Disputes, Technology and Law:
Expanding the Boundaries of Online Dispute Resolution
The 2009 International Forum on Online Dispute Resolution
Haifa, Israel June 3–4, 2009
The spread of digital technologies in recent decades has transformed the field of conflict resolution. Whereas in the past, institutions and processes for addressing disputes were premised on physical presence and face-to-face interaction, new mechanisms for addressing disputes have emerged online. These processes - typically termed online dispute resolution (ODR) – were perceived initially as an appropriate means for addressing simple disputes that emerged online and for which traditional dispute resolution avenues (courts or face-to-face ADR) were not available. Nowadays, ODR has spread to additional domains such as family disputes and peace building efforts, e.g. offline, complex and emotional disputes, precisely those domains originally perceived as inappropriate for ODR. Consequently, ODR is no longer confined to "the delivery of processes of dispute resolution online" but studies the "role and impact of technology on the emergence, transformation and resolution of disputes". This broader understanding covers such developments as Digital Courts and the Transformation of the Legal Profession into the province of ODR.
The conference seeks to present a comprehensive view of the field (in terms of practice and theory) and to reflect on directions for future development and expansion in 3 main areas – the business sector, the courts and the international sphere. Haifa specifically and Israel more generally provide a unique setting for exploring these domains. Haifa, the third largest city in Israel, is a center for IT development and entrepreneurship and a unique locus in which people of different religions and ethnic backgrounds live side by side. Israel, more generally, is home of numerous technological breakthroughs, but is also in the midst of a long-lasting and bloody conflict with the Palestinian population. These two dominant aspects of Israeli reality are evident in the conflicts that arise and the avenues for addressing them on all 3 domains – business, courts and international peace efforts. The conference will bring together academics and professionals from diverse disciplines to discuss the current state of ODR and its future evolution. In particular, we seek to explore the following themes:
o Will ODR remain separate from ADR and courts?
o What lessons can we draw from the challenges of traditional dispute resolution mechanisms in face of the proliferation of digital technologies?
o Is ODR better suited to address technology-related disputes?
o What norms should guide ODR processes in addressing technology-related disputes in such areas as freedom of speech, privacy and IP rights?
o What procedural values are and should be promoted by ODR mechanisms?
o Who are the "old" (lawyers?) and "new" (ODR providers, websites?) intermediaries of the contemporary dispute resolution landscape and what role should they play?
o What role should regulation occupy in the development of ODR?
o What are the ways in which technology can be used to promote peacebuilding?
o What can we learn from the successes and failures of ODR?
Quienes esten interesados en presentar trabajos para este Foro Internacional, favor contactarme para mas detalles.
Dr. Alberto Elisavetsky
Proyecto Centro Virtual de Resolucion de Conflictos Latinoamérica