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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.
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

Recent Development of Internet Courts in China

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1-2 2018
Keywords Internet court, ODR, AI, blockchain, regulation, fourth party
Authors Xuhui Fang
AbstractAuthor's information

    Online dispute resolution (ODR) is growing out of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and pushing the envelope for resolving online disputes in the Internet courts in China. Recently, the Chinese Internet courts admitted blockchain-based evidence and applied artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, big data and virtual reality (VR) technology. The rapid development of Internet courts in China has implications for regulating AI-related technologies, which are playing the role of the ‘fourth party,’ and the interplay between the ‘third party’ and the ‘fourth party.’


Xuhui Fang
Xuhui Fang is a law Professor at Nanchang University, NCTDR fellow, associated researcher at Cyberjustice of University of Montreal, mediator of International Commercial Mediation Center for Belt and Road Initiative in Beijing, mediator at Futian District Court of Shenzhen People’s Court, senior counsel of E-Better Business in Shenzhen.
Part II Private Justice

Reputational Feedback Systems and Consumer Rights

Improving the European Online Redress System

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1-2 2018
Keywords reputational feedback systems, consumer’s protection, dispute resolution, ADR, ODR, enforceability, ecommerce, European redress system small claims
Authors Aura Esther Vilalta Nicuesa
AbstractAuthor's information

    The European Union single market needs to tackle an outstanding issue to boost competitiveness and growth: a trust-based redress framework that ensures the effectiveness of consumers’ rights. The current disparities among dispute resolution mechanisms, added to the fact that in practice many do not guarantee participation and enforceability, are serious obstacles to this goal. Trust and the integration of certain dispute avoidance tools added to the regulation of some common enforcement mechanisms are key issues in the field of consumer protection. The goal of this article is to offer some insights within the context of the European Union legislative proposals aimed at improving the current redress system.


Aura Esther Vilalta Nicuesa
Aura Esther Vilalta Nicuesa is Professor of Law, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) and member of the National Center or Technology and Dispute Resolution, Massachusetts, Amherst.
Part II Private Justice

Standards, Qualifications, and Certification for e-Mediators

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1-2 2018
Keywords Online Dispute Resolution, e-Mediation, ethics, standards of practice, qualifications, certification, International Mediation Institute, Association for Conflict Resolution, American Bar Association, American Arbitration Association, National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution, International Council for Online Dispute Resolution, National Center for State Courts
Authors Ana Maria Gonçalves and Daniel Rainey
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article explores the question ‘how does one judge whether a mediator working online is competent?’ The authors compare the basic standards used to certify mediators working offline to a set of e-mediation standards developed by the International Mediation Institute, and suggest that training modules addressing the specific skills and competencies needed to be a successful online mediator be incorporated into basic mediator training.


Ana Maria Gonçalves
Ana Maria Gonçalves is the co-chair of the IMI ODR Taskforce, the founder and president of ICFML and a member of the Portuguese Mediation Federation (FMC). She is a graduate from UAL Lisbon and has a master of law degree. She is an IMI-certified mediator and is listed in the major international panels of mediators. She is a lecturer in major Portuguese and Brazilian Universities and is a regular speaker in International Conferences on the topics of ADR, mediation, negotiation and ODR. As a mediator, she works with a wide range of international clients, particularly on cross-border disputes, often online, and has mediated a wide variety of disputes in Europe, Australia and USA. She also designs and facilitates collaboration management training programs and, as an ICF-accredited PCC coach, she supports senior executives and professionals to develop their conflict management and negotiation skills.

Daniel Rainey
Daniel Rainey is a principle in Holistic Solutions, Inc., and he served as the co-chair of the IMI ODR Task Force. He is an adjunct professor at multiple universities in the United States, and he serves as a Board Member for the InternetBar.Org (IBO) and the Northern Virginia Mediation Service (NVMS). He is a member of the Virginia State Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission Self-Represented Litigants Committee, a Fellow of the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution (NCTDR) and a founding Board Member of the International Council for Online Dispute Resolution (ICODR).
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

Equal Access to Information & Justice: A Report on the Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) Forum 2017

The Huge Potential of ODR, Greatly Underexplored (Paris, France, 12 and 13 June 2017)

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2017
Keywords ODR, equal access, justice online, information online, ICC
Authors Mirèze Philippe
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article is a brief report on the two-day conference on ‘Equal Access to Information & Justice, Online Dispute Resolution’, organized by the ICC in Paris on 12-13 June. Over 160 lawyers, magistrates, academics, researchers, dispute resolution organizations and online dispute resolution providers, from over 30 countries and representing each continent debated about the use of technology for the resolution of all types of disputes. The 60 speakers explored the future of dispute resolution and the role of technology in all legal fields, from mediation in conflict zones, to commercial and civil disputes. The huge potentials greatly underexplored were discussed. It was noted that much remains to be done to educate users and convince state courts, dispute resolution organizations, merchants and other services’ providers to offer access to justice online. Efforts must be undertaken to allow users seek remedy in an affordable way. The solution for an equal access to justice is to make such access available online. The issues of ethics and standards were also discussed, as well as the increase concern of data protection and cybersecurity. The recording of the discussions on the panels are available on the ICC Digital Library (ICCDRL).


Mirèze Philippe
Mirèze Philippe is a special counsel at the Secretariat of the ICC International Court of Arbitration. She is the founding co-president of ArbitralWomen and member of the Board, member of the Steering Committee of the Equal Representation in Arbitration Pledge, member of the Board of Advisors of Arbitrator Intelligence, member of the Advisory Board of Association Arbitri, and fellow of the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution.
Article

Access_open The Promise and Potential of Online Dispute Resolution in Japan

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 2 2017
Keywords Online Dispute Resolution, ODR, ADR, e-Commerce
Authors Hiroki Habuka and Colin Rule
AbstractAuthor's information

    Information technology has dramatically changed the way consumers and businesses transact around the world. Many consumer goods (such as videos, music and software) are purchased online through the Internet instead of through physical stores. Businesses have similarly migrated many of their commercial transactions online, including proposals, due diligence, negotiation and signing. However, most dispute resolution processes have not yet made a similar move; they occur face-to-face, even when the dispute arose online. This has led to a new type of dispute resolution, called ODR (or Online Dispute Resolution). ODR is the use of technology to resolve disputes, and it is being promoted in many countries around the world as a model for civil justice in an online age. North America and the European Union (EU) have aggressively promoted ODR, and there are many ODR projects currently underway. As one of the leading online economies in the world, Japan is facing many of the same challenges as the rest of the world in providing fast and fair resolutions to online consumers. But to date, ODR has not gotten much traction in Japan. Recently, the Japanese Consumer Network published a report about ODR for cross-border e-commerce transactions and encouraged the government to establish a working group for implementation of ODR. However, discussion by multiple stakeholders towards practical implementation of ODR has not yet started in earnest. This article aims to focus the discussion about how to implement ODR in Japan, providing information about the latest developments in global ODR frameworks and envisioning the challenges ODR faces in the Japanese market.


Hiroki Habuka
Hiroki Habuka is a Deputy Director of Information Economy Division, Commerce and Information Policy Bureau, of Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan (METI). He graduated from University of Tokyo Law School (J.D.) and Stanford Law School (LL.M.).

Colin Rule
Colin Rule is Vice President, Online Dispute Resolution, Tyler Technologies. He served as Director of Online Dispute Resolution at eBay and PayPal, and co-founded Modria.com, an ODR provider that was sold to Tyler Technologies in 2017.

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.

FANG Xuhui
FANG Xuhui is Law Professor of Nanchang University, associated researcher at Cyberjustice of University of Montreal, Senior Counsel of E-Better Business in Shenzhen, mediator of International Commercial Mediation Center for Belt & Road Initiative in Beijing and special mediator at Futian District Court of Shenzhen People’s 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

Is ODR ADR?

Reflections of an ADR Founder from 15th ODR Conference, The Hague, The Netherlands, 22-23 May 2016

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2016
Keywords alternative dispute resolution, justice, process pluralism, dispute system design, history of conflict resolution
Authors Carrie Menkel-Meadow
AbstractAuthor's information

    This essay presents the observations of a founder of the dispute resolution field to new developments in online dispute resolution, expressing both concerns and hopes for greater access to justice.


Carrie Menkel-Meadow
Chancellor’s Professor of Law, University of California, Irvine and Visiting Distinguished Scholar Queen Mary, University of London, School of Arbitration.
Article

The New Handshake: Where We Are Now

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 2 2016
Keywords consumers, consumer protection, online dispute resolution (ODR), remedies, e-commerce
Authors Amy J. Schmitz and Colin Rule
AbstractAuthor's information

    The internet has empowered consumers in new and exciting ways. It has opened more efficient avenues for consumers to buy just about anything. Want proof? Just pull out your smartphone, swipe your finger across the screen a few times, and presto – your collector’s edition Notorious RBG bobblehead is on its way from China. Unfortunately, however, the internet has not yet delivered on its promise to improve consumer protection.


Amy J. Schmitz
Amy J. Schmitz is the Elwood L. Thomas Missouri Endowed Professor at the University of Missouri School of Law and Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution, and the founder of MyConsumertips.info.

Colin Rule
Colin Rule is co-founder and Chairman of Modria.com and the former Director of Online Dispute Resolution for eBay and PayPal.

Ethan Katsh
Ethan Katsh is Director and Co-Founder of the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution, and Professor Emeritus of Legal Studies, University of Massachusetts.

Orna Rabinovich-Einy
Orna Rabinovich-Einy is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Haifa, Israel.
Article

Transformation of Dispute Resolution in Africa

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2015
Keywords Lagos Court of Arbitration, Mauritius International Arbitration Court, ODR in Africa, Commonwealth States, UNCITRAL Working Group on ODR
Authors Ijeoma Ononogbu
AbstractAuthor's information

    Online Dispute Resolution ODR) is the new frontier in dispute resolution process. There has been an overwhelming positive expectation on the way ODR will work globally and Africa is likely to join the evolving dispute resolution concept.
    In recent years, technology has taken over virtually all aspects of our lives. This is from online shopping, online banking, online education, to online games, the list goes on and on.
    Online dispute resolution has been used in e-mediation and turned out a great success for e-commerce. The emergence of ODR and its successes are notable in eBay, which boasts of resolving over 35 million disputes using its ODR services. Africa as a continent is a goldmine of technological exploration. The success of M-Pesa in East Africa, which uses technology in mobile money transfer is a testament to the advantages and great advancements the continent has made in its use of the vast population of youngsters. With a recommendation, for African legal practitioners to join the global movement.


Ijeoma Ononogbu
Barrister & Solicitor, Nigeria, and Solicitor in International Dispute Resolution, England & Wales.
Article

Creating New Pathways to Justice Using Simple Artificial Intelligence and Online Dispute Resolution

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2015
Keywords expert system, online dispute resolution, artificial intelligence, access to justice, legal information technology
Authors Darin Thompson
AbstractAuthor's information

    Access to justice in can be improved significantly through implementation of simple artificial intelligence (AI) based expert systems deployed within a broader online dispute resolution (ODR) framework.
    Simple expert systems can bridge the ‘implementation gap’ that continues to impede the adoption of AI in the justice domain. This gap can be narrowed further through the design of multi-disciplinary expert systems that address user needs through simple, non-legalistic user interfaces.
    This article provides a non-technical conceptual description of an expert system designed to enhance access to justice for non-experts. The system’s knowledge base would be populated with expert knowledge from the justice and dispute resolution domains. A conditional logic rule-based system forms the basis of the inference engine located between the knowledge base and a questionnaire-based user interface.
    The expert system’s functions include problem diagnosis, delivery of customized information, self-help support, triage and streaming into subsequent ODR processes. Its usability is optimized through the engagement of human computer interaction (HCI) and affective computing techniques that engage the social and emotional sides of technology.
    The conceptual descriptions offered in this article draw support from empirical observations of an innovative project aimed at creating an expert system for an ODR-enabled civil justice tribunal.


Darin Thompson
Legal Counsel, BC Ministry of Justice; Adjunct Law Professor, University of Victoria; Adjunct Law Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School. Email: darinmobile@gmail.com.
Article

Using Online Arbitration in E-Commerce Disputes

A Study on B2B, B2C and C2C Disputes

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2015
Keywords online arbitration, e-commerce disputes, electronic market exchange
Authors Farzaneh Badiei
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article provides a thorough analysis of the use of online arbitration in online disputes. It first defines online arbitration and provides a categorization of its different kinds. It then establishes which category of online arbitration is more suitable for e-commerce disputes considering the nature of the disputes, the relation between the parties and the parties’ access to technology. It concludes that using binding or non-binding online arbitration depends on the existence of trust between the parties. It then goes on to analyse the extent to which online arbitration can be held on the Internet without using offline mechanisms, and concludes that this is dependent on the nature of the transaction, the parties’ access to technology and the enforcement mechanisms.


Farzaneh Badiei
Farzaneh Badiei is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Law and Economics, Hamburg University. The program is funded by the German Science Foundation. She holds an LLM from Kingston University, UK and was a visiting scholar at Syracuse University School of Information Studies, USA.
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