Final Report of the UK CJC ADR Committee

from Graham Ross:

Following my work, together with  my colleague Fellow, Professor Pablo Cortes, as a member of the ODR Advisory Group to the Civil Justice Council (the public body, sponsored by the UK Ministry of Justice, responsible for overseeing and co-ordinating the modernisation of the civil justice system in England and Wales)  whose recommendations led to the creation of the Online Civil Money court project in England and Wales, I was later invited by the CJC to join a 6 person Working Party on ADR. The focus was on what steps could be taken to increase the use of ADR within the UK’s justice system.

Our Final Report (available here) was issued on the 4th December 2018. Apart from in general, I contributed some specific recommendations on both ODR and the EU’s consumer ADR/ODR law with relevant extracts as follows:

“3.16 Apart  from  the  online  dispute  resolution  systems  which  are  being  established within the Court system as part of Court modernisation and  the online solutions court there are a number of online dispute resolution  systems available privately.  Some of these effectively serve as adjuncts  or frameworks for established ADR techniques like mediation.  But some  modern systems embody more artificial intelligence (“AI”) and their  programmes may contribute creative solutions to the resolution of the  problem or use systems such as blind bidding.  An example is the iCan  Smartsettle system. This is a comparatively new but rapidly developing  area.  We discuss elsewhere the need for standards to be set before  stakeholders begin to trust online dispute resolution provided by private  providers as an acceptable form of ADR to be encouraged in the context  of  court  proceedings.    It  seems  inescapable  that  given  the  wide   acceptance of online processes and services in our social and business  lives dispute resolution is bound to develop in this direction.

“4.16.Online dispute resolution may well enjoy greater popularity,even if  provided privately,once people get used to the ODR techniques being  used in the online court.   There is at present, it is thought, a great deal  of unfamiliarity and it is an area which needs standards to be set and in  particular reassurance to be given to potential litigants about the security  and confidentiality of their communications.   “

“5.6…….As we said in out Interim Report, “We can see that if  ODR  techniques become woven into the design of the Court system then the  debate whether or not to compel ADR may simply become obsolete” (IR  2.7)     In general the existence of the Online Court project presents the  opportunity for expansion of its use of ODR techniques especially those  that go beyond simply enabling communications to take place online and  embrace those systems that exploit Artificial Intelligence to empower  litigants to reach settlement more easily. This should enable it to handle  large increases in case load.”

5.12  More important are the Consumer ADR Regulations  and the Online ADR Regulations, the which will be preserved as part of  UK law.  Anything involving EU Institutions is more difficult.  Agreement  is likely to need to be reached with the EU to permit the EU’s ODR Portal  to continue to operate by referring to UK consumers to UK approved ADR  providers as at present.  Failing this an independent UK Portal will need  to be created.

7.10(4)  Private initiatives in relation to ODR should be applauded and  promoted and, we hope, accepted by the Courts once appropriate  standards are in place;

7.21 We referred in our interim report to the need for some standards to be  set for the seemingly huge variety of techniques available within ODR if  it is to gain wider recognition as a privately available ADR service rather  than just an aspect of the digital court. We think the respects in which  standards  may  be  required  are  most  obviously  confidentiality  and  security.  Where there is an evaluative or advisory component in the  online inter‐action then clearly issues of accuracy and quality could arise.    We wonder whether it will be advisable to offer the public a link to a  private ODR provider (on the Alternatives website) until standards are  established and the provider commits to follow them. It is recognised  that  the  newly  formed  International  Council  for  Online  Dispute  Resolution ( is developing global standards for ODR and  already has a set of principles on its website.  As the ICODR comprises the  body of universally acknowledged leading experts in the field, it would be  unwelcome for those less knowledgeable and less experienced to seek to  develop standards of their own.

8.3 The Dispute Resolution techniques most likely to be deployed at the  outset of the dispute are consumer conciliations and ombudsman services  provided under the schemes that were reviewed in our interim report.   We remain of the view that careful consideration needs to be given to the  scope of the consumer ADR Directive and to the position that, outside  statutory schemes, suppliers of services in England and Wales are at  present able to do no more than to cite the theoretical possibility of  conciliation conducted by a particular body and are under no obligation  in any given case actually to use those ADR systems even where the  consumer wishes to do so.

8.4. In  fact  as  matters  stand  there  is  evidence  that  even  the  existing  requirements of the Consumer ADR and ODR Regulations are being  ignored and flouted to an extraordinary extent.  Steps clearly need to be  taken by way of enforcement to ensure that at least that step is being  taken.

9.18. Online dispute resolution in all its many forms must establish a set of  standards in order to gain further acceptance.

9.19. There  should  be  a  review  of  the  operation  of  the  Consumer  ADR  Regulations to ensure that the existing rules are complied with and careful  thought should be given to their further reinforcement, so as to increase  the use of consumer conciliation in this area.

Read the full report here:

ODR Melbourne meeting

The ODR Melbourne meeting has just kicked off.  Review the program for the meeting here.  About the meeting:

The Sir Zelman Cowen Centre at Victoria University is convening the Online Dispute Resolution (ODR): The State of the Art Symposium on 21-22 November 2018 in Melbourne.

The symposium will:

  • provide an intensive and experiential learning opportunity for strategic decision makers in Australia interested in ODR as a mechanism for improving efficiency and access to justice through technology
  • showcase, and critically review, the variety of ODR approaches and technologies being adopted nationally and internationally
  • create a network of practitioners and policy makers with a specialist interest in developing ODR in Australia.

Australian policy makers, judicial officers, court and tribunal administrators and complaint handling agencies are invited to engage with leading international experts to learn about ODR solutions being adopted nationally and across the globe.”

The conference is also hosting an ODR playground where the latest technology and platform will be available for demo and experimentation.  Speakers and bios are available here.

Bringing cutting edge UX design to ODR

Portable, a user experience design firm based in Melbourne, has just put out a summary of it’s ODR design project.  From the announcement:

“As the population grows, social infrastructure such as the court system struggles with overwhelming loads, all in the face of funding cuts. To relieve some of this burden, Portable is combining best-practice user-experience design with modern technologies to help people solve more issues themselves.

Online dispute resolution represents a major opportunity. It provides an extra step at which parties can try to reach an agreement between themselves and, by doing so, is helping jurisdictions around the world prevent more matters reaching court.

Portable is passionate about improving people’s experience of justice, and our online dispute resolution technology, dubbed Settle (, sits among our broader work to innovate in this space – such as our YourCase technology being piloted for applicants of family violence intervention orders, and our Courtsight ticketing and wayfinding solution implemented in Shepparton Law Courts – to transform the before, during and after-court experience for people.

The power of our online dispute resolution technology is already being seen through projects with several different jurisdictions, including family law, work disputes, and small claims tribunals such as VCAT.”

read more here.

International ODR Forum takes place in Auckland, New Zealand November 14-15, 2018

The annual International ODR Forum Innovation and Impact: Online Courts and the Changing Landscapes of Digital Justice is being hosted by the New Zealand Centre for ICT Law, in the School of Law at Auckland University, November 14-15, 2018. The two key themes, Innovation and Impact, are well-presented in an exciting line up. See the conference program and come join the gathering in New Zealand!

1st Latin American Encounter of Conflict Resolution 4.0

With great joy we present the convening entities to the

1st Latin American Encounter of Conflict Resolution 4.0
“An unavoidable disruption”

To be held face-to-face in Argentina, Brasil and Mexico.

Attempted dates: April, June and September 2019


Confirmed Institutions up to the present day:


  • General Direction of Justice Registration and Mediation of the Government of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires


  • Permanent Nucleus of Consensual Methods of Conflict Resolution of the Court of Justice of the State of Rio de Janeiro – NUPEMEC
  • School of Magistrature of the State of Rio de Janeiro


  • Superior Court of Justice of the State of Tlaxcala


List of topics:

Big data
Smart Contracts
Demonstrations of platforms for solving virtual disputes
Emotions in virtual environments
Digital entrepreneurship
Ethics and standards for online conflict management and other innovations and tools for building peace in the Digital Era
Artificial Intelligence
Mobile Learning
Virtual Reality
Online Dispute Resolution 4.0


Videos about the On-line Mediation Program launched by Buenos Aires City Government in Argentina| Developed by ODR Latinoamerica

These are the presentation and explanation videos of the On-line Mediation Program of the City of Buenos Aires, known as MEL.

MEL offers an additional service to traditional face to face mediation and it’s a free service provided by the Buenos Aires City Government, with experts supporting the mediation trhough all instances.

ODR Latinoamerica guided the development of the proyect with its experience in technology, communications and ODR.

¡Great work!

Round-the-clock cyber court opens in Beijing

“An internet-based court that runs 24/7 was set up in Beijing on Sunday where internet-related cases in the city will be tried online in the future.

Now, like convenience stores, courts will stay open perpetually and plaintiffs can file cases anytime.

The Beijing Internet Court has been given the jurisdiction to handle internet-related cases that should be tried by a primary-level people’s court in Beijing regarding disputes with online shopping, service contracts, lending and copyrights, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Sunday.

People can “file a case online instead of going to the court with paper-based material,” Li Jingwei, deputy president of the court told the China Central Television (CCTV) on Sunday.

People involved in a lawsuit can also receive evidence material sent by the other party, Li added.

The appearance of such a court also indicates a new model of social governance system, Qin An, head of the Institute of the China Cyberspace Strategy told the Global Times on Sunday.

Citizens can log onto the litigation service platform to file cases or submit related material “at any time, without worrying  about time,” said She Guiqing, another deputy president of the Beijing Internet Court.

Cases would be heard online through videocall if conditions allowed, China News Service reported.”

Read more:


Dr. Héctor Maldonado Bonilla

Illustrious Magistrate President of the Superior Tribunal  of Justice of the State of Tlaxcala, Mexico


Has been recognized by ODR Latinoamerica with the IMPULSORES AWARD 2018.

In merit of the contributions made for the promotion and spreading of  the New Technologies of Information and Communication for the Construction of Peace in the Digital Era.





ODR Latinoamerica was selected Successful Project by the XIV World Congress of Mediation and Peace

ODR Latinoamerica will have a special presentation in the XIV World Congress of Mediation an Peace, since it was selected Succesfull Proyect of Global Reach by the Evaluation Committee of Successful Projects.

We are happy for the announcement and want to thank the opportunity!

The Congress will take place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 17 – 22 September. More info in the web of the congress





Alberto Elisavetsky is invited to Tlaxcala, Mexico, to work on a Project of Distance Conflict Resolution Pilot Plan

Alberto Elisavetsky, Director of ODR Latinoamerica, has been invited to work in the ODR pilot project of Tlaxcala’s Judicial Power, Mexico.

Here follows the official invitation:


Alberto Elisavetsky

Director of the Observatory of Social Conflict

Tres de Febrero National University, Argentina.


In compliance to the Strategic Institutional Plan 2018-2020 of the Judicial Power of the State of Tlaxcala, in line of action 2.3.2 Motivate the training of the public facilitator around the use of TIC’s, with a perspective on distance mediation/on-line and 4.2.3 Establish strategic alliances for spreading internally and externally the actions of training that the Institute executes; as well as considering your wide trajectory and knowledge in new technologies applied to dispute resolution, you are invited on September 6 & 7 of this year to the facilities of Judicial City, Tlaxcala, Mexico to support the Project of Distance Conflict Resolution Pilot Plan.


Kind regards, hoping to count with your valuable presence.



Santa Anita Huiloac, Apizaco, Tlaxcala, August the 20th 2018

President Magistrate of the Superior Tribunal of Justice of the State of Tlaxcala.