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Article

Access_open Text-mining for Lawyers: How Machine Learning Techniques Can Advance our Understanding of Legal Discourse

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 1 2021
Keywords text mining, machine learning, law, natural language processing
Authors Arthur Dyevre
AbstractAuthor's information

    Many questions facing legal scholars and practitioners can be answered only by analysing and interrogating large collections of legal documents: statutes, treaties, judicial decisions and law review articles. I survey a range of novel techniques in machine learning and natural language processing – including topic modelling, word embeddings and transfer learning – that can be applied to the large-scale investigation of legal texts


Arthur Dyevre
Arthur Dyevre is Professor at the KU Leuven Centre for Empirical Jurisprudence, Leuven, Belgium. arthur.dyevre@kuleuven.be.
Article

Access_open Big Data Ethics: A Life Cycle Perspective

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 1 2021
Keywords big data, big data analysis, data life cycle, ethics, AI
Authors Simon Vydra, Andrei Poama, Sarah Giest e.a.
AbstractAuthor's information

    The adoption of big data analysis in the legal domain is a recent but growing trend that highlights ethical concerns not just with big data analysis, as such, but also with its deployment in the legal domain. This article systematically analyses five big data use cases from the legal domain utilising a pluralistic and pragmatic mode of ethical reasoning. In each case we analyse what happens with data from its creation to its eventual archival or deletion, for which we utilise the concept of ‘data life cycle’. Despite the exploratory nature of this article and some limitations of our approach, the systematic summary we deliver depicts the five cases in detail, reinforces the idea that ethically significant issues exist across the entire big data life cycle, and facilitates understanding of how various ethical considerations interact with one another throughout the big data life cycle. Furthermore, owing to its pragmatic and pluralist nature, the approach is potentially useful for practitioners aiming to interrogate big data use cases.


Simon Vydra
Simon Vydra is a Researcher at the Institute for Public Administration, Leiden University, the Netherlands.

Andrei Poama
Andrei Poama is Assistant Professor at the Institute for Public Administration, Leiden University, the Netherlands.

Sarah Giest
Sarah Giest is Assistant Professor at the Institute for Public Administration, Leiden University, the Netherlands.

Alex Ingrams
Alex Ingrams is Assistant Professor at the Institute for Public Administration, Leiden University, the Netherlands.

Bram Klievink
Bram Klievink is Professor of Digitization and Public Policy at the Institute for Public Administration, Leiden University, the Netherlands.
Article

Comments and Content from Virtual International Online Dispute Resolution Forum

1-2 March 2021, Hosted by the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution (NCTDR)

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2021
Authors David Allen Larson, Noam Ebner, Jan Martinez e.a.
Abstract

    For the past 20 years, NCTDR has hosted a series of ODR Forums in locations around the world. For 2021, the Forum was held virtually, with live presentation over a web video platform, and recorded presentations available to participants. A full recording of the sessions can be found through http://odr.info/2021-virtual-odr-forum-now-live/. The following items are narrative notes from some of the presentations:

    • David Allen Larson – ODR Accessibility

    • Noam Ebner – Human Touch

    • Jan Martinez & Amy Schmitz – ODR and Innovation

    • Frank Fowlie – Online Sport Dispute Resolution

    • Larry Bridgesmith – AI Introductory Notes

    • Julie Sobowale – AI and Systemic Bias

    • Clare Fowler – DEODRISE

    • Michael Wolf – ODR 2.0 System Design

    • Chris Draper – Algorithmic ODR

    • Zbynek Loebl – Open ODR


David Allen Larson

Noam Ebner

Jan Martinez

Amy Schmitz

Frank Fowlie

Larry Bridgesmith

Julie Sobowale

Clare Fowler

Michael Wolf

Chris Draper

Zbynek Loebl
Article

Smart Contracts and Smart Dispute Resolution

Just Hype or a Real Game Changer?

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 2 2020
Keywords smart contracts, blockchain, arbitration, dispute resolution, contract law, distributed ledger technology, internet of things, cyber law, technology, innovation
Authors Mangal Chauhan
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article explains the functioning of smart contracts and technology underlying blockchain. This contribution aims to compare smart contracts with traditional contracts and discuss their situation under the present contract law. It further discusses possible issues that may arise out of the application of smart contracts, for instance, coding errors and programming defects. It studies the possible application of smart contracts to specific fields, such as e-commerce and consumer transactions and possible disputes arising out of this application. It divides the smart contracts into categories based on their form and discusses legal issues in regard to their application.
    Against the common perception that smart contracts will replace the judicial enforcement of traditional contracts, it argues that smart contracts will not replace the system but are rather another form of contracts to be governed by it. In fact, the interplay of smart contracts and contractual law creates possible legal issues as to their validity, recognition and enforcement. It provides possible solutions as to the legal issues arising out of the application of smart contracts under present contract law. The study concludes that a robust and ‘smart’ dispute resolution mechanism is required for dealing with disputes arising out of the application of new technology. Online or blockchain arbitration and other online dispute resolution mechanisms are argued to be better suited to dealing with such disputes.


Mangal Chauhan
Mangal Chauhan is Risk Analyst (Global Entity Management) at TMF Group, Amsterdam, Netherlands. Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Comparative and International Dispute Resolution from Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom.
Article

‘Firewalls’ to Justice

Can Barriers in Censorship Practices Lead to Advancements in Online Dispute Resolution?

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2020
Keywords online dispute resolution, system design, access to justice, artificial intelligence, intellectual property, blockchain, information communication technology, COVID-19
Authors Shirin Ghafary
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article will discuss how we can learn from barriers of internet censorship to create opportunities for better access to the justice system through newer and more reliable Online Dispute Resolution technology. These advancements in technology can help in the application of security measures for materials disclosed in the use of online dispute resolution (ODR) platforms and reduce people’s fears of privacy concerns. This in turn will promote the use of ODR and provide greater access to the justice system, especially for those people who cannot afford more traditional forms of legal services by making more convenient platforms that are less costly, less time consuming, and more readily available to people via their laptops. Technology is advancing and it is advancing fast, we choose whether we advance with it or stay behind. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us the vulnerabilities of our society and how technologically far behind we are, perhaps it was just the push that we needed.


Shirin Ghafary
Juris Doctor, McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific, Bachelor of Science, York University.
Part II Private Justice

Decentralized Justice in the Era of Blockchain

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1-2 2018
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.

Catherine Doldirina
International Institute of Space Law, Italy, kdoldyrina@yahoo.com.
Article

Consultations, Citizen Narratives and Evidence-Based Regulation

The Strange Case of the Consultation on the Collaborative Economy

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1-2 2017
Keywords Better Regulation, consultations, evidence-based lawmaking, sharing economy, narratives
Authors Sofia Ranchordás
AbstractAuthor's information

    The 2015 Better Regulation Communication advocates an evidence-based approach to regulation, which includes better consultations and broader civic engagement. In this article, I consider the recent EU public consultation on the regulatory environment of online platforms and the collaborative economy. I enquire in this context whether citizens were seriously regarded as evidence providers and how their knowledge that materialized in individual narratives could contribute to more legitimate and thus better regulation. I argue that an evidence-based approach to regulation should also include citizen narratives as they can provide first-hand and diverse perspectives, which might not be considered in standard consultation questions. I contend that citizen narratives can be particularly useful in complex and rapidly evolving fields where there is still little empirical evidence and where participants are likely to have diverse personal experiences. Drawing on the literature on narratives, I contend that this method of collecting information can help regulators identify new problems and structure solutions in rapidly changing and diverse regulatory fields such as the collaborative economy.


Sofia Ranchordás
Sofia Ranchordás is an Assistant Professor of Administrative and Constitutional Law at Leiden Law School, the Netherlands, and Affiliated Fellow of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School.
Article

The Satellite and the Individual

The Legal Resolution of Remote Sensing

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 3 2016
Authors P.J. Blount
Author's information

P.J. Blount
University of Mississippi School of Law.
Article

E-Commerce, ICTs and Online Dispute Resolution: Is This the Beginning of a New Professional Profile?

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 2 2015
Keywords Mobile phones, ADR, ODR, mediation, conflict resolution
Authors Aura Esther Vilalta and Rosa Pérez Martell
AbstractAuthor's information

    There is a close link between the growth of Internet usage, the development of mobile technology, the expansion of markets and the increasing number of online dispute resolution mechanisms (ODRs). This article seeks to start a conversation about the need to provide justice by means of effective mechanisms, in particular for e-commerce disputes and transnational litigation. It also provides some information on the recent international initiatives towards the regulation of this new arena, and concludes with an early approach to the future challenges and the impact on training, qualifications and expertise of ODR professionals and service providers.


Aura Esther Vilalta
Senior Lecturer in Civil Law at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), Barcelona, Spain. Fellow of the National Center of Technology and Dispute Resolution (NCTDR), University of Massachusetts – Amherst; CEO of Iusmediare, mediator and arbitrator. Vilalta has been Spanish national representative at UNCITRAL, WG III (Online Dispute Resolution) and Deputy Magistrate in the Barcelona Court of Appeals.

Rosa Pérez Martell
Senior Lecturer in Procedural Law at Las Palmas de Gran Canaria University, lecturer at the Open University of Catalonia and member of the Mediation Commission at the Gran Canaria Government.
Article

Members Only?

Online Dispute Resolution in the Kibbutz Society

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2015
Keywords community ODR, Kibbutz, online mediation, online arbitration, dispute system design
Authors Rachel Ran
AbstractAuthor's information

    The rise and fall of the kibbutz society in Israel provides an unique opportunity to examine the application of technology to dispute resolution in a non-traditional setting. The internal dynamics of a small, closed community in an ideological crisis reflect technology’s role not only in undermining existing social order, but also in developing new norms, building consensus and resolving disputes.
    The article describes the nature of disputes in kibbutz communities, which is influenced greatly by the ongoing relationships between the parties, as the lines between co-workers, neighbors, friends and authority figures are blurred. It examines the existing dispute resolutions mechanisms, their formation, their advantages in relation to existing the social norms and their shortcomings, and introduces the concept of online dispute resolution (ODR) in this context.
    Finally, this article applies the advantages of ODR in the traditional, closed-community setting, and suggests additional opportunities for meeting the unique challenges of disputes in the kibbutz society. This merger plays a double role, as it challenges common perception of community disputes, while introducing new and unexpected avenues for the development of ODR.


Rachel Ran
University of Haifa Faculty of Law.
News

The Online Court

Misunderstandings and Misconceptions when Delivering a Vision for the Future of Justice

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2015
Keywords online courts, online judges, civil justice, Alternative Dispute Resolution, mediation
Authors Graham Ross
AbstractAuthor's information

    An ODR Advisory Group set up in 2014 by the Civil Justice Council of England and Wales to research and advise on the opportunities for introducing ODR into the justice system has produced a Report (<https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Online-Dispute-Resolution-Final-Web-Version1.pdf>) that recommends an extensive online dimension to the court system in England and Wales. The Report raises the novel perspective of a court being seen more as a service rather than as a physical venue, seeking to place its primary focus on informing and assisting the public in containing and resolving, if not avoiding in the first place, disputes and to do so with less intervention by a judge. When judges do become involved they also will be encouraged to work more online than in a courtroom. The Report, therefore, does not look simply at ODR as aiding ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution), as may have been the case hitherto for most applications of ODR, but as its being integral to the court process itself. The twin benefits the Group sees as being achieved are to both significantly widen access to the courts while, at the same time, reducing the burden of public cost incurred in operating and maintaining the court system.
    It is becoming clear from comments on the Report published online that there is a significant level of misunderstanding over certain aspects of the Report. This is to be expected to a degree, especially given the wide publicity for the Report. Indeed, the early comments are welcomed as they give the opportunity to all proponents of the Report to advance the debate by minimizing such misunderstandings.
    The website (<https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/reviews/online-dispute-resolution/>) accompanying the Report provides a suitable venue to continue the debate.


Graham Ross
Head of the European Advisory Board to Modria.com Inc and, Member of the Civil Justice Council’s ODR Advisory Group.
Article

Social Impact and Technology: Issues of Access, Inequality and Disputing in the Collaborative Economy

An Interview with Mitch Kapor

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 2 2014
Keywords online dispute resolution, access, inequality, dispute systems design, collaborative economy
Authors Leah Wing
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article explores the value of focusing on the social impact of technology in business and in furthering the integration of online dispute resolution into the collaborative economy. The keynote presentation at ODR2014 by technology industry leader and entrepreneur Mitch Kapor serves as the cornerstone of this discussion. Speaking to an audience from the dispute resolution, legal, technological and financial communities, Kapor discusses the potential of businesses to increase their positive social impact, particularly with regard to access to equality, mutual gains and dispute prevention within the sharing economy. The examples from innovative tech companies illustrate the important role that information management, systems design and impact-savvy business practices play in this endeavour. Building on the keynote, the article suggests how the exploration of questions of social impact and inclusion and the application of related principles can lead to a deeper integration of ODR systems into the collaborative economy and more effective ODR dispute systems design.


Leah Wing
Leah Wing is Co-Director, National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution, and Senior Lecturer, Legal Studies Program, Department of Political Science, University of Massachusetts at Amherst (USA).
Article

Access_open Digital Justice

Reshaping Boundaries in an Online Dispute Resolution Environment

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2014
Keywords ADR, ODR, DSD, digital technology, boundaries, dispute prevention
Authors Orna Rabinovich-Einy and Ethan Katsh
AbstractAuthor's information

    Digital technology is transforming the landscape of dispute resolution: it is generating an ever growing number of disputes and at the same time is challenging the effectiveness and reach of traditional dispute resolution avenues. While technology has been a disruptive force in the field, it also holds a promise for an improved dispute resolution landscape, one that is based on fewer physical, conceptual, psychological and professional boundaries, while enjoying a higher degree of transparency, participation and change. This promise remains to be realized as the underlying assumptions and logic of the field of dispute resolution have remained as they were since the last quarter of the 20th century, failing to reflect the future direction dispute resolution mechanisms can be expected to follow, as can be learned from the growth of online dispute resolution. This article explores the logic of boundaries that has shaped the traditional dispute resolution landscape, as well as the challenges such logic is facing with the spread of online dispute resolution.


Orna Rabinovich-Einy
Orna Rabinovich-Einy is Senior Lecturer, University of Haifa School of Law. Fellow, National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution. For advice and suggestions we appreciate the guidance received from participants in the Cardozo Works in Progress conference in November 2013 and the Copenhagen Business School – Haifa Law Faculty Colloquium.

Ethan Katsh
Ethan Katsh is Director, National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution and Professor Emeritus of Legal Studies, University of Massachusetts at Amherst. This article has benefited from research supported by National Science Foundation award #0968536, ‘The Fourth Party: Improving Computer-Mediated Deliberation through Cognitive, Social and Emotional Support’, <www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=0968536>.
Article

Access_open ‘Boxing’ Choices for Better Dispute Resolution

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2014
Keywords dispute resolution, decision support, interactive visualization, collaborative deliberation, choice-making
Authors Marc Lauritsen
AbstractAuthor's information

    Choosing among alternatives that vary in multiple ways you care about is one of the most fundamental mental activities, and one that is part of nearly all forms of cognition. Decisional processes often primarily involve balancing competing considerations. When multiple parties with conflicting interests are present, strategic interactions add to the complexity. This article explores opportunities for interactive visualizations in support of such processes, using as background a current software project that is developing systems for collaborative deliberation about choices.


Marc Lauritsen
President of Capstone Practice Systems, Legal Systematics, and All About Choice. The author has served as a poverty lawyer, directed the clinical program at Harvard Law School, and done path-breaking work on document drafting and decision support systems. He is a fellow of the College of Law Practice Management and co-chairs the American Bar Association’s eLawyering Task Force.
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