Online Dispute Resolution
Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) provides great opportunities to participants in a variety of disputes. ODR processes can be used to resolve both business-to-consumer and business-to-business disputes.
ODR is a process that involves the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms utilizing the internet as a platform for communication and information exchange. ODR may use similar processes to those used in offline ADR, although the techniques used vary due to the characteristics of the electronic environment. Several models of ODR are fully automated processes.
Some examples of ODR include complaints assistance, automated negotiation, mediation and non-binding arbitration. ODR presents new opportunities for resolving disputes across borders without the costs associated with moving people or documents around the world. It allows dispute resolution and technical expertise to be utilized, no matter where the person with the expertise resides relative to the disputants.
ODR can operate completely separately from online transactions; it can be a standalone service that the parties enter into after the dispute has arisen, much as it is in the offline world. There can also be hybrids using a combination of on and off line processes and technologies.
ODR provides significant opportunities for dispute resolution. In a world where we now carry out a significant number of our day to day tasks on line, it makes good sense to resolve our disputes the same way.