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Conference examines how technology can resolve online disputes

Professor Louis Del Duca was part of a group of international experts who gathered at the Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) Conference in Chennai, India earlier this month to determine how technology can address the need for prompt resolution of low value-high volume disputes arising primarily from rapidly growing numbers of transactions carried out by way of electronic communication. The conference looked at a number of issues that the field of ODR is encountering. For example, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) has appointed a Working Group to develop recommendations for development of an efficient, fair, transparent, and global ODR system for resolution of business to business (b2b) and business to consumer (b2c) transactions.

“We envision a system that will be attractive, fair, and reasonable to both vendors and consumers who voluntarily decide to opt into the process,” said Professor Del Duca.

ODR systems are being built to handle intellectual property and privacy disputes, and courts around the world are looking to ODR to help with their backlogs. The proposed system would handle millions of these low cost-high volume transactions. Ebay is successfully handling 60 million ODR cases per year.

"The program participants were really the leading minds in ODR, and included Colin Rule, CEO of, an online dispute resolution service provider in Silicon Valley and former Director of Online Dispute Resolution for eBay and PayPal, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations.” Professor Del Duca added that the group focused on how the growth of ODR would facilitate expansion of markets for vendors as consumer confidence in the reliability of electronic commerce increases as a result of the availability of prompt, fair, inexpensive, electronic process for resolution of disputes.

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