“Consumer Trust in the Digital Economy: The Case for ODR”

New UNCTAD Research Paper (No. 72):

“As e-commerce expansion surges, consumer trust remains fragile. This mismatch, greatly fuelled by the COVID-19 pandemic, reveals disparities between the rapid pace with which consumer activities are being migrated online and inadequate consumer protection.

Dispute resolution mechanism has been proposed by consumer experts as an essential tool that helps to foster trust. The notion of trust is unpacked to theorize why it matters in business transaction, and how a third-party can serve as an institutional mechanism to help transacting parties overcome distrust and settle dispute.

To examine how the theories work in practice, selected studies are reviewed to determine whether the presence of consumer dispute resolution promotes trust and whether its absence leads to business costs. This includes in-house business online dispute resolution such as customer support and third-party e-payment systems. The findings confirm that effective online dispute resolution processes can increase trust along with consumer loyalty and repurchasing intentions, as well as prevent customer churn and dissatisfaction.

The trust-enabling benefits of online dispute resolution are yet to be fully realized, especially for cross-border business-to-consumer e-commerce. Wider awareness and implementation are needed, but these global challenges require timely collaborations by the international community.”

Consumer trust in the digital economy: The case for online dispute resolution | UNCTAD

(h/t Ying)

ODR in Large Bankruptcies

Maarten van Buuren on the Leiden Law Blog:

“Such an ODR tool might also be very useful in ‘closed’ situations such as large bankruptcies: through the use of blockchain technology, the receivers in the bankruptcy might come up with a relatively simple solution and use ODR to resolve straightforward disputes with customers through an online arbitration process. Many disputes could be dealt with this way in a relatively short period of time, which could also be useful in easing emotions. Enforcement could be guaranteed through an escrow account of the receivers or a third-party guarantee, such as the ‘Stichting Garantiefonds Reisgelden’ in the Netherlands which guarantees certain elements of purchased travel arrangements. As the outcome of disputes can be shown on the Blockchain, that as such could create ‘jurisprudence’ which might limit upcoming proceedings and could be helpful in future settlements.”

Read more:
Could online dispute resolution help in the Thomas Cook bankruptcy? – Leiden Law Blog

(h/t Mike Dennis)

Cyberweek 2021 is here!

Yes, it’s that time of year again — Cyberweek 2021! This year will be our 23rd annual Cyberweek, the largest online conference focused on Online Dispute Resolution.

The conference will run from October 31 until November 5, and we’ve pulled together an exciting line up of speakers filled with the top presenters from around the globe. Come join conversations on cutting edge topics in ODR with practitioners and scholars, including a panel each day with authors from the newly released treatise Online Dispute Resolution–Theory and Practice (2nd edition).

The homepage for the week is at http://odr.info/cyberweek2021 — and the latest agenda (which we will be constantly updating) is always available here and by clicking on the banner below:

Cyberweek 2021 Agenda

All of the links to join the sessions are embedded in the agenda, and as sessions complete and we upload the video we’ll put the links to watch the recordings into the agenda as well.

Thank you to Cyberweek 2021 Supporters! (Click for the full list)

We will also be posting resources throughout the week — let us know (crule@odr.com) if you have any suggestions or resources you’d like us to share.

We hope to see you online!

New APEC report: Promoting Consumer Protection in eCommerce ODR

The report from our Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Public-Private Dialogue on consumer protection ODR has now been officially published on the APEC website — from the description:

This report presents the outcomes of a virtual public-private dialogue (PPD) held on 26-28 April 2021 attended by speakers and participants from APEC and non-APEC economies. The goal of the PPD was to raise awareness about the value of online dispute resolution; to highlight the benefits it provides to both consumers and micro, small and medium Enterprises (MSMEs); to encourage APEC economies to consider and promote foundational consumer protections afforded by online dispute resolution (ODR) systems, whether established by the private or public sector; and to consider the challenges and promises of emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence, as they pertain to ODR.

The PPD also contributed to the development of a best practices on ODR document for consideration by the APEC members.”

Click here for the reportClick here for the best practicesClick here for more information

Thanks to all the NCTDR Fellows who contributed to the effort!

Interview on Family ODR

Greetings, everyone — I just had a great discussion about the future of ODR and family mediation on the “Evolving with the Times” podcast with Ronnie Deaver. If you’d like to give it a listen, you can use the player below or listen to it on Spotify here.

New Online Mediation Training Guidelines

Mediate.com’s Online Mediation Training Task Force has shared its Final Report and Recommendations, which can be reviewed in its entirety here. Stemming from a months long working group process from earlier in the year, this Report will be followed by an open online forum September 24, 2021 to discuss the recommendations and path forward.’

While the report in its entirety offers more than 90 pages of suggestions and best practices (specifically including the ICODR standards) the eight key recommendations are:

  1. Develop Online Mediation Advocacy and Resource Capacities
  2. Expand Access to Online Mediation Services and Online Mediation Training
  3. Update Mediation Practice and Ethical Standards to Embrace Current and Evolving Issues Raised by Online Mediation
  4. Assist Existing Mediation Programs to Renovate Basic Mediation Trainings and Expand Online Mediation Training
  5. Define a Universal Online Mediator Code of Disclosure
  6. Encourage Established Mediators to Get Training to Most Competently Offer Online Mediation Services
  7. Expand Online Mediation Mentorship, Clinical and Apprenticeship Opportunities
  8. Elevate the Recognition of Online Mediation as the “Green Way” to Resolve Disputes

For more information on the report, and to download the full document, just visit https://www.mediate.com/articles/OnlineMediationPathsForward.cfm

Indian ODR Week

If you’re not aware, there’s a big event happening in ODR in India this week!

All the details are here. From the website:

“Spurred for the most part by the COVID pandemic, ODR became a national priority in 2020. The year began with ODR Week 2020 – the first week-long open discussions on ODR in India. NITI Aayog, in association with Agami and Omidyar Network India, brought together key stakeholders from the Judiciary, Government and Business, to recognize the need for ODR and advance its mainstreaming.

The Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy published a report ODR: The Future of Dispute Resolution in India. NITI Aayog published a discussion paper titled Designing the Future of Dispute Resolution: The ODR Policy Plan for India and requested inputs from the ODR community in India.

2020 truly allowed ODR to tip into the national consciousness and systems.  This leaves the question – what next? What will it take to make ODR accessible and familiar to all of India? How do we get businesses to onboard more disputes to ODR? How do we build capacity for this and who are the actors that can play a role in it? ODR Week 2021 seeks to explore this – the possibilities and opportunities for the ODR ecosystem in India. While reflecting on the successes and learnings of 2020, we will also discuss the potential pathways that can scale the ODR ecosystem in India.”

Check out the launch video:

The video of the first session is also available:

Hope to see you there!

2021 Virtual ODR Forum – Thank You!

Thanks to all our presenters and participants for a wonderful 2021 Virtual ODR Forum. While we missed getting together in person, the quality of the presentations and engagement was just as excellent and inspirational as it has been at previous in-person Forums.

If you missed any of the sessions, recordings of most of the sessions are now available to watch on Youtube:

The forum agenda will remain available here.

Also, make sure to watch the excellent streaming sessions (see below).

Hopefully, if the vaccination efforts proceed, we will all be able to see each other in person again in Dublin in December. Until then, take care, be well, and keep up the good work.

The Presence of Artificial Intelligence Applied to ODR in Latin America, María Victoria Marun, Director, Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution of the Bar & Solicitors 3rd Legal Circumscription Mendoza, Argentina [click to view]

Online Sport Dispute Resolution, Dr. Frank Fowlie, Commissioner, Athletics Canada [click to view]

Trust, Empathy and Social Intuition in Online Dispute Resolution, Noam Ebner, Professor of Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, Negotiation and Conflict Resolution (NCR) Program, Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, Creighton University [click to view]

Systems Design and its application in Latin America in the field of ODR, Alberto Elisavetsky, Systems Designer of ODR Applications in Latin America [click to view]

New ODR Needs New Technology,  Zbynek Loebl, Open ODR and PRK Partners [click to view]

ODR for E-Commerce: International Legal Standards and Developments, Esther Vilalta, PhD, Chair in Civil Law, Law and Political Science Dept., Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) [click to view]

The EU ODR Platform – 5 Years On, Pablo Cortés, Professor of Civil Justice, University of Leicester, UK [click to view]

Lessons Learned from the Unfortunately Asymmetrical Evolution of ODR in Canada, Karim Benyekhlef, Professor and Director of the Cyberjustice Lab, University of Montreal [click to view]

ODR System Design Reimagined for High Stakes Legal Disputes, Michael Wolf, Director, Collaboration and ADR Office, Federal Labor Relations Authority [click to view]

Join us for ODR Virtual Forum 2021 – March 1-2

NCTDR is hosting a two day online conference in part to celebrate the new edition of the seminal volume of ODR scholarship ODR Theory and Practice. The agenda will feature many of the authors of chapters in the new book, as well as a deep dive on AI and Dispute Systems Design. We plan to have three hours of sessions in the morning and three hours in the afternoon (US East coast time) on both March 1 and 2 to get better coverage and accessibility for all our friends around the world.

To attend the Forum, the link is listed at the top of the agenda (see below). To register for the conference (it’s free) and add your name to the mailing list, please fill out this form: https://forms.gle/zytse5wiLhyjJrP68

Check out the agenda and access information for the forum here.

Some highlights include:

  • A Keynote on Artificial Intelligence (AI), bias, and ODR
  • The first readout from a Pew-funded academic ODR research project (the University of Arizona’s Innovation for Justice program)
  • A talk from the CEO of Niti Aayog, the policy think tank of the Government of India, who are leading the charge on India’s massive ODR project

Alongside many other presentations and presentations, both live and recorded, from the global leaders in ODR. We hope to see you there!