Can Computers Be Fair? How Automated and Human-Powered Online Dispute Resolution Affect Procedural Justice in Mediation and Arbitration
58 Pages Posted: 22 Nov 2017 Last revised: 12 Jul 2018
Date Written: December 20, 2016
In both private and public justice systems, online dispute resolution (ODR) technologies are profoundly affecting people’s access to justice and redress and the nature of their procedural experiences. Automation and artificial intelligence play a key role in delivering the promise of ODR. At the same time, there are challenging normative and practical concerns regarding the ability of “machine made justice” to meet appropriate procedural and substantive standards. The article presents a conceptual framework for evaluating the role of technology in dispute resolution and its effect on procedural justice. Subsequently, it proposes an instrument for evaluating procedural justice experiences in ODR; and reports the results of a study comparing the impact of automated (software-powered) and human-powered online mediation and arbitration on disputants’ procedural justice experiences. Finally, the article discusses the implications of its findings on ODR process design, regulation, and practice, and calls for updating the research agenda on these issues.
Keywords: ODR, AI, Dispute Resolution, Legal Technology, Procedural Justice, Empirical Legal Studies, Experiment, Automation, Artificial Intelligence, Dispute System Design, e-commerce, Online Communication
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