Discuss how online dispute resolution can aid as an alternative method for addressing the issue of pendency of cases in our judicial system.
The pendency of over 40 million cases in our judicial system remains a focal point for reform and reduction. Nearly a third of these have been pending for three to 30 years due to resource-dwindling litigation, case adjudication and difficulty in consensus resolution.
Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) has been defined to mean utilizing information technology to carry out alternative dispute resolution. ODR is a means of dispute settlement whether through conciliation or arbitration, which implies the use of online technologies to facilitate the resolution of disputes between parties. The information management and communication tools in ODR may apply to all or part of the proceedings, and also have an impact on the methods by which the disputes are being solved.
Significance of online dispute resolution
- ODR has significantly large-scale potential for innovation. For instance, the feedback rating system in e-commerce, where parties to a transaction criticise or praise each other has incentivised developing a reputation for scaling activity through smooth transactions.
- ODR has the potential to raise equity, fairness, access in the dispute resolution ecosystem in India.
- Supply-side capabilities could also be enhanced through a relatively large and competent services pool for adjudication and representation.
- ODR has the potential to be an effective alternative that utilises technology to bridge barriers and access in resolution.
- Through facilitating low cost, remote, technology-augmented, linguistically- friendly, amicable and incentivised dispute avoidance, containment and resolution while adhering to principles of natural justice, ODR could be the post-pandemic disruption that enhances justice delivery to all.
Disputes resolution is a tricky affair for all stakeholders including courts, government, companies, individuals, international organizations, etc. To reduce the hardships of such disputes, countries should adopt a model code of conduct that was incorporated in their respective domestic laws. Measures should be taken to face the upcoming challenges. If measures towards the same are not taken, then ODR proceedings in India may only be limited to theories redundant and unused.