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Annual Review of Law and Social Science

Volume 16, 2020, review article, online dispute resolution and the future of justice.

  • Colin Rule 1
  • View Affiliations Hide Affiliations Affiliations: Tyler Technologies, San Jose, California 95124, USA; email: [email protected]
  • Vol. 16:277-292 (Volume publication date October 2020) https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-lawsocsci-101518-043049
  • First published as a Review in Advance on May 13, 2020
  • Copyright © 2020 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved

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.

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The Past, Present, and Future of Online Dispute Resolution

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Orna Rabinovich-Einy, The Past, Present, and Future of Online Dispute Resolution, Current Legal Problems , Volume 74, Issue 1, 2021, Pages 125–148, https://doi.org/10.1093/clp/cuab004

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This article chronicles the evolution of the field of online dispute resolution from its inception in the mid-1990s to its current application in and outside the court system. While originally ODR played a modest role in the limited domain of e-commerce, over the years its application has expanded significantly, as have its form and function: from processes that have sought to replicate online equivalents to ones that reimagine the design of procedures to better fit party needs and to address the justice system’s longstanding problems. The article predicts that the future of ODR lies in increased automation, which includes artificial intelligence and various forms of structured negotiation, and, consequently, a reduced role for human third parties. This will require a rethinking of the ways in which access to justice, procedural justice and substantive justice can be realized. The key for realizing the values and goals of the justice system lies in the careful design and ongoing evaluation of online systems, activities that have themselves been transformed by technology and the availability of big data.

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Online Dispute Resolution Services: Justice, Concepts, and Challenges

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  • First Online: 27 August 2020
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literature review on online dispute resolution

  • Ofir Turel 3 &
  • Yufei Yuan 4  

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Online dispute resolution (ODR) services are e-justice service conduits that utilize, implicitly or explicitly, electronic negotiation systems. They are a key mechanism that may provide a viable solution to the flood of e-disputes, and even for face-to-face disputes that can be resolved without being colocated (e.g., see how courts resolve cases during the COVID-19 pandemic). Justice is important in negotiation processes. It is therefore suggested that ODR services are a viable means to serve justice on the web. In this chapter, we describe the state of e-justice and introduce the need for ODR services. We then present the concept of ODR, its different forms, and its association with negotiation support systems. To this end, we portray a classification of ODR services, give examples of different types of services, and specifically discuss one of the promising types, namely, principle-based dispute resolution services. The chapter concludes with an overview of the challenges associated with the introduction of ODR services, and specifically with their adoption by users; an issue that is echoed in several other chapters as well.

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Turel, O., Yuan, Y. (2020). Online Dispute Resolution Services: Justice, Concepts, and Challenges. In: Kilgour, D., Eden, C. (eds) Handbook of Group Decision and Negotiation. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-12051-1_25-1

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DOI : https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-12051-1_25-1

Received : 18 June 2020

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Published : 27 August 2020

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Efficiency of Online Dispute Resolution: A Case Study

Profile image of Bruno Deffains

The emergence of the internet as a commercial phenomenon has resulted in an explosion of interest in Online Dispute Resolution. Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) consists of a variety of settlement methods, which use the electronic environment to resolve conflicts. The aim of the paper is to evaluate the economic performance of a specific process elaborated by one of the main

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John Zeleznikow

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) has become an established alternative method to litigation in solving disputes in many western jurisdictions. Online dispute resolution (ODR), the application of ICT in ADR has become a new and enhanced technique for dispute resolution. Most current ODR projects have been developed in the area of e-commerce. In this paper we discuss the emerging field of ODR research, point at some challenges for technology and outline strategies we have and are developing for supporting ODR including an integrated environment for supporting ODR and the use of trade-offs and compensation strategies for providing negotiation support. ACIS 2004 Proceedings Paper 79 ; Australasian Conference on Information Systems (15th : 2004 : Hobart, Tas.)

literature review on online dispute resolution

Osinachi Nwandem

With commercial transaction now making wave in the cyberspace, online dispute becomes inevitable. This has led to the evolution of Online Dispute Resolution (ODR). Since its emergence, ODR has shown itself capable of resolving online disputes especially with regards electronic commerce (e-commerce). Just like traditional ADR, ODR makes use of ADR mechanisms such as arbitration, mediation and negotiation. The only difference is that these ADR mechanisms are employed online. One area of ODR that has won the attraction of international organizations and private institutions is online arbitration. Online arbitration has mostly been used to resolve both online and offline disputes. Resolving disputes via online arbitration is similar to traditional arbitration except that disputes are resolved using various technological devices such as video-conference, e-mail, chats and electronic signature (e-signature). The ODR process has been hailed for its simplicity, speed, convenience and been least expensive when compared with traditional ADR and litigation. On the other hand, the process has been criticized as lacking face to face encounter, having security and confidentiality issues, problems with e-arbitration agreements and awards amongst many others. The good news is that most of these challenges are solvable thus, establishing ODR as a viable online equivalent of alternative dispute resolution.

Karolina Mania

The purpose of this study is to present the main facets of online dispute resolution, including a definition of the term, the types of resolution available, and the most recent legal regulations in this area. The article is an in-depth study of this field, discussing online mediation and electronic arbitration, their uses and their relationships with e-commerce. The strengths and weaknesses of online dispute resolution are identified and used to help formulate de lege ferenda stipulations. The paper is divided into three parts. Part I looks at preliminary aspects of online dispute resolution (ODR), including a definition of the term and an examination of its phases of development, implementation examples and the relationship between ODR and technology. Part II is devoted to examining the two most frequent forms of ODR: online mediation and electronic arbitration. Part III is an analysis of consumer disputes arising from commercial transactions made using electronic communications. As an example of the implementation of ODR, the author emphasises the importance of new European regulations on that and alternative dispute resolution (ADR): Directive 2013/11/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2013 on alternative dispute resolution for consumer disputes and amending Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 and Directive 2009/ 22/EC (Directive on consumer ADR), and Regulation (EU) No 524/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2013 on online dispute resolution for consumer disputes and amending Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 and Directive 2009/22/EC (Regulation on consumer ODR).

Lori Clarke

International Journal of Law and Information Technology

Bruce L Mann

Online Dispute Resolution as a Solution to E-Commerce Disputes: A Comparative Study of Pakistan and UK

The primary aim of this paper is to analyze the online dispute resolution (ODR) as a solution to E-commerce disputes. E-commerce is growing increasingly all over the world. The gradual development of this industry has also brought the issue of E-commerce disputes. The nature of disputes makes it difficult for parties to resolve it through conventional platforms such as courts and alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Therefore, ODR mechanism presents more viable solution for the E-consumers. However, in Pakistan, the regulatory and technological development of ODR is still very insufficient as the E-commerce is an infant industry but with solid growth rate. Therefore, this paper fills this gap and examines the regulatory and technological framework of ODR via comparative study in Pakistan and UK. For this research work, the comparative research approach has been utilized that is based on documentary analysis. It conducts a comparative study of ODR as solution to E-commerce disputes in Pakistan and UK. This paper analytically studies the parliamentary statutes and regulations in Pakistan, UK and international laws and other existing data and studies relating to ODR as solution to E-commerce disputes. At this moment, it's questionable if Pakistan's attempt to dealing with it is genuine and whether the existing inadequate ODR legislation can address the challenges. This research finds that, in order to safeguard online consumers, Pakistan is in a dire need to establish a legal framework for online dispute resolution. The lack of defined legislative criteria for ODR services causes several challenges, especially when public compliance is required. Furthermore, this research finds that the introduction of a mandatory automated negations, online mediation, and e-courts, as first step, might be helpful in this regard as the nature of e-disputes requires quick decision making due to its economic nature in order to avoid further loss. Moreover, this study concludes that the confidence of e-consumer can be increased if they are provided with an effective mechanism for redressal of their grievances


The nature of disputes rising at a far greater rate than ever before as people began to travel longer distances and communicate from further away meant that disputes developed as they grew in number and complexity. Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) measures were employed. However, the rapid rise in B2C electronic transactions produced a number of concerns for businesses and consumers. the traditional dispute resolution through court proceedings is unsuitable for problems that arise in e-commerce. Therefore, the global arena is witnessing a departure from the traditional process of dispute resolution to online dispute resolution (ODR) in its various forms. This article analyses all the alternative dispute resolution methods, especially e-arbitration used to settle disputes. And what is the Distinguish between e-arbitration and other alternatives.

Nikola Simkova

The rise in number of B2B e-commerce transactions inevitably leads to a corresponding rise in disputes over those transactions. Traditional methods of dispute resolution (litigation, arbitration or mediation) in the offline world, do not address the requirements of online users involved in disputes over online transactions. In response to the demand for dispute resolution procedures which recognize the online user's desire for a fast and flexible mechanism which has a global reach, various research have been performed worldwide. This literature review discusses studies on online dispute resolution. The results indicate four main topics – initiatives, methods, factors, effectiveness and effective system. The complexity of ODR and its implications for future research is discussed.

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The Future of Online Dispute Resolution (ODR): Definitions, Standards, Disability Accessibility, and Legislation

vol. 8 City University of Hong Kong Law Review 73-99, 2020-2022

18 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2023

David Allen Larson

Mitchell | Hamline School of Law

Date Written: November 4, 2022

Jurisdictions around the world are increasingly turning to Online Dispute Resolution (‘ODR’) to resolve a variety of disputes. ODR adoption has accelerated primarily because of two reasons. First, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced judicial systems to suspend or severely limit inperson proceedings to control infection rates. Private mediators and arbitrators, likewise, have eliminated or dramatically reduced in-person sessions. Second, judicial systems do not have unlimited financial resources. They must always consider ways to provide access to justice as ef!ciently and effectively as possible. ODR may be able to provide signi!cant cost savings. But ODR processes are still new and evolving and much work still needs to be done. The first part of this paper explains why we need a clear definition of ODR. Along with the great potential ODR offers for improving access to justice, it can also compound existing dangers as well as create new ones. The second part explains how a clear definition can help us draft standards that will protect ODR users and suggests what should be included in those standards. Moreover, because an ODR system must be accessible to everyone, the third part explores how ODR accessibility can be guaranteed for persons with disabilities and other vulnerable populations. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines are offered as a critical resource. The final part analyzes user-protective legislation that was enacted in Ontario, Canada and rejected by the United States Congress.

Keywords: disputes, conflict, dispute resolution, ODR, online dispute resolution, technology, mediation, negotiation, arbitration, disability, accessibility, legislation, courts, judiciary, access to justice, A2J, standards, WCAG, Ontario, Canada

JEL Classification: I15, J52, J53, J58, K10, K20, K40, K41, M10, O31, O32, O35, O38

Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation

David Allen Larson (Contact Author)

Mitchell | hamline school of law ( email ).

875 Summit Avenue Saint Paul, MN 55105 United States 651-290-6388 (Phone)

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South Carolina Law Review

Home > USC Columbia > Law, Joseph F. Rice School of > Law Reviews and Journals > SCLR > Vol. 67 > Iss. 2 (2016)

What We Know and Need to Know about Online Dispute Resolution

Ethan Katsh Colin Rule

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Katsh, Ethan and Rule, Colin (2016) "What We Know and Need to Know about Online Dispute Resolution," South Carolina Law Review : Vol. 67: Iss. 2, Article 10. Available at: https://scholarcommons.sc.edu/sclr/vol67/iss2/10

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Consumer satisfaction with the online dispute resolution on a second-hand goods-trading platform, 1. introduction, 2. literature review, 3. research methods, 3.1. lda topic clustering model, 3.2. sentiment analysis, 3.3. tf–idf weights, 4. research process and result analysis, 4.1. data acquisition and preprocessing, 4.2. text-feature extraction, 4.3. feature visualization analysis based on word cloud, 4.4. lda topic clustering, 4.5. sentiment analysis, 4.6. comparative analysis, 5. discussion and conclusions, 5.1. discussion, 5.2. suggestions, 5.3. conclusions, 5.4. limitations and future work, author contributions, institutional review board statement, informed consent statement, acknowledgments, conflicts of interest.

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Click here to enlarge figure

3BuyerXianyu Small Court13SkirtsVideos23TransactionClothes
4Small CourtRefund14FakesDefects24Chat
5RefundReturn Goods15ProblemsRejection25PicturesDefend Rights
6Return GoodsProblems16Defend RightsSkirts26GoodsFreight Charge
7Customer Service StaffReceive Goods17Freight ChargeFraud27Certified
The First Time
8VideoCustomer Service Staff18PlatformRequirements28Mobile PhoneSee
9Receive GoodsGoods19EvidenceDelivery29ReasonsInvolved
10DefectsExpress Delivery20InvolvedConfirmation30AddressNew
Topic 1Topic 2Topic 3Topic 4Topic 5Topic 6Topic 7Topic 8
Feature WordsWeightsFeature WordsWeightsFeature WordsWeightsFeature WordsWeightsFeature WordsWeightsFeature WordsWeightsFeature WordsWeightsFeature WordsWeights
Mobile Phones0.080Seller0.284Seller0.176Refund0.081Buyer0.276Customer Service Staff0.120Defects0.104Review0.061
Problems0.031Return Goods0.111Fakes0.098Receive Goods0.060Return Goods0.047Platform0.083Skirts0.103Vote0.046
Credit0.028Refund0.061Defend Rights0.067Fraud0.045Refund0.041Seller0.046Status0.031Dispute0.039
Platform0.027Problems0.050Certified Products0.037Evaluation0.029Problems0.033Fraud0.026Problems0.026Transaction0.021
Screens0.020Freight Charge0.050Refund0.033Address0.028Evidence0.018Defend Rights0.025Photos0.024User0.020
Markets0.017Goods0.028Pictures0.025Delivery0.023Delivery0.018Buyer0.022Sell Goods0.024Both Sides0.017
Battery0.016Quality0.018After-sale Service0.023Time0.022Merchandise0.017Human Customer Service0.021Hanging Tags0.023Win0.017
After-sale Service0.014Deliver Goods0.014Lucky Bag0.021Information0.021Customer Service Staff0.016Consumers0.019Page0.023Dispute0.015
Price0.013Speechless0.009Feeling0.013Return Goods0.014Shoes0.011Phone0.018Unboxing video0.015Eyes0.015
Quality Detection0.013Method0.008Real and Fake0.012Message0.014Vouchers0.011Merchants0.013Reviews0.015mood0.014
Links0.012Time0.007flood the screen0.011Order0.011Goods0.010Return Goods0.011Home Page0.013Law0.013
OrderTF–IDF on Crowdsourcing Online Dispute ResolutionTF–IDF on Customer Service Staff Adjudication Process
1ReviewReturn goods
5WinExpress delivery
17Return goodsRejection
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Share and Cite

Liu, Y.; Wan, Y. Consumer Satisfaction with the Online Dispute Resolution on a Second-Hand Goods-Trading Platform. Sustainability 2023 , 15 , 3182. https://doi.org/10.3390/su15043182

Liu Y, Wan Y. Consumer Satisfaction with the Online Dispute Resolution on a Second-Hand Goods-Trading Platform. Sustainability . 2023; 15(4):3182. https://doi.org/10.3390/su15043182

Liu, Yuru, and Yan Wan. 2023. "Consumer Satisfaction with the Online Dispute Resolution on a Second-Hand Goods-Trading Platform" Sustainability 15, no. 4: 3182. https://doi.org/10.3390/su15043182

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Logo UOC

Online dispute mediation yet to make a big breakthrough

women talking

Online dispute resolution in Catalonia is at a very early stage (photo: Unsplash)

When it comes into force, the Spanish Bill on Procedural Efficiency Measures of the Public Justice Service (PLMEP) will make it mandatory – in the civil sphere – to try an adequate dispute resolution mechanism before filing a lawsuit in court. One possible dispute resolution mechanism is mediation, and it is hoped that considering adequate dispute resolution mechanisms a requirement for the processing of lawsuits will have an impact on their use.

Online mediation procedures skyrocketed during Covid , but this growth did not continue after the end of the pandemic despite the advantages of digitalization. The Chair in Conflict Resolution, Mediation and Digital Transformation of the Faculty of Law and Political Science at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya ( UOC ) and the Mediation Centre of Catalonia of the General-Directorate for Law, Legal Entities and Mediation of the Ministry of Justice of the Government of Catalonia (2022-2024) have carried out a study on the number of online mediation proceedings in Catalonia and the requirements for their success with the aim of analysing the current scenario, identifying the limitations or obstacles to its digitalization and promoting its implementation.

According to the study, whose results have just been presented, online dispute resolution in Catalonia is at a very early stage . "Online mediation is in practice simply one more option for dispute resolution. However, the evolution or growth observed is not proportional to the comparative advantages of mediation for dispute resolution," said Ayllen Gil Seaton , lecturer in Procedural Law and researcher in the UOC's Law, Internet and Digital Transformation ( DITD ) group and author of the study. It also highlights the difficulties involved in counting the number of mediation procedures carried out due to a shortage of statistical information and a lack of uniform criteria for all the data available.

The advantages mentioned by Gil can be summarized in the fact that, to the extent that online mediation results in greater availability of time and space for the subjects of the dispute, it is more cost- and time-efficient and provides more flexibility , especially for the resolution of civil and commercial disputes. Specifically, the study indicates that, in certain cases, going online means "a lower financial cost and shorter times than face-to-face mediation". Another strength to be noted is "the flexibility it gives the parties in terms of conducting the mediation, especially in international settings or cross-border disputes. […] It brings people closer together when they are far away," Gil said.

The report also points to less inhibition in communication, no damages and more contact time between the parties and the mediator. Gil added that "in very delicate emotional situations, it can create less tension." Finally, it is a "less stressful" option for people who are more used to new technologies, such as younger people.

“Going online means a lower financial cost and shorter times than face-to-face mediation”

Disadvantages and proposals for improvement

But it is not all advantages. The study recognizes that one of the most common drawbacks is the loss of the "human factor" . Furthermore, although it is less stressful for young people , the document recognizes that "not everyone is able to use technological and remote methods, whether for reasons of ability, training, means, equal opportunities or accessibility. […] There is still some resistance to the use of new technologies in dispute resolution," said Gil. Finally, she pointed out that one of the critical aspects requiring special attention is data protection and confidentiality.

As a first step in ensuring the success of mediation, whether online or face-to-face, the report highlights the importance of having the right regulations . Specifically, it concludes that "it is necessary to establish rules and institutions that provide the necessary legal support to effectively protect citizens' rights." The report sets out a series of guidelines to carry out online mediation, and some considerations to promote its use.

Finally, the study carried out by the UOC and the Mediation Centre of Catalonia proposes "drawing up a guide available to citizens on the online management and administration of disputes through mediation, providing advice and recommending platforms and technical tools to implement them effectively". The ultimate goal is "to understand that technology is just another tool for dispute management and to know when and how to apply it," said Gil.

The study on the number of online mediation proceedings in Catalonia and the requirements for their success has been carried out by Ayllen Gil Seaton in collaboration with dispute mediator Josep Maria Corominas and with the coordination of Xavier Pastor Pérez , a member of faculty at the UOC and expert in the resolution of public and social disputes and director of the UOC's Chair in Conflict Resolution, Mediation and Digital Transformation.

This UOC project contributes to UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16 : Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies.

literature review on online dispute resolution


The UOC's research and innovation (R&I) is helping overcome pressing challenges faced by global societies in the 21st century by studying interactions between technology and human & social sciences with a specific focus on the network society, e-learning and e-health .

Over 500 researchers and more than 50 research groups work in the UOC's seven faculties, its eLearning Research programme and its two research centres: the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute ( IN3 ) and the eHealth Center ( eHC ).

The university also develops online learning innovations at its eLearning Innovation Center ( eLinC ), as well as UOC community entrepreneurship and knowledge transfer via the Hubbik platform.

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