Online Dispute Resolution

Online Dispute Resolution

Melissa H. Conley Tyler (University of Melbourne, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-998-4.ch006
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Every community—whether physical or virtual will inevitably experience conflict. New ways of interacting through information and communication technology has led to new conflicts, such as domain name or e-commerce disputes. At the same time, governments need to deal with the entire range of disputes in society, whether crimes, neighborhood disputes, ethnic conflict, or disputes with its own employees. A key role for government and for e-governance is providing mechanisms to help resolve these disputes. The emerging area of online dispute resolution (ODR) potentially offers a useful set of tools and techniques for resolving disputes. Capable of being used for both online and offline disputes, ODR has already proved that it can provide effective resolution for at least some disputes: more than 1.5 million cases had been successfully resolved online to July 2004 (Conley Tyler, 2005). Governments and e-governance institutions around the world are adopting or considering the applicability of ODR as a tool for digital government.
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ODR refers to dispute resolution processes conducted with the assistance of information technology, particularly the Internet.

ODR has been available since 1996 and has rapidly passed through three broad stages of development:

  • A “hobbyist” phase where individual enthusiasts started work on ODR, often without formal backing

  • An “experimental” phase where foundations and international bodies funded academics and nonprofit organizations to run pilot programs

  • An “entrepreneurial” phase where a number of for-profit organizations launched private ODR sites (Katsh & Rifkin, 2001, pp. 47-72).

ODR is now entering a fourth “institutional” phase where it is piloted and adopted by a range of official bodies including courts and government dispute resolution agencies (Conley Tyler, 2003).

Two main forces have been driving the development of ODR to date (Conley Tyler & Bretherton, 2003). First, the difficulty of utilizing traditional dispute resolution methods in low-value cross-border disputes has led to interest in low-cost, cross-jurisdictional dispute resolution methods. This has been a particular concern for governments and intergovernmental organizations interested in fostering e-commerce (Federal Trade Commission, 2000; OECD, 1999; Trans Atlantic Consumer Dialogue, 2000). Without effective remedies in the “borderless marketplace,” where traditional court-based remedies are not a realistic option, consumers and business may decide not to transact (Consumers International, 2001). Consumer confidence is seen as a key issue in increasing the level of online commerce.

At the same time, the forces that promoted alternative dispute resolution (ADR) as an alternative to court adjudication in recent decades are also driving the development of ODR. Some ADR enthusiasts have been motivated to investigate the potential of the online medium to provide more effective techniques for dispute resolution—in some cases, from simple curiosity (Raines, 2006). The search for more convenient, cost-effective, efficient, and durable ways of resolving disputes will continue for as long as disputes exist (Brannigan, 2004).

Complete Chapter List

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Table of Contents
Agustí Cerrillo i Martínez, Pere Fabra i Abat
Chapter 1
Marco Fabri
The European Union (EU) is an extraordinary laboratory of innovation and change, particularly in the justice sector. The diversity of environments... Sample PDF
The Italian Style of E-Justice in a Comparative Perspective
Chapter 2
Davide Carnevali
In spite of the technological, economic, and normative efforts, all democratic countries are developing electronic filing (e-filing) in the justice... Sample PDF
E-Justice and Policies for Risk Management
Chapter 3
Marta Poblet, Joan-Josep Vallbé, Núria Casellas, Pompeu Casanovas
Judicial culture generally refers to the set of values, cognitive skills, and practical knowledge of members of the judiciary. In this chapter, we... Sample PDF
Judges as IT Users: The Iuriservice Example
Chapter 4
James E. McMillan
Automated court case management systems present opportunities to develop processes and procedures that can battle corruption. This chapter provides... Sample PDF
The Potential of Computerized Court Case Management to Battle Judicial Corruption
Chapter 5
Michael Adler, Paul Henman
This chapter considers the implications of computerisation for procedural justice in social security. It outlines an approach to the analysis of... Sample PDF
Justice Beyond the Courts: The Implications of Computerisation for Procedural Justice in Social Security
Chapter 6
Melissa H. Conley Tyler
Every community—whether physical or virtual will inevitably experience conflict. New ways of interacting through information and communication... Sample PDF
Online Dispute Resolution
Chapter 7
E-Justice in Spain  (pages 98-116)
Agustí Cerrillo I Martínez
Administration of justice is adding information and communication technologies in its internal operations and its relations both with judicial... Sample PDF
E-Justice in Spain
Chapter 8
Francesco Contini, Antonio Cordella
The Italian judiciary is characterised by a weak system of governance, consequence of institutional and cultural factors. In this framework, the... Sample PDF
Italian Justice System and ICT: Matches and Mismatches Between Technology and Organisation1
Chapter 9
Roberto Fragale Filho, Alexandre Veronese
It has become commonplace to talk about a silent revolution in the Brazilian Judiciary for which the widespread use of ICT has been of great impact.... Sample PDF
Electronic Justice in Brazil
Chapter 10
J. William Holland
This chapter outlines the history of digital government in criminal justice, starting with the Johnson Administration’s findings concerning... Sample PDF
Digital Government and Criminal Justice
Chapter 11
Sandra Potter, Phil Farrelly, Derek Begg
This chapter tracks the response of Australian courts to rapid advances in ICT. It shows how, despite early resistance and a reactive approach to... Sample PDF
The E-Court Roadmap: Innovation and Integration An Australian Case Study
Chapter 12
Yves Poullet
This chapter examines the ambitious Phenix project, a global project for the whole computerization of all Courts and Tribunals in Belgium, with the... Sample PDF
The Belgian Case: Phenix or How to Design E Justice Through Privacy Requirements and in Full Respect of the Separation of Powers
Chapter 13
Alexei Trochev
When the Internet reached Russia in the mid- 1990s, Russian judicial chiefs actively embraced the idea of having a solid presence of national... Sample PDF
Courts on the Web in Russia
Chapter 14
Anne Wallace
A 1999 Australian report on the prospective impact of information and communications technology on the justice system presented a vision of how... Sample PDF
E-Justice: An Australian Perspective
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