This chapter is from “Online Dispute Resolution
Theory and Practice,” Mohamed Abdel Wahab, Ethan Katsh & Daniel Rainey ( Eds.), published, sold and distributed by Eleven International Publishing.
The Hague, Netherlands at: www.elevenpub.com.
This chapter addresses a disconnect between two bodies of literature in the ADR field – that relating to “dispute systems design” (DSD) and that relating to “online dispute resolution” (ODR). We show that the need to integrate technology into the ADR field has been understood only in a narrow area and in a limited fashion.
To date, technology in dispute resolution has been relegated to the ODR field, viewing it as a niche area relevant mostly to where disputes between parties arose online or are substantively connected to technology.
As we will show, the reach of new technologies is far more pervasive and holds a promise for transforming in a very deep sense some of the ADR’s field’s most deep-rooted assumptions in the area of DSD.
While our main focus is on the lessons of ODR for the DSD field, we believe that the
merging of ODR and DSD provides important insights for both the DSD field and the
ODR field. In terms of DSD, technology has been challenging some of the field’s most
basic assumptions, but has also generated new means for addressing and preventing disputes
systematically. For ODR, the DSD perspective highlights the need to think of dispute resolutionina systematic way and emphasize the prevention of disputes, rather than focusing
on tools for addressing individual disputes on an ad hoc basis.
In the sections that follow, we describe the rise of both ADR and DSD in recent decades,
as well as the impact technology has had and can be expected to further have on the evolution of DSD in the future.
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