MJ Cartwright and Dunrie Greiling
AbstractAuthor's information

    Online dispute resolution (ODR) has been used in US courts for several case types. We highlight outcomes from select ODR programmes for domestic relations cases (child support compliance) in Michigan, for small claims and city tax cases in Ohio, for traffic cases in Michigan and Texas. ODR delivers key benefits to courts such as fewer hearings, faster case resolution, fewer warrants, faster fine collection, and high customer satisfaction ratings.


MJ Cartwright
MJ Cartwright is the CEO of Court Innovations Inc, maker of Matterhorn ODR.

Dunrie Greiling
Dunrie Greiling is the Chief Product and Marketing Officer of Court Innovations.
Part I Courts and ODR

Access to Justice and Innovative Court Solutions for Litigants-in-Person

The Singapore Experience

Keywords access to justice, innovative court solutions, ODR, e-Negotiation, tribunal
Authors Ow Yong Tuck Leong
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article highlights the Singapore judiciary’s experience in introducing an online filing and case management system with Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) for small value disputes to improve access to justice. This system, called the Community Justice & Tribunals System (CJTS), is a fully integrated justice solution, allowing parties to settle their disputes and obtain a court order online. The article sets out the issues and challenges encountered in developing CJTS, the innovative solutions implemented and CJTS’ positive impact on litigants-in-person.


Ow Yong Tuck Leong
District Judge Ow Yong Tuck Leong is a judicial officer in the Community Justice and Tribunals Division of the State Courts of Singapore. He is the Executive Sponsor of the CJTS. Prior to joining the State Courts, Ow Yong had served in different positions as a Senior Assistant Registrar, Registry of Companies and Businesses; State Counsel, Attorney-General’s Chambers; and Deputy Director (Legal, Enforcement & International Affairs) of the Competition Commission of Singapore.
Part I Courts and ODR

Ethical Concerns in Court-Connected Online Dispute Resolution

Keywords court ODR, fourth party, ethics, access to justice, confidentiality, transparency, informed participation, accessibility, accountability, empowerment, trust
Authors Dorcas Quek Anderson
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article examines the burgeoning trend of creating court ODR systems, focusing on the design aspects that are likely to raise ethical challenges. It discusses four salient questions to be considered when designing a court ODR system, and the resulting ethical tensions that are brought to the fore. As a fourth party, the ODR system not only replaces existing court functions, but enlarges the scope of the courts’ intervention in disputes and increases the courts’ interface with the user. Furthermore, certain ethical principles such as transparency, accountability, impartiality and fairness take on greater significance in the court context than in private ODR, because of the association of the courts with substantive and procedural justice. As in any dispute resolution system, a coherent and effective court ODR system should be guided by dispute system design principles, which includes having clarity of the system’s underlying values and purposes. It is therefore pertinent for each court to resolve the key ethical tensions in order to articulate the foundational values that will undergird the design of its ODR system.


Dorcas Quek Anderson
Dorcas Quek Anderson is an Assistant Professor in the Singapore Management University School of Law. This research is supported by the National Research Foundation, Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore (NRF), and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) under a grant to the Singapore Management University School of Law to helm a 5-year Research Program on the Governance of Artificial Intelligence and Data Use.
Part I Courts and ODR

Testing the Promise of Access to Justice through Online Courts

Keywords online courts, empirical research, civil justice, access to justice
Authors Bridgette Toy-Cronin, Bridget Irvine, David M. Nichols e.a.
AbstractAuthor's information

    Modernization is increasingly knocking on the courthouse door. Many common law countries are investigating ways to introduce technology to improve civil courts, including the introduction of online courts. These state-led initiatives are primarily focused on lowering state costs in providing justice, as well as increasing access to dispute resolution. One possible solution some legal jurisdictions are exploring is ‘online courts’. Online courts hold the promise of making justice more accessible and affordable: a dispute can be filed at any time, from anywhere, by anyone. This model of delivering justice is envisioned as a system that either is lawyer-less or has a minimal role for lawyers. One of the assumptions underpinning an online court is, therefore, that laypeople can effectively explain a dispute to the court, without legal assistance. To date, there is no empirical research investigating that assumption. In this article, we will outline the proposed online court model, consider the need for robust empirical research, and describe a three-part investigation to explore how clearly and accurately people can explain a dispute.


Bridgette Toy-Cronin
Bridgette Toy-Cronin is the Director of the University of Otago Legal Issues Centre and a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Law, University of Otago.

Bridget Irvine
Bridget Irvine is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Otago Legal Issues Centre.

David M. Nichols
David M. Nichols is an Associate Professor in Computer Science at the University of Waikato.

Sally Jo Cunningham
Sally Jo Cunningham is an Associate Professor in Computer Science at the University of Waikato.

Tatiana Tkacukova
Tatiana Tkacukova is a Senior Lecturer in the School of English, Birmingham City University. Authors appear in order of the contribution made to the paper.
Part I Courts and ODR

Recent Development of Internet Courts in China

Keywords Internet court, ODR, AI, blockchain, regulation, fourth party
Authors Xuhui Fang
AbstractAuthor's information

    Online dispute resolution (ODR) is growing out of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and pushing the envelope for resolving online disputes in the Internet courts in China. Recently, the Chinese Internet courts admitted blockchain-based evidence and applied artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, big data and virtual reality (VR) technology. The rapid development of Internet courts in China has implications for regulating AI-related technologies, which are playing the role of the ‘fourth party,’ and the interplay between the ‘third party’ and the ‘fourth party.’


Xuhui Fang
Xuhui Fang is a law Professor at Nanchang University, NCTDR fellow, associated researcher at Cyberjustice of University of Montreal, mediator of International Commercial Mediation Center for Belt and Road Initiative in Beijing, mediator at Futian District Court of Shenzhen People’s Court, senior counsel of E-Better Business in Shenzhen.
Part II Private Justice

The Case for Reframing ODR in Emerging Economies

Keywords ODR in emerging economies, regtech, India stack
Authors David Porteous
AbstractAuthor's information

    Reports of ODR implementations in emerging economies are still rare, at least outside of China, which in many ways has already emerged digitally at least. But the lack of reports does not mean that there is not increasing ODR activity there. Underlying forces – the usage of smart phones and the rising volume of digital payments outside of the dispute frameworks created by traditional payment card schemes – point to increasing potential access to digital justice, as well as the need for it. This article argues for reframing the case for ODR in two ways that may make it more relevant for policy makers in developing countries. The first is to position ODR in the rapidly growing field of ‘regtech’ (regulatory technology). The second is to show ODR as a layer in the emerging ‘stacks’ of the technology enabling digital government, such as the ‘India stack.’


David Porteous
David Porteous is chair and founder of consulting firm BFA and co-founder of Digital Frontiers Institute, a Cape Town–based non-profit edtech initiative.
Part II Private Justice

Decentralized Justice in the Era of Blockchain

Keywords ODR, blockchain, arbitration, decentralization, crowdsourcing
Authors James Metzger
AbstractAuthor's information

    ODR that is built on blockchain technology and infrastructure is championed by supporters as being capable of revolutionizing dispute resolution. Kleros is a decentralized dispute resolution platform built on the Ethereum blockchain that uses cryptoeconomic theories and game theory to recruit and incentivize a worldwide pool of ‘jurors’ to decide the cases arbitrated through the platform. This article discusses some early evaluations of whether this kind of decentralized ODR is likely to succeed by viewing the model through a normative framework, including considering whether crowdsourcing of justice on a decentralized platform is a viable way to conduct ODR. The article then discusses the likelihood of the success of the sub-court model, including whether choice-of-law issues might be problematic for a worldwide, decentralized system. Finally, the article considers whether the cryptoeconomic and game theories that provide the foundation for the Kleros platform are likely to result in a jury pool, much less an actual jury, that could be considered ‘fair.’ The article is informed by the author’s experience with the Kleros platform through participation in its interactive initial coin offering and engaging in its beta-testing phase.


James Metzger
Dr. James Metzger is a lecturer at the University of New South Wales Faculty of Law.
Part II Private Justice

Standards, Qualifications, and Certification for e-Mediators

Keywords Online Dispute Resolution, e-Mediation, ethics, standards of practice, qualifications, certification, International Mediation Institute, Association for Conflict Resolution, American Bar Association, American Arbitration Association, National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution, International Council for Online Dispute Resolution, National Center for State Courts
Authors Ana Maria Gonçalves and Daniel Rainey
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article explores the question ‘how does one judge whether a mediator working online is competent?’ The authors compare the basic standards used to certify mediators working offline to a set of e-mediation standards developed by the International Mediation Institute, and suggest that training modules addressing the specific skills and competencies needed to be a successful online mediator be incorporated into basic mediator training.


Ana Maria Gonçalves
Ana Maria Gonçalves is the co-chair of the IMI ODR Taskforce, the founder and president of ICFML and a member of the Portuguese Mediation Federation (FMC). She is a graduate from UAL Lisbon and has a master of law degree. She is an IMI-certified mediator and is listed in the major international panels of mediators. She is a lecturer in major Portuguese and Brazilian Universities and is a regular speaker in International Conferences on the topics of ADR, mediation, negotiation and ODR. As a mediator, she works with a wide range of international clients, particularly on cross-border disputes, often online, and has mediated a wide variety of disputes in Europe, Australia and USA. She also designs and facilitates collaboration management training programs and, as an ICF-accredited PCC coach, she supports senior executives and professionals to develop their conflict management and negotiation skills.

Daniel Rainey
Daniel Rainey is a principle in Holistic Solutions, Inc., and he served as the co-chair of the IMI ODR Task Force. He is an adjunct professor at multiple universities in the United States, and he serves as a Board Member for the InternetBar.Org (IBO) and the Northern Virginia Mediation Service (NVMS). He is a member of the Virginia State Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission Self-Represented Litigants Committee, a Fellow of the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution (NCTDR) and a founding Board Member of the International Council for Online Dispute Resolution (ICODR).
Part II Private Justice

How Online Negotiation Support Systems Empower People to Engage in Mediation

The Provision of Important Trade-off Advice

Keywords ODR programs, empowerment, online negotiation support systems, technology
Authors Emilia Bellucci and John Zeleznikow
AbstractAuthor's information

    Face-to-face negotiation is the preferred communication style for negotiation, as it is the richest form of communication (Daft & Lengel, 1986), allowing for words, gestures and body language to be clearly communicated. This form of communication also allows for instant feedback, essential in negotiation when it is imperative to check understanding of each other’s views and priorities. Bodtker and Jameson (2001) argue that experiencing emotion is one way we recognize conflict. Invariably, dispute resolution involves emotion, which if allowed to flood the substantive issues, otherwise known as emotional flooding, may result in disputants incapable of acting rationally (Jones & Bodtker, 2001), which may lead to unfair solutions. For example, in high-stress negotiations of family disputes, it may be difficult to think rationally about both the disputants and children’s future needs. This may lead to people having to live with a less-than-ideal financial situation that is not representative of their future needs. Online dispute resolution (ODR) systems involve the use of technology to aid (or in some instances to replace) human communication in the dispute resolution process. This means replacing a very rich form of communication with a lower form of media, with the lowest being text-based forms of communication. ODR using video-conferencing technology benefits disputants located in different areas, hence providing a good medium for those who geographically cannot meet in person. While also a fairly rich mode of communication, this type of technology is heavily dependent on infrastructure variables, such as Internet speed, application support and connectivity issues, which are not always available. In this article, we will introduce the concept of how ODR can support face-to-face negotiations by re-introducing our software AssetDivider as a method to support the face-to-face process in negotiation.


Emilia Bellucci
Emilia Bellucci is senior lecturere in the Department of Information Systems and Business Analytics, Deakin University, Deakin Business School, Geelong, Australia.

John Zeleznikow
John Zeleznikow is a professor in College of Business, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia.
Part II Private Justice

Using Technology and ADR Methods to Enhance Access to Justice

Keywords ODR, ADR, mediation, online court, e-court, consumer ADR, CADR, CDR, ombudsman
Authors Pablo Cortes
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article discusses how technology and extrajudicial processes can provide a solution to the access-to-justice problem for self-represented litigants. The article first observes the need for efficient dispute resolution processes based on a wider concept of access to justice and argues for greater integration amongst courts and extrajudicial bodies, especially in the consumer sphere where dispute resolution bodies are currently undergoing an institutionalization process as a result of recent EU legislation. Accordingly, it is argued that access to justice for consumers will only be achieved if they have access to either an accountable and effective extrajudicial scheme that offers adjudication or a truly user-friendly and accessible online court that incorporates alternative dispute resolution techniques as the United Kingdom has endeavoured to deliver. To that end, this article examines the policy options for the English Online Court with a particular focus on the challenges faced by litigants in person. Finally, this article submits that dispute system design changes need to be informed by empirical research and a holistic policy strategy on dispute resolution.


Pablo Cortes
Pablo Cortes is Professor of Civil Justice, Leicester Law School, University of Leicester.
Part II Private Justice

Reputational Feedback Systems and Consumer Rights

Improving the European Online Redress System

Keywords reputational feedback systems, consumer’s protection, dispute resolution, ADR, ODR, enforceability, ecommerce, European redress system small claims
Authors Aura Esther Vilalta Nicuesa
AbstractAuthor's information

    The European Union single market needs to tackle an outstanding issue to boost competitiveness and growth: a trust-based redress framework that ensures the effectiveness of consumers’ rights. The current disparities among dispute resolution mechanisms, added to the fact that in practice many do not guarantee participation and enforceability, are serious obstacles to this goal. Trust and the integration of certain dispute avoidance tools added to the regulation of some common enforcement mechanisms are key issues in the field of consumer protection. The goal of this article is to offer some insights within the context of the European Union legislative proposals aimed at improving the current redress system.


Aura Esther Vilalta Nicuesa
Aura Esther Vilalta Nicuesa is Professor of Law, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) and member of the National Center or Technology and Dispute Resolution, Massachusetts, Amherst.
Part II Private Justice

Making ODR Human

Using Human-Centred Design for ODR Product Development

Keywords online dispute resolution, courts and tribunals, human-centred design, legal tech, legal design, user testing, user-centred design, machine learning, alternative dispute resolution, product development
Authors Luke Thomas, Sarah Kaur and Simon Goodrich
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article discusses what we as human-centred design practitioners have learnt from researching and designing online dispute resolution (ODR) products both for clients and as part of our internal research and development initiatives.


Luke Thomas
Luke Thomas is Design Strategist/Legal Researcher at Portable.

Sarah Kaur
Sarah Kaur is Chief Operating Officer at Portable.

Simon Goodrich
Simon Goodrich is Managing Director at Portable.
Part II Private Justice

ADR-Rooted ODR Design in Europe

A Bet for the Future

Keywords ODR, dispute system design, European law, redesign of ADR systems, artificial intelligence
Authors Fernando Esteban de la Rosa
AbstractAuthor's information

    The new European regulatory framework has a greater significance than it expressly declares, both for the development of online dispute resolution (ODR) in Europe and for the structure of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) entities of the Member States. A close reading of the ADR Directive reveals an implicit but clear mandate for the development and intensive use of ODR tools by certified ADR entities that could lead to the creation of new ODR platforms. The new ADR/ODR regulatory framework shows a clear tendency to produce important transformations in the traditional ADR structure in every Member State. This article aims to identify criteria for the development of ODR in Europe and to discover the European law’s implicit mandates related to the redesign of the ADR structure in the Member States, while assessing the role of the Member States, the ADR entities and the European Union itself.


Fernando Esteban de la Rosa
Fernando Esteban de la Rosa is Chair in Private International Law, University of Granada, Spain; NCTDR fellow.