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.
In the offline world, the economics and politics of one country can impact and influence those of surrounding countries, as well as countries across the world. Revolutions in Egypt
and Libya by individuals frustrated at their governments’ domestic policies, for example,
drive up the price of gas for a farmer living in Kansas who may never have heard of either
Egypt nor Libya, let alone the plight of their citizens.
In the online world, this concept is
all the more salient because online relationships obey political and geographic boundaries
even less than offline interactions. While language barriers and computer literacy can often
affect access to online interactions, people are now, more than ever, connected globally
through the internet and other Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).
The ever increasing hyper-connectivity of the online world demands a new system of “rules
of interaction” to ensure that people not only treat one another fairly in the online setting,
but that they will continue to have faith in and interact within that world.
In this chapter, we analyze the interaction between traditional concepts of justice and fields in which
Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) has flourished and is burgeoning. We then explore the
ways in which justice as traditionally conceptualized is adapting to the digital environment,
and ask the question: Are traditional notions of justice relevant to contemporary online
interactions between individuals, businesses, and governments?