Online dispute resolution (ODR) is a form of dispute resolution which uses technology to facilitate the resolution of disputes between parties.
It primarily involves negotiation, mediation or arbitration, or a combination of all three. In this respect it is often seen as being the online equivalent of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). When the process is conducted mainly online it is referred to as ODR,
ODR carries out most of the dispute resolution procedure online, including the initial filing, the neutral appointment, evidentiary processes, oral hearings if needed, online discussions, and even the rendering of binding settlements. Thus, ODR is a different medium to resolve disputes, from beginning to end, respecting due process principles.
ODR can be applied to a range of disputes; from interpersonal disputes including consumer disputes (C2C) or marital separation; to court disputes and workplace conflicts. ODR can be used by applying innovative techniques and online technologies to the process. In recent years ODR organisations have been set up to assist SME’s (Small Medium Enterprises).
While the application of ODR is not limited to disputes arising out of business to consumer (B2C) online transactions, it seems to be particularly apt for these disputes, since it is logical to use the same medium (the internet) for the resolution of e-commerce disputes when parties are frequently located far from one another.
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