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The Civil Resolution Tribunal Platform

The Civil Resolution Tribunal Platform

How does platform used by the Civil Resolution Tribunal work in practice?

 

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When the tribunal begins to operate, what we will have is we will get the opportunity for Strata disputants to come in through a number of different channels. When we created the Civil Resolution Tribunal, the design is set up such that there is no assumption that you will have to have an in-person dealing in a court registry at a counter.

 

There will be no assumption that you have to have an in-person setting to have a mediation process in that regard, and you don’t have to go into a courtroom or a hearing room to do an adjudication.

 

We are certainly setting the system up so that in-person interactions can happen, but in contrast with the existing system, with the court system, for example, it’s not assumed that that’s how business will be done. So, we’ve been doing a lot of work designing a technology-based platform to, hopefully, handle the biggest load to carry the greatest amount of business cases in and through the tribunal process.

 

Much of our work in the last year or so has focused on developing what I think most people would call an “Online Dispute Resolution Platform” or an “Online Dispute Resolution System” that will be the virtual place where your condominium owner or your small-claims dispute will come. That’s how they will interact with the other parties, and that’s how they will interact with the tribunal itself.

 

I can walk through the steps if you like, just broadly outline the main phases of the process. Ideally, the disputant will begin using a tool that we are calling the “Solution Explorer”, and this is the first phase of the Civil Resolution Tribunals process. At this point, though, what we are doing is we are just dealing with this one dispute.

 

We can call them the “claimant”. We can call them the “initiator”. They are the person that has the problem that they are bringing to the tribunal, or that they think they are going to bring to the tribunal.

 

We’ve designed this process so that using this online tool, it provides us a smart questionnaire, type of approach, and it does a few things which I will outline now.

 

The first thing it does is it helps our initiator diagnose their problem. Through a series of questions and answers, in the example that we were talking about a minute ago, it would very quickly help the user recognise that they have a Strata- or condominium-based dispute.

 

Based on how we set up the system to create the knowledge base for this Solution Explorer tool, we can diagnose it down to a fairly granular level. So if it was, for example, a dispute involving a fine that the Strata council has issued to our owner. Maybe they were accused of being too noisy at a party one night or something along those lines. We can set up the system so that people diagnose it down to a very specific or a very granular level, say, “This is a dispute over a fine” sort of thing.

 

Once we’ve got that symptom diagnosed, the system can start to offer many other services, now, to our user. The first thing that they can do is that they can give them specific information. We know that out there in the justice system that there are a lot of people who are not lawyers who need help, and they don’t know where to start.

 

There is lots of information out there, lots of great organisations pushing lots of information out there, but it doesn’t always get connected with the user when they need it.

 

Here, we’ve diagnosed the user’s problem, and we can start to pinpoint . . . We can deliver it straight to the user, right at that moment the problem has been diagnosed. Moreover, we can give them very, very specific information.

 

It’s the idea of “Tell me only what I need to know.” I don’t want to read a twenty-page PDF document that’s online that might talk a little bit about my dispute, but it might talk about lots of other things, and talk about it in a very generic kind of way.

 

Here, we have diagnosed the problem, so we can pinpoint and give them

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