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What is ODR?

Here, Professor Richard Susskind gives a brief introduction to ODR.

This video lasts just over 2 minutes.


Welcome to the website of the Online Dispute Resolution Advisory Group of the Civil Justice Council.

We were given the task of thinking about how technology might be used in low value civil claims so we looked at the whole field of Online Dispute Resolution and we were conscious of low value civil claims that currently if you go through the conventional courts system for most people, particularly litigants in person, it’s too costly, too complex, it’s quite slow and so how can technology help?

Well, we’ve come up with an idea of using technology in two fundamentally new ways.

First of all the idea of judges deciding cases online. This will be senior judges from our system looking at cases on the papers or perhaps telephone conferencing calls and at a later stage video calls. Essentially judges dealing with cases on an online basis.

That’s one innovation.

The second idea we’ve had is to add a new category of individual which we call the online facilitator. In the support if early dispute resolution or alternative dispute resolution these are individuals who will look at claims and bring the parties together negotiating and perhaps acting as mediators after some kind of guidance.

But somehow act as a filter for the cases which don’t really need judicial attention that they don’t go through to the online judges.

And our conclusion in all this is that we use technologies, ODR, which we are really meaning use of technology to resolve disputes or sort out problems that individuals have.

This kind of technology will do two things. Firstly it will increase access to justice because we believe more people will use the system. It will be cheaper, more convenient, less forbidding. And secondly, and I mentioned this, it will lower the cost to individual participants in disputes. Also the cost of the overall justice system.

We hope you will join us in being enthusiastic about the potential of ODR for civil justice claims.