Since its inception approximately 20 years ago, Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) has been associated primarily with e-commerce. However, it is increasingly being used in innovative applications unique to the judiciary. ODR is a new concept for courts but has become central to the discussion of the future of courts. Further, it presents opportunities for courts to expand services while simultaneously improving the customer experience and therefore, satisfaction.
In its 2016 recommendations entitled Call to Action: Achieving Civil Justice for All, the Conference of Chief Justices (CCJ) stated that “[n]avigating civil courts, as they operate now can be daunting” and that “those who enter the system confront a maze-like process that costs too much and takes too long.” The report goes on to lament that while technological solutions exist to mitigate cost and delay in the court system, “these changes have largely not arrived” and that “courts lack any of the user-friendly support we rely on in other sectors.” Recommendation 13 of the CCJ report implores courts to “take all necessary steps to increase convenience to litigants by simplifying the court-litigant interface and creating on-demand court assistance services.”
Download and read the full report HERE