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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

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

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.
Part I Courts and ODR

Testing the Promise of Access to Justice through Online Courts

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1-2 2018
Keywords online courts, empirical research, civil justice, access to justice
Authors Bridgette Toy-Cronin, Bridget Irvine, David M. Nichols e.a.
AbstractAuthor's information

    Modernization is increasingly knocking on the courthouse door. Many common law countries are investigating ways to introduce technology to improve civil courts, including the introduction of online courts. These state-led initiatives are primarily focused on lowering state costs in providing justice, as well as increasing access to dispute resolution. One possible solution some legal jurisdictions are exploring is ‘online courts’. Online courts hold the promise of making justice more accessible and affordable: a dispute can be filed at any time, from anywhere, by anyone. This model of delivering justice is envisioned as a system that either is lawyer-less or has a minimal role for lawyers. One of the assumptions underpinning an online court is, therefore, that laypeople can effectively explain a dispute to the court, without legal assistance. To date, there is no empirical research investigating that assumption. In this article, we will outline the proposed online court model, consider the need for robust empirical research, and describe a three-part investigation to explore how clearly and accurately people can explain a dispute.


Bridgette Toy-Cronin
Bridgette Toy-Cronin is the Director of the University of Otago Legal Issues Centre and a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Law, University of Otago.

Bridget Irvine
Bridget Irvine is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Otago Legal Issues Centre.

David M. Nichols
David M. Nichols is an Associate Professor in Computer Science at the University of Waikato.

Sally Jo Cunningham
Sally Jo Cunningham is an Associate Professor in Computer Science at the University of Waikato.

Tatiana Tkacukova
Tatiana Tkacukova is a Senior Lecturer in the School of English, Birmingham City University. Authors appear in order of the contribution made to the paper.
Part I Courts and ODR

Ethical Concerns in Court-Connected Online Dispute Resolution

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1-2 2018
Keywords court ODR, fourth party, ethics, access to justice, confidentiality, transparency, informed participation, accessibility, accountability, empowerment, trust
Authors Dorcas Quek Anderson
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article examines the burgeoning trend of creating court ODR systems, focusing on the design aspects that are likely to raise ethical challenges. It discusses four salient questions to be considered when designing a court ODR system, and the resulting ethical tensions that are brought to the fore. As a fourth party, the ODR system not only replaces existing court functions, but enlarges the scope of the courts’ intervention in disputes and increases the courts’ interface with the user. Furthermore, certain ethical principles such as transparency, accountability, impartiality and fairness take on greater significance in the court context than in private ODR, because of the association of the courts with substantive and procedural justice. As in any dispute resolution system, a coherent and effective court ODR system should be guided by dispute system design principles, which includes having clarity of the system’s underlying values and purposes. It is therefore pertinent for each court to resolve the key ethical tensions in order to articulate the foundational values that will undergird the design of its ODR system.


Dorcas Quek Anderson
Dorcas Quek Anderson is an Assistant Professor in the Singapore Management University School of Law. This research is supported by the National Research Foundation, Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore (NRF), and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) under a grant to the Singapore Management University School of Law to helm a 5-year Research Program on the Governance of Artificial Intelligence and Data Use.
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

Disintegration of the State Monopoly on Dispute Resolution

How Should We Perceive State Sovereignty in the ODR Era?

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 2 2014
Keywords online dispute resolution, sovereignty, justification
Authors Riikka Koulu LLM
AbstractAuthor's information

    The interests of state sovereignty are preserved in conflict management through adoption of a state monopoly for dispute resolution as the descriptive and constitutive concept of the resolution system. State monopoly refers to the state’s exclusive right to decide on the resolution of legal conflicts on its own soil, in other words, in the state’s territorial jurisdiction. This also forms the basis of international procedural law. This conceptual fiction is derived from the social contract theories of Hobbes and Locke, and it preserves the state’s agenda. However, such a monopoly is disintegrating in the Internet era because it fails to provide an effective resolution method for Internet disputes in cross-border cases, and, consequently, online dispute resolution has gained ground in the dispute resolution market. It raises the question of whether we should discard the state monopoly as the focal concept of dispute resolution and whether we should open a wider discussion on possible justificatory constructions of dispute resolution, i.e. sovereignty, contract and quality standards, as a whole, re-evaluating the underlying structure of procedural law.


Riikka Koulu LLM
Riikka Koulu, LLM, trained on the bench, is currently a doctoral candidate in procedural law at the University of Helsinki, Finland.
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>.
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