Arbitration is what we could call private justice with several formalities and procedural code rules. It is a form of alternative dispute resolution regulated by a stricter and more formal set of rules and is substantially different from mediation in the process structure, the cost, the power of the person who decides and many more.
The implementation of electronic arbitration has faced problems similar to those of e-Justice, although to a lesser extent because it is a private process and has more procedural and technological flexibility. The court, the experts, the witnesses, the lawyers, the parties, should all use online communication tools, filing, document presentation etc and must do so in a technological environment which is fully protected.
A major issue that has been raised was that of the validity of the agreements and decisions of the electronic arbitration courts. That is partly because ordinary arbitration rules of procedure could not predict that a time will come when arbitration could be offered online! Moreover, many raise issues such as functionality and confidence of technological systems, the neutrality of electronic arbitration platform providers, the imbalances in the use of systems by the parties. This explains to some extent the low penetration of technology in arbitration proceedings. Nevertheless, there is already recorded a worldwide trend towards the use of e-arbitration in simple cases and certainly this model will form the basis for future development of e-Justice.
This was the first pilot effort (in 1996) introducing electronic arbitration, conducted by the National Center for Automated Information Research (NCAIR) and the Cyberspace Law Institute US (CLI). Other platforms had followed, like the CyberTribunal which applied procedural rules for the resolution of cases similar to those of UNCITRAL and ICC and has solved several cases. Gradually, many e-arbitration platforms has been created, some of which continue to operate, such as the platform of the Arbitration Court of the Czech Arbitration, the US Small Claims Court and others.
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