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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

Access_open Bits and Bytes and Apps – Oh My!

Scary Things in the ODR Forest

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2021
Keywords access to justice, digital divide, Artificial Intelligence, algorithms, Online Dispute Resolution
Authors Daniel Rainey and Larry Bridgesmith
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article addresses three issues related to online dispute resolution (ODR) that offer promise, and may carry risks for those who develop, provide, and use technology to address disputes and confects. The authors offer some principles to guide the use of technology, and some predictions about the future of ODR.


Daniel Rainey
A version of this article will be published in Portuguese as a chapter in Processo Civil e Tecnologia: os impactos da virada tecnologia no mundo, Dierle Nunes, Paulo Lucon and Isadora Werneck, eds., Editora Juspodivm, Salvador/BA–Brazil, forthcoming 2021. Daniel Rainey is, among other things, a principal in Holistic Solutions, Inc., a Fellow of the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution (NCTDR), a founding Board Member of the International Council for Online Dispute Resolution (ICODR), Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution (IJODR) and a Member of the Self-Represented Litigants Committee of the Access to Justice Commission of the Virginia Supreme Court.

Larry Bridgesmith
Larry Bridgesmith is, among other things, a practicing lawyer, professor of law at Vanderbilt Law School and co-founder of its Program on Law & Innovation, a Fellow of the International Association of Mediators, co-founder of LegalAlignment LLC, AccelerateInsite LLC and Lifefilz Inc., co-founder of the International Institute of Legal Project Management and Chair of the Tennessee Supreme Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission.
Article

What’s Good for ODR?

AI or AI

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2021
Keywords Augmented Intelligence, Artificial Intelligence, algorithms, ODR
Authors Graham Ross
AbstractAuthor's information

    Whilst the coronavirus epidemic saw mediators turn to web conferencing in numbers to ensure mediations continued to take place, it is believed that the rate at which individual mediators, as opposed to organizations handling volumes of disputes, began to use online dispute resolution (ODR)-specific tools and platforms remained comparatively slow. Mediators may have felt that, in using web conferencing, they had made the move to ODR. Another hurdle standing in the way of generating confidence in ODR-specific tools is that exciting developments used the less were powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and yet mention of AI and algorithms would create its own barrier, in no small part due to examples of shortcomings with AI and algorithms outside of ODR. The writer feels that the future lies in developments in ODR that benefit from AI. However that is less the traditional meaning of the acronym being Artificial Intelligence but more as Augmented Intelligence. The paper explains the difference with Artificial Intelligence leaving the machine in control whilst Augmented Intelligence retains control and decision-making with the human but assisted by the machine to a degree or in a format not possible by the human alone. The paper highlights examples of two ODR systems applying Augmented Intelligence.


Graham Ross
Graham Ross is a UK lawyer and mediator with over 20 years of experience in IT and the law. Graham is the author of lthe original QUILL egal application software (accounts and time recording) and the founder of LAWTEL, the popular webbased legal information update service. Graham co-founded the first ODR service in the UK, WeCanSettle, designing the blind bidding software at the heart of the system. Graham subsequently founded TheMediationRoom.com, for whom he designed their online mediation platform. Graham speaks regularly at international conferences on the application of technology to ADR. Graham was host of the 5th International Conference on Online Dispute Resolution held in Liverpool, UK, in 2007 and has organised two other ODR conferences. Graham was a member of the EMCOD project which created a tool for the European Union for the measurement of justice through ODR. Graham was a member of the UK Civil Justice Council’s Advisory Group on Online Dispute Resolution, whose recommendations led to the creation of an online court for small claims. Graham is a Board Member of ICODR. Graham is also a leading trainer in ODR having created the accredited distance training course at www.ODRtraining.com.
Article

Access_open Alternative Dispute Resolution in the Digital Sector

A Dejurisdictionalization Process?

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 2 2020
Keywords European legislation, Alternative Dispute Resolution, civil procedure
Authors Rebecca Berto
AbstractAuthor's information

    Alternative Dispute Resolution (=ADR) is a generic reference to consensus-based processes that provide an alternative to litigation and to binding arbitration procedures. Analysing European provisions, the European legislator pushes Alternative Dispute Resolution methods as a means of resolving not only consumer-to-business disputes but also business-to-business. This may determine over the long term a sort of ‘dejurisdictionalization’ process, moving disputes from tribunals to Alternative Dispute Resolution methods. Procedural rights, however, such as raising interpretative questions to the European Court of Justice, may only be exercised before a court.
    Therefore, Alternative Dispute Resolution and national civil procedure are separated by a sort of procedural ‘Chinese wall’: this legislator’s forma mentis, repeated also in more recent directives, hinders the development of cross-border procedural provisions capable of tackling the legal and procedural questions posed by communication services and new technologies, such as blockchain, whose technical features are not limited by geographical boundaries.
    This article argues that, in the light of technological advancements, the European internal market needs new common procedural legislation fit for the cross-border economic and legal relationships carried out within it.


Rebecca Berto
Rebecca Berto is a lawyer with ECC-Italy: d.jur. University of Padua, Pg. Dipl. International Dispute Resolution (Arbitration) Queen Mary University – London, admitted to the Italian Bar. The views expressed herein are solely the author’s and represent neither that of ECC Italy nor of its host structures or any other of its public financiers. All opinions and errors are of the author. The author did not receive private or public funds for this article.
Article

Towards Online Dispute Resolution-Led Justice in China

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 2 2020
Keywords Online Dispute Resolution, smart court, internet court, access to justice, China
Authors Carrie Shu Shang and Wenli Guo
AbstractAuthor's information

    The use of online dispute resolution (ODR) in courts is a growing topic of interest. By focusing on the recent development of ODR-connected smart courts in China, this article explores ODR’s potential impact on Chinese legal systems from three aspects: role of courts and the legal profession, due process rights, and information safety. By focusing on changing dispute resolution theories – from emphasizing on conflict resolution to dispute prevention – the article argues that ODR-led court reforms rose to the centre because the reform caters to specific purposes of the recent series of reforms conducted under the auspices of the Rule of Law campaign, by prioritizing efficiency goals and attempting to enhance individualist justice experiences. In this article, we define the meaning of ODR in China and describe and categorize ODR technologies that are currently in use in China. Based on these general findings and promising technological options of ODR, we also recommend ways to better implement ODR in Chinese courts to take full advantage of technological advancements.


Carrie Shu Shang
Carrie Shu Shang, Assistant Professor, Coordinator, Business Law program, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona,

Wenli Guo
Wenli Guo, Ph.D., Assistant President, Beiming Software Co. Ltd., President, Internet Nomocracy Institute of Beiming Software Co. Ltd.,
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.

Colin Rule
Colin Rule is CEO of Mediate.com and Arbitrate.com.
Article

Increasing Access to Justice through Online Dispute Resolution

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2020
Keywords ODR, fairness, disability, accommodation, accessibility
Authors Wendy Carlson
AbstractAuthor's information

    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.


Wendy Carlson
Juris Doctor Candidate, Mitchell Hamline School of Law.
Article

Online Dispute Resolution in a Traditional Justice System

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2020
Keywords ODR, traditional justice system, insecure areas, Afghanistan
Authors Fathudin Yazdani
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article examines the applicability of Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) in Afghanistan. It evaluates whether ODR can resolve disputes in a traditional justice system, like Jirga, where the formal justice system is weak. This analysis questions whether ODR can complement the traditional jurisdiction system, where the public relies on customary practices to solve disputes. Further, the analysis focuses on the applicability of ODR in insecure areas, where access to formal judicial processes is limited. The findings from this study suggest the development of effective dispute resolution mechanisms in Afghanistan, mainly using ODR.


Fathudin Yazdani
Yazdani Fathudin completed his Post Graduation in Master of Science in Law (MSL) from The University of The Pacific McGeorge School of Law in 2020. He served as a legal advisor and assistant to the deputy minister ministry of interior in Afghanistan. Also, he worked as investigator and security associate in the United Nation Offices for Project Services (UNOPS) in Afghanistan.
Article

The Online Civil Money Claim

Litigation, ADR and ODR in One Single Dispute Resolution Process

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2020
Keywords ADR, pre-action protocols, civil procedure, online dispute resolution, mediation, civil justice, online civil money claim, online services
Authors Md Mahar Abbasy
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article considers the recent reforms in English Civil Justice System, especially the new Online Civil Money Claim (OCMC). To make the UK courts easily accessible and affordable, Lord Justice Briggs in his Civil Courts Structure Review recommended for the introduction of an Online Solutions Court. This is a revolutionary step because it embeds alternative dispute resolution (ADR), in particular mediation, into the court system. This is very important because mediation emerged as an alternative to courts but has become an integral part of it. This study critically examines how mediation is being embedded into the English Civil Justice System and argues for a balanced relationship between litigation and mediation because they complement each other. This article is divided into four sections (a) Section 2 will discuss how the Online Court will impact the open justice; (b) Section 3 will provide an overview of the three stages of OCMC; (c) Section 4 will carry out a critical analysis of the OCMC; and (d) Section 5 will seek to put forward solutions and recommendations in light of the findings.


Md Mahar Abbasy
PhD Candidate at the University of Leicester.
Article

E-Measures

International Arbitral Institutions’ Responses to COVID-19

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2020
Keywords international arbitration institutions, COVID-19, availability of e-filing, e-measures
Authors Kendra Magraw
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article will briefly and non-exhaustively examine the emergency measures taken by some international arbitral institutions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Such emergency measures, as will be seen, were primarily and due to necessity geared towards moving arbitrations online. Section 1 briefly describes some reasons why the status quo prior to COVID-19 for certain arbitral institutions likely made it necessary to implement e-measures: in other words, it will provide examples of the types of constraints that may have previously prevented arbitral institutions from being more electronic/online. Section 2 broadly identifies the e-measures taken by arbitral institutions, and extracts some general trends therefrom. Finally, Section 3 will offer some brief conclusions and thoughts concerning the future of such e-measures.


Kendra Magraw
Kendra Magraw is a doctoral candidate in international law at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland.
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.
Article

The Value of Online Dispute Resolution in Family Law

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2020
Keywords online dispute resolution, family law, access to justice, domestic relations cases, online mediation
Authors Margaret M. Huck
AbstractAuthor's information

    Online dispute resolution is an incredibly powerful tool for litigants, particularly in the area of family law. In the United States, courts with flooded dockets in both metropolitan and rural areas have employed various online systems and software programs to help parties better work through issues. While ODR can provide such benefits as a quicker and less expensive resolution, it also presents some concerns which need addressed by the legal community. For example, many who would otherwise benefit from ODR may struggle with access to the necessary technology, or could greatly benefit from advice on how to phrase opinions in a neutral manner, so as not to derail an emotionally charged discussion. Further, while a history of domestic violence among parties necessitates screening, it is possible that they may be able to utilize ODR if counsel is present. Finally, to promote candor and problem-solving among the parties, all ODR platforms should be as secure as possible.


Margaret M. Huck
Born and raised in southeastern Ohio, Margaret ventured to Columbus to study Psychology at The Ohio State University. She later graduated from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law in May 2020 with a Certificate in Dispute Resolution. She is passionate about showcasing the benefits alternative dispute resolution can bring to litigants, particularly in the realm of family law.
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

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.
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.
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