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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

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

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

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

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

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

Access_open World Justice Forum VI

Insights and Takeaways

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2019
Keywords World Justice Forum, World Justice Project, World Justice Report, online dispute resolution, technology, access to justice, Justice Layer of the Internet
Authors Jeffrey Aresty and Larry Bridgesmith
AbstractAuthor's information

    In May 2019, the World Justice Project (WJP) convened its sixth annual conference to explore the state of access to justice (A2J) in the global context. World Justice Forum VI met in The Hague and published the most recent A2J report compiled after a year of analysis and based on more than a decade of public, government and citizen data. Measuring the Justice Gap revealed less than optimistic data reflecting the lack of significant progress toward fulfilling the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 16: achieving just, peaceful and inclusive societies by 2030. The 2019 conference showcased many global initiatives seeking to narrow the justice gap. For the most part these initiatives rely on institutional action by governments, financial institutions and NGO’s. As important as these projects are, transforming the access to justice status of the world can also be achieved through actions focused on Justice at the Layer of the Internet. A consensus based governance model can build a legal framework which is not reliant on the enactment of laws, the promulgation of regulations or overcoming the inertia of institutional inaction. This article reviews the learning gleaned from the WJP and the 2019 Forum. It also seeks to augment the great work of the WJP by exploring the potential for justice as delivered by individuals joined in consensus and relying on emerging technologies.


Jeffrey Aresty
Jeff Aresty is an international business and e-commerce lawyer with 35 years of experience in international cyberlaw technology transfer. He is the Founder and President of the InternetBar.Org.

Larry Bridgesmith
Larry Bridgesmith J.D., is CEO of LegalAlignment LLC, a practicing lawyer in Nashville, Tennessee, and Professor of Law at Vanderbilt University and coordinator of its programme on law and innovation.
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