Two Paths Leading to the Same End? A Discussion of Development and Regulation of Online Mediation Under the COVID-19 in the People’S Republic of China and the United States
World Arbitration and Mediation Review (October 2020 Forthcoming)
14 Pages Posted: 5 Jul 2020
Date Written: May 19, 2020
The recent COVID-19 crisis has set the stage for a significant increase in the use of online dispute resolution. Under worldwide country lockdown and/or social distancing orders, behaviors of people have adjusted drastically. Further, the increased use of online mediation to resolve disputes has raised the legal community’s interest across jurisdictions. The purpose of this paper is to examine two different development paths of online mediation post-COVID-19 taken in the People’s Republic of China and the United States, the world’s two largest economies. The first part of the paper provides a background on the development of online mediation in China by examining a few newest judicial and administrative directives mandating state-wide experiment of online dispute resolution mechanisms. Moving on the discussion of the development of online mediation in China, it then focuses on the professional and self-initiated efforts of the dispute resolution community in the United States leading to the further surge in supply and demand of online mediation services. Building on the comparative analysis, the paper unpacks different roles of both public and private stakeholders play towards promoting the wider acceptance of online mediation initiatives in the world, speaking against any pre-fixed preference in dispute resolution for state-led or community-based approaches.
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