International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution

Article

ODR and Online Courts in the COVID-19 Pandemic

Is It Correct to Affirm That Courts Are a Mere Service?

Keywords procedural law, dispute resolution, online dispute resolution, online courts, jurisdiction, online court hearings
Authors Dierle Nunes en Hugo Malone
Author's information

Dierle Nunes
Dierle Nunes, PhD in Procedural Law from Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais (PUC Minas) / Universitá degli Studi di Roma ‘La Sapienza’. Tenure Professor at PUC Minas PPGD (Law Graduate Program) and collaborator at UFMG. Member of the Commission of Jurists that advised on the 2015 Brazilian Civil Procedure Code at the Chamber of Deputies. Lawyer. dierle@cron.adv.br.

Hugo Malone
Hugo Malone, PhD. Student. Master in Procedural Law from Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais (PUC Minas). Researcher in the research group ‘Processualismo Constitucional democrático e reformas processuais’ (Democratic Constitutional Proceduralism and Procedural Reforms). Legal Adviser at the Law Court of Minas Gerais. hugomalone@yahoo.com.br. This article results from the research group ‘Processualismo Constitucional democrático e reformas processuais’ (‘Democratic Constitutional Processualism and Procedural Reforms’), linked to Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais and to Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais and registered at CNPQ’s National Directory of Research Groups http://dgp.cnpq.br/dgp/espelhogrupo/3844899706730420. The group is a founding member of ‘ProcNet – International Research Network on Civil Justice and Contemporary Procedure’ (http://laprocon.ufes.br/grupos-de-pesquisa-integrantes-da-rede). This study was financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior - Brasil (CAPES) - Finance Code 001.
  • Abstract

      Starting from the premise that the pandemic caused by the new coronavirus forced the growth of dispute resolution technologies in Brazil and around the world, this article presents a critique of one of the central arguments for the deployment of online dispute resolution techniques in the courts: that courts are a mere service. It proposes, therefore, the thesis that the term courts, as a synonym of the jurisdictional function, can be understood neither as a public service nor as a mere place but rather as a condition of possibility for fundamental rights, be it in physical or digital environments. In order to guarantee that the execution of procedural acts in digital environments conforms to the democratic constitutional procedure, this article proposes to create a seal of recognition to be granted by the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB) to the platforms that operate according to the due constitutional process. It is also suggested that minimal guidelines be formulated that are capable of offering a reference for the discussions, development, use and integration of online conflict resolution platforms, as well as that institutional protocols be adopted as a means of democratizing the application of technology in law.

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