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Improving the ODR Platform

Improving the ODR Platform

What else are you doing to improve the ODR platform?

 

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Other things we are doing, we have prototyped some of our work, so the Solution Explorer system that I’ve been describing, we’ve created many prototypes where we’ve actually gone out and found people with real disputes and asked them to use the prototype.

 

We watch how they do with it. We ask them if it works, if it makes sense. We take that learning back, and we use it to inform our design process. In this way, we are following an iterative design process, which traditionally, is never something I’ve done when I’ve been sitting around in groups drafting court rules or anything like that. You’re not drafting for the user. Not necessarily. You might try, but usually, you are drafting for the process itself, and you certainly don’t do iterative design where you say, “Let’s get this court rule drafted and then send it out in the world and see how it does. Then we’ll bring it back and tweak it a little bit.”

 

This is exactly what we are trying to do with the Civil Resolution Tribunal.

 

The Solution Explorer, I better finish that off really quickly, sorry about that. We’ve got problem diagnosis, we’ve given you specific information, we’ve given you some self-help tools so that you might be able to resolve it on your own, and the last thing that happens is streaming and triage.

 

We’ve kind of combined these two ideas, so “streaming” basically means we’ve brought our user through the system. We’ve guided them down a very customised pathway. We’ve given them some tools and so on, and some information, and we will tell them at the end, “Your dispute, if you are not able to resolve it on your own using the tools and information we’ve provided, here’s what you could consider for the next option.”

 

The next option, in many cases, will be the Civil Resolution Tribunal, the further phase. There might also be other places where we’ll direct people, other service providers and programmes around. It might be that you don’t belong in the Civil Resolution Tribunal, so we think you might want to go here.

 

The aspect of “triage” for us, just means doing a little bit of work to identify especially high areas of need, so it might be that a user is in a really difficult situation. Their circumstances are such that they are not well equipped to handle the Dispute Resolution Process on their own. Maybe we need to refer them out to another resource provider.

 

A very easy example, to go back to that debt example, might be that maybe you need to see a debt counsellor. That sort of thing. That might be that that’s the best option for you, so those are the four phases and it ends with streaming and triage.

 

After that, I can try to very quickly describe the subsequent phases of the Civil Resolution Tribunal, if you like. That was only the first phase.

About the mediator

Darin Thompson Profile Pic

Darin Thompson is a lawyer with the Ministry of Justice in British Columbia, Canada. He currently serves as the Acting Legal Officer for the BC Civil Resolution Tribunal, a new, fully online tribunal that will begin operations in 2015, handling small claims and condominium disputes. He has helped to initiate multiple projects using Online Dispute Resolution and is a member of the Canadian delegation to the United Nations Working Group on ODR. ... View Mediator