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Lessons from Online Dispute Resolution for Dispute Systems Design

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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                        author

Ethan Katsh

Professor Ethan Katsh is the director of the Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution and Professor Emeritus of Legal Studies at the University of Massachusetts. Along with Janet Rifkin, he wrote the first book on ODR, Online Dispute Resolution: Resolving Disputes in Cyerspace (2001).  Professor Katsh is a graduate ofthe… MORE >

                        author

Orna Rabinovich-Einy

Orna Rabinovich-Einy is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Law at the University of Haifa. Her areas of expertise are alternative dispute resolution, online dispute resolution, and civil procedure, with research focusing on the relationship between formal and informal justice systems, dispute system design and the impact of technology… MORE >

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