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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 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

Paperless Arbitration

The New Trend?

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 2 2020
Keywords paperless arbitration, arbitral practice and procedure, cybersecurity, new technology
Authors William Brillat-Capello, Laura Canet, Gillian Carmichael Lemaire e.a.
AbstractAuthor's information

    A webinar organized by Laura Canet and William Brillat-Capello, with Gillian Carmichael Lemaire, Yulia Mullina, Sebastián Partida, Sarah Tulip, Sergey Alekhin as speakers
    This webinar, organized by the associates of the Paris-based firm Betto Perben Pradel Filhol, was held at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, arbitral practice and procedure have evolved considerably because of the increase in the number of paperless arbitrations and paperless hearings. The issues and challenges discussed below are still relevant to assess whether this trend will become the normal way of conducting arbitrations after the end of the current global health crisis or will simply constitute one of the tools available to practitioners. As the world is still dealing with this unprecedented crisis, the transcription of this webinar offers a snapshot of some of the earliest conclusions reached about how the pandemic is changing arbitration as we knew it.


William Brillat-Capello
William Brillat-Capello is associate at Betto Perben Pradel Filhol.

Laura Canet
Laura Canet is is associate at Betto Perben Pradel Filhol.

Gillian Carmichael Lemaire
Gillian Carmichael Lemaire is Independent Arbitration Practitioner.

Yulia Mullina
Yulia Mullina is Executive Administrator at the Russian Arbitration Center.

Sebastián Partida
Sebastián Partida is Corporate Counsel at Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

Sarah Tulip
Sarah Tulip is barrister at 3VB.

Serghei Alekhin
Serghei Alekhin is Counsel at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP.
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

The Role of the Seat in Smart Contract Disputes

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2020
Keywords smart contracts, international commercial arbitration, blockchain technology, online arbitration
Authors Diana Itzel Santana Galindo
AbstractAuthor's information

    Over the past few decades, international commercial arbitration has experienced major developments in various fields. A major recent development that will spread widely in the years to come relates to technology and the necessity of international commercial arbitration to adapt to the new needs of the market. The path of technological development in commerce is determined by forces other than the needs of legal practitioners. Moreover, the lack of real connection to a sole place, in disputes where the multi-parties have not selected the seat, can create serious obstacles for the arbitral proceedings in blockchain technology disputes. In this regard, smart contracts, however, appear to have identifiable parties with an identified physical point of connection that ultimately can be adapted to the existing place of the arbitration theory within the international arbitration legal framework.


Diana Itzel Santana Galindo
LL.M. graduate in Comparative and International Dispute Resolution at Queen Mary University of London. Legal internship experiences at the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board (KCAB International), Beijing Arbitration Commission (BAC/BIAC), and the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC).
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

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 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

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

Managing Procedural Expectations in Small Claims ODR

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2019
Keywords fair trial, procedural justice, natural justice, waiver, small claims, consumer disputes, proportionality
Authors Fabien Gélinas
AbstractAuthor's information

    In this article, the author reflects on the appropriate place of traditional procedural guarantees in the resolution of consumer and small claims disputes using online tools. After examining the key aspects of procedural justice that constitute the right to a fair trial and analysing its effects on procedures designed for low-value disputes, the article argues for a flexible approach that takes procedural proportionality seriously.


Fabien Gélinas
Fabien Gélinas is Sir Wiliam C. Macdonald Professor of Law, McGill University, Co-Founder of the Montreal Cyberjustice Laboratory and Head of the Private Justice and the Rule of Law Research Team. The preparation of this article was made possible by grants from the SSHRC and the FQRSC. Thanks go to Dr Giacomo Marchisio and Ms Leyla Bahmany for their kind assistance. This article was originally published in Immaculada Barral (ed.) La resolución de conflictos con consumidores: de la mediation a las ODR (Madrid: Editorial Reus, 2018).
Part I Courts and ODR

Access to Justice and Innovative Court Solutions for Litigants-in-Person

The Singapore Experience

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1-2 2018
Keywords access to justice, innovative court solutions, ODR, e-Negotiation, tribunal
Authors Ow Yong Tuck Leong
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article highlights the Singapore judiciary’s experience in introducing an online filing and case management system with Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) for small value disputes to improve access to justice. This system, called the Community Justice & Tribunals System (CJTS), is a fully integrated justice solution, allowing parties to settle their disputes and obtain a court order online. The article sets out the issues and challenges encountered in developing CJTS, the innovative solutions implemented and CJTS’ positive impact on litigants-in-person.


Ow Yong Tuck Leong
District Judge Ow Yong Tuck Leong is a judicial officer in the Community Justice and Tribunals Division of the State Courts of Singapore. He is the Executive Sponsor of the CJTS. Prior to joining the State Courts, Ow Yong had served in different positions as a Senior Assistant Registrar, Registry of Companies and Businesses; State Counsel, Attorney-General’s Chambers; and Deputy Director (Legal, Enforcement & International Affairs) of the Competition Commission of Singapore.
Part II Private Justice

Using Technology and ADR Methods to Enhance Access to Justice

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1-2 2018
Keywords ODR, ADR, mediation, online court, e-court, consumer ADR, CADR, CDR, ombudsman
Authors Pablo Cortes
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article discusses how technology and extrajudicial processes can provide a solution to the access-to-justice problem for self-represented litigants. The article first observes the need for efficient dispute resolution processes based on a wider concept of access to justice and argues for greater integration amongst courts and extrajudicial bodies, especially in the consumer sphere where dispute resolution bodies are currently undergoing an institutionalization process as a result of recent EU legislation. Accordingly, it is argued that access to justice for consumers will only be achieved if they have access to either an accountable and effective extrajudicial scheme that offers adjudication or a truly user-friendly and accessible online court that incorporates alternative dispute resolution techniques as the United Kingdom has endeavoured to deliver. To that end, this article examines the policy options for the English Online Court with a particular focus on the challenges faced by litigants in person. Finally, this article submits that dispute system design changes need to be informed by empirical research and a holistic policy strategy on dispute resolution.


Pablo Cortes
Pablo Cortes is Professor of Civil Justice, Leicester Law School, University of Leicester.
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.
Part II Private Justice

Making ODR Human

Using Human-Centred Design for ODR Product Development

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1-2 2018
Keywords online dispute resolution, courts and tribunals, human-centred design, legal tech, legal design, user testing, user-centred design, machine learning, alternative dispute resolution, product development
Authors Luke Thomas, Sarah Kaur and Simon Goodrich
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article discusses what we as human-centred design practitioners have learnt from researching and designing online dispute resolution (ODR) products both for clients and as part of our internal research and development initiatives.


Luke Thomas
Luke Thomas is Design Strategist/Legal Researcher at Portable.

Sarah Kaur
Sarah Kaur is Chief Operating Officer at Portable.

Simon Goodrich
Simon Goodrich is Managing Director at Portable.

Graham Ross
Graham Ross runs a distance training course on ODR for mediators and arbitrators at www.odrtraining.com and he is a member of the Civil Justice Council ODR Advisory Group.
Conference Paper

Conference Opening Remarks

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 2 2017
Keywords Online Dispute Resolution, online court, access to justice, technology and the law
Authors Lord Justice Briggs
AbstractAuthor's information

    Lord Justice Briggs has been intimately involved in the development of technology for improving access to justice in the UK. He was the author of a report that energized the move toward online dispute resolution in the courts. These remarks are a retrospective look at his work, now that he is a member of the UK Supreme Court, and no longer involved day-to-day in ODR development.


Lord Justice Briggs
Justice of the UK Supreme Court.

    Online dispute resolution (ODR) has been developed in response to the growth of disputes in electronic commerce transactions. It is based on the legal framework of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) by taking into consideration electronic communications and information technology. This article will introduce the current legal framework and practice of ODR in China, find legal issues that affect the development of ODR and, finally, propose suggestions to overcome these barriers.


Jie Zheng
Jie Zheng is a PhD researcher in Ghent University, Faculty of Law, Department of Interdisciplinary Study of Law, Private Law and Business Law. E-mail: <jie.zheng@ugent.be>.
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.
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