The title of this blog is not as harsh and heartless as it might seem at first sight. True, mediation proceeds largely on assumptions of disputant autonomy and participation; and the expectation is that the outcomes will be those designed by, and with the commitment of, the participants. This comment, however, picks up on two…

Many of us have been hearing about Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) for years but haven’t quite got round to using it. It sounds like a nice idea when face-to-face mediation isn’t an option through distance and/or cost. And yet I suspect that for most mediators the ‘gold standard’ is being in the same room as…

The UK’s Civil Justice Council has recently reported (http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/law/civil-justice-council-explores-online-dispute-resolution/5040975.article) on an initiative to promote online dispute resolution, through setting up an Advisory Group. Heading that group is Dr Richard Susskind, one the strongest promoters of ODR and of the role information communication technology (ICT) in the practice of law. In line with the EU’s Directive…

In my previous entry, I wondered about high and low context communication, and what this might mean at the mediation table when we’re not always aware of what is NOT being said. Here, I continue the speculation, this time about and taking that communication and mediation online. The “here” of my title is the world…

One of the many challenging aspects of mediating cross border cases is the fact that by definition, the parties tend to be in separate countries (and often the mediators too). One way of getting over this hurdle is by using one of the many information and communication technologies there are available these days. This month,…

The European Parliament has adopted two key legislative measures regarding ADR for consumer disputes. The first Resolution deals with the proposed Directive on alternative dispute resolution (amending Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 and Directive 2009/22/EC) and the second Resolution deals with the proposed Regulation on online dispute resolution (ODR). Both acts adopted on March 12, 2013,…

Imagine an e-mediator who can reframe parties’ feelings and overall mood based on their speech patterns as they talk into an ODR program. Imagine recreating the real-life intensity of emotional and social connections through an avatar in an online mediation setting. Imagine anonymous brainstorming, secret meetings in e-rooms and having access to a web-based intelligent…

I have been interested in, and have been training in various methods of Online Dispute Resolution for some time, so when a case of mine recently converted into a type of online mediation I thought I would take some time to reflect on what I learned from the experience. First, a few words about how…

On November 29, 2011, the European Commission announced (MEMO/11/840) its proposals for a new Directive on consumer ADR and a new Regulation on consumer ODR. With some countries in the Eurozone in deeper financial trouble than ever, and the future of the EU uncertain, the Commission has just sent a clear signal that the promotion…