International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution

Article

Increasing Access to Justice through Online Dispute Resolution

Keywords ODR, fairness, disability, accommodation, accessibility
Authors Wendy Carlson
Author's information

378326 Wendy Carlson
Juris Doctor Candidate, Mitchell Hamline School of Law.
  • Abstract

      Online dispute resolution has been posed as a way to further increase access to justice. This article explores the concept of using ODR to increase both ‘access’ and ‘justice’ within the dispute resolution system. The concept of increasing access to the dispute resolution system includes a wide variety of ideas: providing dynamic avenues into the legal process to better serve more people, particularly those with physical disabilities, increasing accessibility to low-income communities and ensuring the platform can be used by non-native English speakers. ODR provides the potential to greatly impact the court system by making the court process more efficient and accurate. While there is great value in integrating ODR into the dispute resolution system, the ODR system itself creates a variety of barriers. In order to effectively increase access to justice through ODR, the ODR system must be developed to maximize ‘accessibility’. The second prong to this discussion explores the concept of ‘justice’ within the context of ODR. Critics of ODR purport that the system values efficiency over justice. This article analyses the legitimacy of ODR as a judicial system through three key factors: representation of individual views, neutrality in decision-making, and trust.

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