Ethan Katsh is presented the prestigious D’Alemberte-Raven Award by the Dispute Resolution Section of the American Bar Association.

The award “recognizes leaders in the dispute resolution community for their significant contributions to the field.”  And these include nothing short of being the founder of the field of online dispute resolution, conducting the first research experiments in ODR, co-authoring  the first book on ODR (Online Dispute Resolution: Resolving Conflicts in Cyberspace, 2001), founding the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution, and fostering the development of the theory and practice of ODR throughout the globe.  A prolific author, Ethan’s most recent work is Digital Justice: Technology and the Internet of Disputes, co-authored with Orna Rabinovich-Einy (Oxford University Press, 2017); another brilliant and visionary contribution.  You can watch a video of Ethan’s acceptance speech here.  Congratulations Ethan!


EU ODR Platform Handles 24,000 Cases in its First Year

An announcement from the EU on March 24th indicates that the new EU ODR platform has handled more than 24,00 cases since launching last year.  More than a third of the complaints concerned cross-border purchases within the EU. Most complaints were about clothing and footwear, airline tickets and information and communication technology goods.

From the press release:

“While there are strong rules in place in the EU to protect consumers, in practice consumers sometimes encounter problems getting redress when their rights are violated, particularly cross border.

When consumers have made their purchase online, they should also be able to solve such problems online. Be it a seller refusing to repair a defective laptop within the guarantee period, or a travel agent not willing to refund a ruined holiday, such disputes can be settled faster and cheaper online and outside the court, via an Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) platform, launched by the Commission on 15 February 2016.

Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, said: “While we are still in an early phase of this new tool, we can already say that the Online Dispute Resolution platform has been well received by consumers. We also see that the mere fact of a consumer using the platform often is incentive enough for traders to resolve the dispute. We are giving consumers a practical tool to help them benefit from their rights in practice. On the other side, traders also have a lot to gain from this platform and should use it more. Particularly for online traders it is essential to be seen as reliable by potential consumers. Using this tool will help them earn consumer trust, whilst providing them with a simple and fast way of resolving disputes.”


  • A consumer from Italy complained about a defective ICT product bought from an online trader in Belgium. The platform sent the complaint to the competent dispute resolution body in Belgium. As a result, the Italian consumer was reimbursed.
  • A consumer from Luxembourg complained about a car rented online from a trader in Greece. The platform sent the complaint to the competent dispute resolution body in Greece. The dispute was amicably settled within 60 days. The trader fully reimbursed the additional expenses incurred by the consumer.
  • The platform often also works as a channel of first contact between the parties and a solution is often found bilaterally without taking the complaint to a dispute resolution body. For example, A Belgian consumer had been complaining for months about a defective dryer to a Belgian trader, with no success. When the trader received the complaint via the platform, he contacted the consumer and offered to replace the dryer with a new one.

Read more:

American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution

For those attending the American Bar Association annual conference in San Francisco April 19-22, we hope that you will come to the discussion of The New Handshake by Amy Schmitz and Colin Rule and Digital Justice: Technology and the Internet of Disputes by Ethan Katsh and Orna Rabinovich-Einy. The session will be on Thursday April 20th at 2:45. Information about Digital Justice can be found here.

Tijuana and Paris, two ODR destinations during 2017

Dear friends of the ODR,

2017 has open doors for the broadening of our activity.

First of all, I’ll gladly participate as speaker in  ODR2017 in Paris, June 12-13, 2017 .

On the other hand, I had the honor to give a five-hour workshop on the use of new technologies for conflict resolution at the 1st National Congress of Alternative Methods for Conflict Resolution and Restorative Justice (CEMAJUR in Spanish). It  took place in Tijuana, Mexico, from March 15 to 18.

I wanted to share with you the webpages of these two events




Let’s keep the good work. I’m looking forward to see many of you in Paris!


Invitation as Speaker for the “V FONAMEC RIO DE JANEIRO” – Superior Court of Law – MAY 2017

Dear friends,

with great satisfaction I share with you the invitation I received to participate as a speaker on May 11, in the opening conference of the V FONAMEC.

This event will take place in the Superior Court of Law of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where I’ll speak about New Technologies applied to Conflict Resolution. I hope to see many of my brazilian friends there!!!

This is the invitation (in portuguese)

TJRJ – de 10 a 12 de maio de 2017

Rio de Janeiro, 20 de março de 2017
Senhor Professor

Apraz-nos convidar Vossa Excelência para participar deste V FONAMEC, proferindo, na Abertura do Encontro, palestra sobre ODRs – Novas Tecnologias Aplicadas na Resolução de Conflitos, no dia 11 de maio- quinta-feira, de 11:20 ás 12:30.
Honrando-nos Vossa Excelência com a aceitação deste convite.
Apensamos informações completas sobre a finalidade do FORUM e a descrição das atividades do V Encontro a ser realizado no Tribunal de Justiça do Rio de Janeiro .

Na oportunidade, renovamos a Vossa Excelência protestos de elevado apreço e consideração.

Desembargador Cesar Felipe Cury
Presidente do FONAMEC
Excelentíssimo Senhor

Doutor Alberto Elisavetsky

Propósitos FONAMEC

O Fórum Nacional da Mediação e Conciliação – FONAMEC, conforme o art. 2º de seu estatuto, tem como finalidade o implemento da mediação e conciliação nos Estados e Distrito Federal buscando fomentar a cultura da paz, com a apresentação e discussão de propostas para (1) criação e alteração de leis, regulamentos e procedimentos; (2) desenvolvimento de sistemas de informação, portais e canais de comunicação; (3) congregação de magistrados e servidores que atuem com mediação e conciliação aperfeiçoando e uniformizando os métodos consensuais de resolução de conflitos por meio de intercâmbio de experiências; e (4) melhorar a articulação e integração com o Conselho Nacional de Justiça, órgãos de Governo e demais entidades de apoio e representação que atuem diretamente no segmento.

Criado em 12 de dezembro de 2014, o Fórum irá para o seu 5º encontro, que será realizado nos dias 10 a 12 de maio, no Rio de Janeiro, trazendo palestras e painéis de grande interesse, e aprovando enunciados orientativos das atividades dos NUPEMECs, CEJUSCs, conciliadores e mediadores. Na oportunidade, será lançada a Revista do FONAMEC, com artigos de representantes de todos os 27 Tribunais e de juristas especializados no estudo dos métodos autocompositivos.



March – July 2017 | International Mediation Program “Ser Mediador” (Being a Mediator) – 1st Cycle

March – July 2017
International Mediation Program Ser Mediador (Being a Mediator) – 1st Cycle

Being a Mediator is an on-line International mediation cycle that gathers under a single title big figures of mediation around the world. During this first cycle, there’ll be five web conferences of two hours each, between the months of March and July, one per month. This unprecedented event will allow Spanish-speaking mediators from around the world to listen and ask questions (through on live translation), to important figures of the field of dispute resolution.

This program is co-organized by ODR Latinoamerica, Mediando Metálogos and Mediadores en Red, and it is recognized by the most important public organisms of Argentina, like the National Department of Mediation and Participative Methods of Conflict Resolution.

Let’s hope this first cycle sets precedent in the field of mediation, and that it provides its attendees new experiences and knowledge!



Conferences schedule


1st conference

Tuesday, March 28th 2017
Time: 14 hs. ARG
Speaker: William Ury
Subject: Getting to yes with yourself.  The greatest obstacle to successful agreements and satisfying relationships is not the other side. The biggest obstacle is ourselves. Uncover the inner obstacles that are keeping you from getting to Yes. Reach positive agreements with others, develop healthy relationships, make your business more productive, live a more satisfying life.


2nd conference

Friday, April 21st 2017.
Time: 14 hs. ARG
Speaker: Fadhila Mammar
Subject: This conference intends to clarify the concept on interculturality. To identify the particularities of intercultural mediation, its scenarios and methodologic contributions. Finally, based on reflection and some examples, arrive to a better comprehension of the main conflicts of our time.


3rd conference

Tuesday, May 16 2017
Time: 14 hs. ARG
Speaker: Juan Carlos Vezzulla
Subject: by working on the effect of outsourcing and symbolization with the parties, and encouraging them to speak about themselves, the mediator can obtain a deeper reflection state. This function is most important in Restorative Mediation with teenagers to produce the passage from dependency to emancipation, taking responsibility for their actions, developing their identity and repair the damage caused to themselves and others.


4th conference

Tuesday, June 6 2017
Time: 14 hs. ARG
Speaker: Sara Cobb
Subject: Speaking of Violence. New contributions to the Circular – Narrative Mediation Model, explained through different mediation contexts. Evolution of conflict narrations. Explanation of the “Narrative Critique Theory”. Aesthetic as an ethic of the narrative practice. Resources to allow the destabilization and transformation of the conflict’s narratives.


5th conference

Tuesday, July 4 2017
Time: 14 hs. ARG
Speakers: Francisco Diez y Marinés Suares
Subject: Reflexive, critical and integrative summary of the contributions made by the 4 main speakers, specially focused around ‘Being Mediator’ in different contexts and in different fields of application and development. The objective is to carry out a complex consolidation of our role.


Would you like to attend? Sign up to the pre-registration (Spanish)

Universities interested in the Cycle, please contact Alberto Elisavetsky: 



Fantastic Article from Leah Wing on ODR Ethical Principles

Leah Wing has just completed an amazingly well-referenced article for the IJODR on Ethical Principles for Online Dispute Resolution.  This article attempts to consolidate all of the ODR standards work from the past fifteen years into a clear set of principles that should serve to guide the development of global ODR moving forward.  In the article, Leah describes these standards as a “GPS” for the development of the field.  From the abstract:

As ODR is increasingly incorporated into legislation, regulation and a wide variety of sectors in society, it is timely to explore the importance of ethical principles specifically for ODR. In the hope of contributing to these efforts, this article examines the benefits and challenges of articulating a set of ethical principles to guide the development and implementation of ODR systems, technology and processes.”

This is an important milestone article for the ODR field writ large, and I strongly encourage you to check it out.

Ethan Katsh Wins the 2017 D’Alemberte-Raven Award from the ABA

From the announcement:

“The ABA Section of Dispute Resolution has selected Ethan Katsh, Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, as the recipient of the 2017 D’Alemberte-Raven Award. Professor Katsh is widely recognized as the founder of the field of online dispute resolution (ODR). Along with Janet Rifkin, he conducted the eBay Pilot Project in 1999 that led to eBay’s current system that handles over sixty million disputes each year.”

Read the full text of the announcement here.

Congrats, Ethan!

UN General Assembly Resolution on ODR

On December 16th, the UN General Assembly adopted a Resolution regarding the Technical Notes generated by UNCITRAL’s ODR Working Group.

The Resolution reads, in part:

“The General Assembly:
1. Expresses its appreciation to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law for preparing and adopting the Technical Notes on Online
Dispute Resolution as annexed to the report of the Commission on the work of its forty-ninth session;
2. Requests the Secretary-General to publish the text of the Technical Notes through all appropriate means, including electronically, in the six official languages of the United Nations, and to disseminate that text broadly to Governments and other interested bodies;
3. Recommends that all States and other stakeholders use the Technical Notes in designing and implementing online dispute resolution systems for crossborder commercial transactions;
4. Requests all States to support the promotion and use of the Technical Notes.”

You can read the full text of the Resolution here.