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Colin Rule, CEO of Mediate.com, has published an article titled, “Online Dispute Resolution and the Future of Justice,” Annual Review of Law and Social Science, Vol. 16, pp. 277-292, 2020. In his work, Mr. Rule examines the history and future of online dispute resolution.
The abstract states:
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Technology is changing the way we interact with each other, which in turn is changing the way we resolve our disputes. Every society throughout history has crafted social institutions to resolve problems fairly and consistently, and that is true also for the online society we are building on the Internet. Online dispute resolution (ODR) is the study of how to effectively use technology to help parties resolve their disputes. Originally crafted by companies like eBay to promote trust in eCommerce, ODR is now being integrated into the courts to expand access to justice and reduce costs. With the expansion of artificial intelligence and machine learning, ODR has the potential to become the new default for fast and fair resolutions, but there are many questions that still need to be answered, and much potential for fraud and abuse. In this article, I explain the need for ODR, provide a short history of its evolution, outline a rubric for building ODR systems, share some case studies demonstrating its use, and describe some ethical dilemmas that could accompany its expansion.