The basics of Online Dispute Resolution

Before and through the pandemic, the world changed radically. One would observe that there is a massive concentration of wealth and intellectual property. As a consequence, there are a select few people holding power in one hand, and many trying to oppose them on the other.

Services economy as compared to the manufacturing economy is dominant. This means more and more businesses are touching people on an individual basis. The country’s largest respondent is the government. And it’s only getting bigger in the world. More is spent on infrastructure, and balance sheet tallies are higher and higher. Catalyzed by elements such as social media, privacy issues are also at the center of attention in a lot of discussions and narrative in the world, thanks to cloud based services and so on.



Quite simply, we are coming into a polarized world economically, socially, politically and from a business perspective. And the capacity of courts to deal with this kind of polarization is very limited. This means we need an alternate way to resolve disputes. And that’s exactly where online dispute resolution comes in.

Essentially this field is a branch of dispute resolution that utilizes technology and trending fields under it to aid resolving disputes between parties. Tech fields involved usually include and are not limited to Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning! Under such fields the dispute resolution methods of negotiationmediation or online arbitration or all three depending on the nature of the case are included.

So in layman’s terms, it may be seen as the online parallel of alternative dispute resolution. However, ODR can also augment the traditional means of dispute resolution by innovating on their techniques by involving technologies in its various processes.

Increasing the efficiency of the mechanisms to resolve online disputes will have a substantial impact, not just for disputes but even in the e-commerce sector as well. While ODR is not limited to disputes arising out of business to consumer online transactions, it would clearly be the logical choice, even in these cases to resort to ODR, since both use the same medium (the internet) when the concerned parties are in distance.

Multiple methods of dispute resolution online being brought online means that ODR is quite a wide field. It can be applied to a variety of disputes. Interpersonal disputes, Consumer-to-Consumer disputes, Marital separation, other court disputes, you name it! This creates opportunities and challenges, which we talk about in our next article!

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