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Article

Smart Legal Contracts

A Shift in Conflict Prevention and Dispute Resolution

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 2 2019
Keywords smart contracts, blockchain, contracts, conflict prevention, ODR
Authors Aura Esther Vilalta Nicuesa
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article is aimed at clarifying the legal implications of blockchain when applied to contracts and the impact of smart contracts in conflict prevention and dispute resolution.


Aura Esther Vilalta Nicuesa
Chair in Civil Law at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya.
Article

APEC Online Dispute Resolution Framework

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 2 2019
Keywords APEC, ODR, e-Commerce, small business, dispute resolution
Authors Michael J. Dennis
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Internet and communications technology are changing every aspect of our lives. Now ODR is set to revolutionize commercial dispute resolution across APEC with the adoption of a new ODR Collaborative Framework. In this article, we will look at the challenges APEC small businesses face today and how the APEC ODR Collaborative Framework provides a much-needed solution to improve justice and boost trade.


Michael J. Dennis
Private International Law Consulting, ODR Advisor to the APEC Economic Committee.
Article

Where Have All the Lawyers Gone?

The Empty Chair at the ODR Justice Table

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 2 2019
Keywords legal profession ODR, system design, courts, legal practice
Authors Noam Ebner and Elayne E. Greenberg
AbstractAuthor's information

    We are currently witnessing a revolution in access to justice and a parallel revolution in justice delivery, design and experience. As dispute resolution design scholars tell us, the implementation of any new dispute intervention plan in a system should involve all of its stakeholders from the beginning. In our justice system there are three primary stakeholders, who have been traditionally involved in processes of innovation and change: the courts, the parties and the lawyers. Courts and parties have been involved in the development of online dispute resolution (ODR). However, one significant justice stakeholder, the legal profession, has been relatively absent from the table thus far – whether by lack of awareness, by lack of will or innovative spirit or by lack of invitation: lawyers.


Noam Ebner
Noam Ebner is Professor of Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, Creighton University.

Elayne E. Greenberg
Elayne E. Greenberg is Assistant Dean for Dispute Resolution Programs, Professor of Legal Practice and Director of Hugh H. Carey Center for Dispute Resolution.
Article

Ethical Technology Risk

How to Identify What Is Reasonable Data Protection for ODR

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 2 2019
Keywords ODR, security, data security, ethics, risk assessment
Authors Chris Draper and Angie Raymond
AbstractAuthor's information

    This is a written representation of the presentation given on 29 October 2019, at 3:20 pm Eastern at the NCSC ODR2019 Summit held at the Colonial Williamsburg Lodge in Williamsburg, VA.


Chris Draper
Managing Director, Meidh Technologies.

Angie Raymond
Kelley School of Business, Indiana University.
Article

Making Project Decisions Visible

Online Dispute Resolution Project Design, Structured Decision-Making and Visual Information Tools

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 2 2019
Keywords visual facilitation, cognitive overload, decision-framing, online dispute resolution project planning
Authors Sharon Sturges and Susanne van der Meer
AbstractAuthor's information

    The authors presented on this topic during the International ODR Forum 2019 in Williamsburg, Virginia. The goal of this presentation was to share practices and ideas that have worked well in the design phase of an Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) pilot project for the State Courts of Colorado.


Sharon Sturges
Sharon Sturges, J.D., M.P.A., is the Director, Colorado Office of Dispute Resolution, Court Services Division, State Court Administrator’s Office. Prior to joining the State Court Administrator’s Office in 2015, Sharon engaged in private practice for over fifteen years, litigating and mediating domestic relations matters. She has split her career between the law and non-profit management. While living in Alaska early in her career, Sharon served as the executive director for a community mediation centre in Anchorage, where she focused on restorative justice practices and community mediation. In 2014, Ms. Sturges completed her master’s degree in public administration from the University of Colorado, Denver. Ms. Sturges is interested in increasing access to justice for self-represented litigants through better use of technology. For more information contact her at sharon.sturges@judicial.state.co.us.

Susanne van der Meer
Susanne van der Meer works within Colorado Judicial as a self-represented litigant coordinator in the small rural community of Trinidad, near the border with New Mexico. Her passion is to support greater Access to Justice through visual communication. Prior to moving to Denver, Colorado, in 2005, she worked for twelve years as an attorney and legal counsel in the Netherlands. She developed a broad expertise in visual communication through her independent work as a facilitator, strategic illustrator, author, designer and trainer in visual explaining and visual decision-making skills for lawyers. She teaches visual thinking skills as part of a Design Thinking programme at the University of Denver, Colorado.
Article

What Does It Take to Bring Justice Online?

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 2 2019
Keywords ODR, access to justice, courts, online justice, remedy for small disputes
Authors Mirèze Philippe
AbstractAuthor's information

    Technology has revolutionized the world in the last century, although computation devices have existed for millennia and punched-card data processing for two centuries. After 70 years of progress in technology and telecommunications with all the knowledgeable computer specialists and the sophistication of online services, it is high time public and private justice offered fair access to a fundamental human right: justice online. The role of technology in dispute resolution is high on the agenda, and the topic is increasingly at the centre of discussions. In a world that is rapidly developing, it is surprising to observe that online dispute resolution (ODR) is lagging behind.


Mirèze Philippe
Special Counsel at the Secretariat of ICC International Court of Arbitration. She is co-founder of ArbitralWomen and Board member. She is also member of the Equal Representation in Arbitration Steering Committee, ICCA Diversity Task Force, Arbitrator Intelligence’s Board of Advisors, Council of the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution, Paris Place d’Arbitrage, Association Arbitri’s Advisory Board, International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution’s Editorial Board, fellow of National Centre for Technology and Dispute Resolution (NCTDR), and Board member of International Council for Online Dispute Resolution’s (ICODR).
Article

ODR Best Practices for Court-Connected Programmes from Our Experiences with Court-Based ODR Design Processes

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 2 2019
Keywords ODR best practices, court-connected programs, court-based ODR design processes
Authors Michelle Acosta, Heather Kulp, Stacey Marz e.a.
AbstractAuthor's information

    As a judicial officer and court administrators tasked with creating and implementing online dispute resolution (ODR), we have found it both challenging and rewarding to operate at the nascent stage of this brave new world for courts. There is no standard set of best practices clearly tailored for this unique task. Instead, we draw on the wisdom of similarly situated programmes and standards to guide us. Specifically, we have consulted the National Standards for Court-Connected Mediation Programs, Resolution Systems Institute’s Guide to Program Success and the National Center for State Courts’ many articles on ODR. From these resources, and our own experiences, we recommend that court administrators charged with designing ODR systems consider several questions.


Michelle Acosta
Michelle Acosta is Special Assistant to the Administrative Director of the Courts – Chief Innovations Officer, State of Hawaii Judiciary.

Heather Kulp
Heather Kulp is Alternative Dispute Resolution Coordinator, New Hampshire Judicial Branch.

Stacey Marz
Stacey Marz is Administrative Director, Alaska Court System.

Judge Charles Ruckel
Judge Charles Ruckel, Collin County Justice Court, Plano, Texas.
Article

Beyond the Singapore Convention

The Importance of Creating a ‘Code of Disclosure’ to Make International Commercial Mediation Mainstream

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 2 2019
Keywords Singapore Convention, mediation, expectations, enforcement, commerce, international
Authors Ana Maria Maia Goncalves, François Bogacz and Daniel Rainey
AbstractAuthor's information

    On 6 August 2019, the Singapore Convention on Mediation was announced. The Convention parallels the New York Convention for arbitration by moving to legitimize mediation as a dispute resolution method for international commercial transactions. The Convention tries, in particular, to address the enforceability of mediation settlements by referring to the application of mediation ‘standards’ in Article 5 (e). Mediation standards have been a controversial topic in professional circles since the rise of mediation as an alternative dispute resolution process, because of the extreme diversity of mediation approaches across the world. We argue that all stakeholders in the mediation ecosystem should focus on creating a ‘Code of Disclosure’ as a complement to the Singapore Convention, that such a ‘Code of Disclosure’ may be the first step towards a future ‘Uniform Code of Conduct’, and that a code of disclosure will bring certainty to parties about the international commercial mediation process, which is a key prerequisite for its true adoption.


Ana Maria Maia Goncalves
Ana Maria Maia Goncalves is Founder and President, ICFML (Instituto de Certificação de Mediadores Lusófonos).

François Bogacz
Francois Bogacz, Swiss Centre for Affective Sciences, University of Geneva, Computer Vision and Multimedia Laboratory, University of Geneva, Battelle Campus and Melbourne Business School.

Daniel Rainey
Daniel Rainey, National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution, The International Council for Online Dispute Resolution and InternetBar.Org.

    Infractions are the most voluminous case type in most court locations. Through two initiatives funded by the National Highway Safety Administration, namely eCitation and On-line Disposition, the Connecticut Judicial Branch has been able to establish a comprehensive electronic citation and adjudication platform during a time of significant budgetary challenges.


Stacey B. Manware
Deputy Director of Centralized Services for the Connecticut Judicial Branch.
Article

The EU Approach to Consumer ODR

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 2 2019
Keywords consumer alternative/online dispute resolution, European Union, ODR Regulation 524/2013, ADR Directive 2013/11, ODR platform
Authors Emma van Gelder
AbstractAuthor's information

    The EU internal market has undergone several developments in the past decades. One of the main developments is the inclusion of a digital dimension. One of the fields in which these developments are very evident is the consumer market. A further development of e-commerce is however hindered because there are no suitable redress mechanisms for consumers involved in low-value, high volume claims typically arising from e-commerce transactions. In response to the ills of existing redress mechanisms, an emerging trend of consumer alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and consumer online dispute resolution (ODR) schemes has been identified throughout the Member States (MS) aimed to offer consumers a swift, cheap and simple procedure through which they can enforce their rightsThis paper outlines the EU approach to Consumer ADR/ODR, gives some observations of the functioning of the legislation in practice and concludes with some thoughts for the future.


Emma van Gelder
PhD Candidate Erasmus University, Rotterdam.
Article

Access to Justice and the Role of ODR Inside and Outside Brazilian Courts

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 2 2019
Keywords online dispute resolution, access to justice, efficiency, technology
Authors Marco Rodrigues
AbstractAuthor's information

    Getting cases decided in court within a reasonable time is a problem in many countries and in some cases can present a veritable crisis of justice. An alternative that is commonly used in judicial proceedings (at least in many civil law countries) is to hold a preliminary hearing in order to encourage a settlement. This article aims to analyse online dispute resolution as an efficient alternative to resolve the crisis of justice in Brazil.


Marco Rodrigues
Professor of Civil Procedure, Rio de Janeiro University.
Article

Design Approaches for Optimal ODR

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 2 2019
Keywords ODR, system design, participatory design
Authors Anne Thompson
AbstractAuthor's information

    Using a participatory design approach supports initiatives seeking to advance access to justice, whether they be policy, service or solution-oriented. A participatory design approach can be used effectively irrespective of whether your perspective towards access to justice is as a court employee, a private practitioner (attorney, mediator), a legal aid or human service agency professional, an academic or a technologist.


Anne Thompson
Principal Consultant, Thompson Finn.
Article

ODR as a Public Service

The Access to Justice-Driven Canadian Experience

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 2 2019
Keywords ODR, access to justice, courts, legal process, sense of fairness
Authors Nicolas Vermeys and Jean-François Roberge
AbstractAuthor's information

    Canadian courts and tribunals are successfully incorporating online dispute resolution (ODR) mechanisms into their processes in order to offer user-centric dispute resolution systems aimed at increasing access to justice. Although they use different approaches, three such examples, British Columbia’s Civil Resolution Tribunal, Ontario’s Condominium Authority Tribunal, and Quebec’s PARLe-OPC platform, have all demonstrated how public ODR can increase litigants’ sense of justice while respecting basic legal tenets. This article serves as a short introduction to this user-centric Canadian approach.


Nicolas Vermeys
Nicolas Vermeys is the Associate Dean of Programs at the Université de Montréal’s Faculty of law, the Associate director of the Cyberjustice Laboratory, and a Researcher at the Centre de recherche en droit public (CRDP).

Jean-François Roberge
Jean-François Roberge is a Professor and the Director of the Dispute Prevention and Resolution programmes at the Université de Sherbrooke Faculty of law.
Article

Assessing the Essentials of Litigant Experience in Court ODR Systems

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 2 2019
Keywords courts, ODR, assessment, effectiveness, access to justice
Authors Jennifer Shack
AbstractAuthor's information

    As ODR rolls out in courts across the United States, we need to learn more about how litigants experience it. This is particularly true about their experience of access to justice, which is a primary motivator for courts to adopt ODR. This article discusses plans for an evaluation Resolution Systems Institute and the University of California, Davis, will be conducting of ODR programmes in Hawaii and Texas for small claims cases.


Jennifer Shack
Director of Research, Resolution Systems Institute.
Article

Online Collaboration Algorithms for Small Claims

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 2 2019
Keywords online collaboration algorithms, small claims
Authors Ernest Thiessen and Peter Holt
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article was adapted from a presentation at the ODR Forum 2019 in Williamsburg.


Ernest Thiessen
President of iCan Systems Inc. (creators of Smartsettle).

Peter Holt
Chief Product Development Officer at iCan Systems Inc. (creators of Smartsettle).
Article

Supporting Self-Represented Litigants and Access to Justice

How Does ODR Fit In?

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 2 2019
Keywords ODR, self-represented litigants, access to justice, legal services
Authors John M. Greacen
AbstractAuthor's information

    In 2015 the Conference of Chief Justices and the Conference of State Court Administrators (CCJ/COSCA), representing the leadership of the state court systems of the United States, adopted the following goal for access to justice for civil legal issues.

    […] the Conference of Chief Justices and the Conference of State Court Administrators support the aspirational goal of 100 percent access to effective assistance for essential civil legal needs.

    How far are we from attaining that goal today?


John M. Greacen
Principal, Greacen Associates. The author acknowledges the contribution from two esteemed colleagues, Katherine Alteneder, Executive Director of the Self Represented Litigation Network and Bonnie Hough, Principal Managing Attorney, Center for Families, Children & the Courts, Judicial Council of California.
Article

Readiness for Family and Online Dispute Resolution

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 2 2019
Keywords online dispute resolution, family dispute resolution, domestic violence, ripeness and readiness, divorce
Authors Nussen Ainsworth, Lisa Zeleznikow and John Zeleznikow
AbstractAuthor's information

    The International Conflict Resolution Community has developed considerable theory and many case studies about ripeness and readiness for mediation. Readiness involves a readiness of the disputant to resolve the conflict, while ripeness indicates the time is appropriate to attempt a resolution. There is a sparse amount of theory about these issues in commercial and family dispute resolution (FDR). We discuss the practice of readiness for mediation, FDR and online dispute resolution and develop practices about when to mediate such disputes – especially when domestic violence has occurred.


Nussen Ainsworth
Nussen Ainsworth, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia – nussen.ainsworth@vu.edu.au.

Lisa Zeleznikow
Lisa Zeleznikow, Jewish Mediation Centre, Melbourne, Australia – lisa@jmc.org.au.

John Zeleznikow
John Zeleznikow, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia – john.zeleznikow@vu.edu.au.
Article

e-Court – Dutch Alternative Online Resolution of Debt Collection Claims

A Violation of the Law or Blessing in Disguise?

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2019
Keywords fair trial, money claims, judiciary, ECHR, arbitration
Authors Willemien Netjes and Arno R. Lodder
AbstractAuthor's information

    In 2017, the Dutch alternative dispute resolution (ADR) initiative e-Court handled 20,000 debt collection claims via an online arbitration procedure, and this number was expected to double in 2018. In September of that same year, the Chairman for the Council of the Judiciary, Frits Bakker, argued on the Day for the Judiciary that in the future most lawsuits can be handled automatically and that a robot judge could work fast, efficiently and cheaply. However, in January 2018, Frits Bakker seemed to have changed his mind and criticized e-Court for its lack of impartiality, lack of transparency, unlawfully denying people the right to a state Court, and for being a ‘robot judge’. Ultimately, all criticism boiled down to one issue: that the defendant’s right to a fair trial was not sufficiently protected in e-Court’s procedure. This accusation led to a huge media outcry, and as a result Courts were no longer willing to grant an exequatur to e-Court’s arbitral awards until the Supreme Court had given its approval. This forced e-Court to temporarily halt its services. Questions such as ‘is arbitration desirable in the case of bulk debt collection procedures?’ and ‘are arbitration agreements in standard terms of consumer contracts desirable?’ are relevant and important, but inherently political. In this article, we argue that the conclusion of the judiciary and media that e-Court’s procedure is in breach of the right to a fair trial is not substantiated by convincing legal arguments. Our aim is not to evaluate whether online arbitration is the best solution to the debt collection claim congestion of Courts in the Netherlands, but instead to assess e-Court’s procedure in the light of Article 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights. The conclusion is that e-Court’s procedure sufficiently guarantees the right to a fair trial and thus that the criticism expressed was of a political rather than legal nature.


Willemien Netjes
Faculty of Law, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Arno R. Lodder
Article

Digital Identity for Refugees and Disenfranchised Populations

The ‘Invisibles’ and Standards for Sovereign Identity

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2019
Keywords digital identity, sovereign identity, standards, online dispute resolution, refugees, access to justice
Authors Daniel Rainey, Scott Cooper, Donald Rawlins e.a.
AbstractAuthor's information

    This white paper reviews the history of identity problems for refugees and disenfranchised persons, assesses the current state of digital identity programmes based in nation-states, offers examples of non-state digital ID programmes that can be models to create strong standards for digital ID programmes, and presents a call to action for organizations like International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).


Daniel Rainey
Daniel Rainey is a Board Member, InternetBar.Org (IBO), and Board Member, International Council for Online Dispute Resolution (ICODR)

Scott Cooper
Scott Cooper is a Vice President, American National Standards Institute (retired).

Donald Rawlins
Donald Rawlins is a Candidate (May 2019), Master of Arts in Dispute Resolution, Southern Methodist University.

Kristina Yasuda
Kristina Yasuda is a Director of Digital Identities for the InternetBar.org and a consultant with Accenture Strategy advising large Japanese corporations on their digital identity and blockchain strategy.

Tey Al-Rjula
Tey Al-Rjula is CEO and Founder of Tykn.tech.

Manreet Nijjar
Manreet Nijjar is CEO and Co-founder of truu.id, Member of the Royal College Of Physicians (UK), IEEE Blockchain Healthcare Subcommittee on Digital Identity, UK All Party Parliamentary Group on Blockchain and Sovrin Guardianship task force committee.
Article

The Pull of Unbiased AI Mediators

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2019
Keywords automation, artificial intelligence, algorithm development, mediation, pull style communication
Authors Chris Draper
AbstractAuthor's information

    There is significant concern in the access to justice community that expanding current count-based online dispute resolution (ODR) efforts will further exacerbate the systemic inequities present in the American justice system. This well-founded fear stems from the fact that current ODR tools typically calibrate artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms with past outcomes so that any future cases are consistently analysed and filtered in a manner that produces similar results. As courts consider ODR tools for more complicated cases that often require mediation, there is significant disagreement on whether it is possible to create an AI mediator and how that could be achieved. This article argues that an effective AI mediator could be created if its design focuses not on the outcomes achieved by the mediation but on the manner of the communication prompts used by the AI mediator.


Chris Draper
Chris Draper, PhD, PE, is the Managing Director of Trokt, responsible for guiding the development, adoption and growth of the Trokt Online Dispute Resolution platform. Dr. Draper is a trained engineer with a focus on human-technology interface risks, a certified mediator with a focus on special needs education conflicts, and an expert on the evaluation of highly complex systems that assist in the human management of legally sensitive data. Dr. Draper received his Bachelor of Science from the University of California at Berkeley and his Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Glasgow.
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