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National Conference on Online Dispute Resolution Mechanism on APRIL 21, 2018, Civil Service Officers Institute, Vinay Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi

Online dispute resolution (ODR) is a method of dispute resolution which uses Information & Communication technology to facilitate expeditious resolution of disputes between parties. It primarily involves negotiation, mediation or arbitration, or a combination of all three. The primary purpose of ODR is to allow the parties to resolve their dispute with the use of electronic technology. It may occur in “real time” or unroll in an asynchronous manner, depending on the rules of the ODR Provider, as well as the wishes of the parties. Often, this process is more convenient and cost efficient than face-to-face meetings in order to resolve existing disputes through Conciliation, Mediation or Arbitration. The enforceability of the settlement agreement may depend on the rules and jurisdiction of the ODR Provider, particularly if the dispute is international. ODR Platforms appeared two decades ago offering a plethora of online processes for different types of disputes. ODR has grown exponentially and offers unique features for handling millions of disputes annually and has the potential to significantly increase access to justice across all legal jurisdictions.

A UNCITRAL Working Group has deliberated on developing “Procedural Rules for Online Dispute Resolution for Cross-border Electronic Commerce Transactions”. In April 2017, UNCITRAL has brought out ‘UNCITRAL Technical Notes on Online Dispute Resolution(available on UNCITRAL web site)

To fast track dispute resolution, the Ministry of Law and Justice has recently advised government departments/organisations to go for settlement of their disputes through alternative methods, like mediation, conciliation, arbitration-online or otherwise resolution and has issued a Notification on "ONLINE DISPUTE RESOLUTION THROUGH MEDIATION, ARBITRATION, CONCILIATION, ETC.," in this regard. As per this Notification, there are about 30 million cases pending in various courts. The government departments/organisations have been advised not to go to court for their disputes and instead opt for alternative methods of dispute resolution so that government litigation is reduced. ‘This may help courts to concentrate on access to justice to people in better manner,’ the Ministry noted. The Ministry has identified Construction Industry Arbitration Council (CIAC as one of the nodal agencies to be approached for this purpose.

CIAC has been closely associated with United Nations Commission on International Trade and Law (UNCITRAL) as Observer at the Working Group meetings on Dispute Resolution, Rules and Procedures for Arbitration and On-line Dispute Resolution, held in Vienna and New York, were attended by representatives from CIAC

Objectives

One of the objectives of the Conference is to demystify ODR and to explain why and how it offers increased access to information and justice, particularly in emerging economies, conflict zones and remote places where individuals do not even have the benefit of judiciaries to resolve their disputes. The conference will explore innovative applications of information and communications technologies to improve the administration of dispute resolution, and their direct benefits to our civil, societal and commercial life in general. It will provide the opportunity to familiarize with pilot projects, platforms and initiatives undertaken in India and worldwide and to exchange views about the ethics and future of ODR. Specifically, the Conference will aim to:

  • Clarify the benefits of information and communication technology as a tool for promoting increased access to information and justice
  • Inform and familiarize participants with on-line dispute resolution mechanisms using information and communication technology
  • Offer opportunities for ODR providers, including providers in India, to present their platforms 
  • Familiarize the participants with the value and benefits of on-line dispute resolution platforms and programs and demonstrate what can be achieved concretely through such platforms
  • Exchange experience with respect to projects, platforms and initiatives undertaken on ODR in India and other countries, by organizations, tribunals, service providers, law schools and commercial entities
  • Discuss views about the ethics and future of ODR

Interested participants may get in touch with Ms M Jyothi Rani, AGM Projects (E-mail: mail@ciac.in, ciacjune2006@gmail.com, mail@ciac.in & call 011 - 41783282) for any further details. Registration Form duly filled in along with registration fee may kindly be sent to 801 (8th Floor), Hemkunt Chambers, 89, Nehru Place, New Delhi 110019.

 
 
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