Tuesday, November 29, 2011

International Online Dispute Resolution

Commercial transactions have transborder ramifications. A person resident in country A may purchase a good from country B and make payment to country C. If a dispute occurs due to defect or impropriety of such good, multiple jurisdictions are involved. This makes the dispute resolution procedure costly, time consuming and highly unproductive.

These days’ alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms are considered more favourably than traditional litigation methods for resolving various commercial disputes. Further, with growing use of information and communication technology (ICT), online dispute resolution can also be an effective mode of dispute resolution.

However, International response to online dispute resolution (ODR) is still lukewarm. ODR has been increasingly seen as a good and viable option for commercial disputes resolutions. However, adoption of ODR at the national and international level is still not satisfactory.

Online dispute resolution (ODR) and international response is though improving yet international organisations like United Nations have to play a more pro active role in this regard. United Nations and online dispute resolution has seen a significant development in the recent past and more is expected in this regard. Similarly, ODR must be supplemented by other judicial technological innovative mechanisms like electronic courts.

Online dispute resolution in India is still in its infancy stage. ADR and ODR services in India are still evolving. Naturally, online dispute resolution services in India are still evolving. We have very few online dispute resolution centers in India. Further, Perry4Law Techno Legal Base (PTLB) is the sole techno legal ADR and ODR services provider in India.

Similarly, e-courts in India have still not been developed. Of course, we have computerised some courts in India but mere computerisation of courts is not establishment of e-courts. A successful establishment of e-court in India requires managing all traditional litigation related issues in an online environment that is presently missing in India. Further, training of e-court staff is also required. We have a single techno legal e-courts training and consultancy centre of India and world wide managed by PTLB.

Clearly, ODR and e-courts need to be developed further at both national and international levels. Although work in these directions is in progress yet we need to increase the speed at which these developments are taking place. But the future of ODR and e-courts is definitely bright and they must be adopted and used at both national and international level.