Legal Issues in ODR

Julia Hörnle and Pablo Cortes

Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) is a set of dispute resolution techniques which use information and communications technology for automating and speeding up information processing and for overcoming distances through the use of remote communications. This will usually involve an online platform on which documents (evidence and legal argument, expert opinions, etc) are uploaded, stored, organised and made accessible to the relevant parties and the neutral third party. It may also involve distance communication through web‐conferencing facilities which mean that the parties and neutral third party do not need to meet in person. In addition, ODR may use sophisticated knowledge management tools for legal information about the specific case or expert and legal opinion.

Many different types of ODR exist. However, most forms of ODR are based on more traditional forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). This paper considers the legal issues relevant to mediation and arbitration, as well as the UNCITRAL draft procedural rules and EU legislation.