The Impending Battle for the Soul of Online Dispute Resolution
23. Cardozo J. Conflict Resol. 21
68 Pages Posted: 5 Oct 2021 Last revised: 26 Feb 2022
Date Written: October 1, 2021
Legal professionals and disputants are increasingly recognizing the value of online dispute resolution (“ODR”). While the coronavirus pandemic forced many to resolve disputes exclusively online, potentially resulting in long-term changed preferences for different stakeholders, the pre-pandemic trend has involved a dramatic increase in technological tools that can be used for resolving disputes, particularly with facilitative technologies, artificial intelligence, and blockchains. Though this has the added benefit of increasing optionality in the dispute resolution process, these novel technologies come with their own limitations and also raise challenging ethical considerations for how ODR should be designed and implemented. In considering whether the pandemic’s tectonic shifts will have a permanent impact, this piece has important implications for the future of the legal profession, as greater reliance on ODR technologies may change what it means to be a judge, lawyer, and disputant. The impending battle for the soul of ODR raises important considerations for fairness, access to justice, and effective dispute resolution—principles that will continue to be ever-present in the field.
Keywords: Online Dispute Resolution, Access to Justice, Technology, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, ICT, tech ethics, legal profession
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