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Trends in ODR

Trends in ODR

What are the current trends in ODR?

 

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I think the most immediate thing I’d have to say is we’re going to see a lot more of technology, a lot more of online dispute resolution. When I say a lot more of online dispute resolution, I guess we also need to understand what online dispute resolution is. If we initially thought of online dispute resolution as avenues that are parallel to what we know as alternative dispute resolution, and are conducted online on the Internet, to address online disputes, I think the people who are in this field¬†today think about ODR very differently.

 

It doesn’t have to address online disputes. It doesn’t have to be online. It could be software. It doesn’t have to be exclusively online. It could be hybrid processes. It doesn’t have to imitate or mimic existing ADR processes. It can actually celebrate the new possibilities that are ingrained in technology and create new types of processes that have no offline equivalent. It doesn’t have to accept the formal/informal distinction that has come with ADR, and it can be incorporated into courts as well.

 

So I think today I would look at ODR as technology meets dispute resolution. Whether formal or informal, whether the dispute arose online or offline, and we’re going to see a lot more of that. Our entire lives have changed so dramatically in the last few decades, and if you look at the last decade alone I think it’s overwhelming.

 

Some of these changes, I think, if someone would have told us about them twenty years ago, we would’ve laughed. We would’ve said this doesn’t make sense, right? So it’s kind of surprising to see that one of the fields that has been the most immune to these changes is the field of dispute resolution.

About the mediator

Orna Rabinovich Profile Pic

Orna Rabinovich-Einy is a senior lecturer (with tenure) at the Faculty of Law at the University of Haifa. Her areas of expertise are alternative dispute resolution (ADR), online dispute resolution (ODR), and civil procedure, with research focusing on the relationship between formal and informal justice systems, dispute resolution system design and the impact of technology on dispute resolution. Rabinovich-Einy is a fellow of the Haifa Forum of... View Mediator