APEC’s New Online Dispute Resolution Framework

“APEC Embraces ODR”

Great article on LinkedIn from Mike Dennis, who many of you know from his work leading the US delegation to the UNCITRAL ODR Working Group.  From the piece:

“Last week, I served as an ODR adviser to the APEC Economic Committee at the APEC Senior Officials Meeting (SOM 1) in Santiago, Chile.[iii]The Committee endorsed a pilot for a Collaborative Framework for Online Dispute Resolution of Business-to-Business (B2B) disputes involving micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).

APEC will partner with platform hosts and ODR providers, including regional arbitration and mediation centres, that comply with APEC’s ODR Collaborative Framework and Procedural Rules.

In turn, the Economic Committee will promote partnering ODR providers on its web page and encourage MSMEs to resolve low-value dispute using accredited ODR providers. This is excellent news for small businesses across the APEC region, most of which lack a viable solution for their disputes at present.”


“The time is now to create an APEC ODR legal framework that benefits businesses and individuals across the region.

ODR e-justice is an essential component of economic growth. Use of ODR promises MSMEs access to commercial justice, with tailored procedures that bring down costs, delays and burdens in proportion to the economic value at stake. It makes transactions more efficient, reduces risk and boosts small business competitivity by lowering costs for both buyers and sellers.

The APEC ODR Framework will therefore reduce barriers to entry into international trade, help create markets where none exist, establish trust between business partners, and promote a culture of contract-based relationships. It will benefit the millions of small businesses who have no access to effective dispute remedies. It will help the most vulnerable MSMEs, such as women-led businesses, compete and flourish in the global supply chain.

ODR is the cornerstone for the next global justice system in APEC. Because small businesses employ the majority of workers in the private sector, APEC ODR will help build the capacity for economic growth in APEC economies based on trade not aid. ”

Read more here.