Online Dispute Resolution, the Future of Alternative Dispute Resolution
The Internet plays an integral role in our lives. Since its first appearance, it allowed us to access more information and simplified our daily tasks such as transferring money, communicating with people on the other side of the world efficiently.
Today, various applications, websites and platforms offer video conference services that can be used not only for leisure purposes, also for professional uses. Among the latter, the new trend of Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) is emerging in the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution in recent years.
The definition of Alternative Dispute Resolution
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a category that contains methods alternative to court litigation to solve disputes. ADR comprises Arbitration, Mediation, Negotiation, Conciliation. These methods have different features that allow parties to choose the one most suitable for their needs, for instance, methods that involve a third person. Another distinction could be based on the fact that in arbitration parties devolve the power to decide to a third party while in the other methods the third party can only help or facilitate the disputing parties in finding an agreement.
ADR is in constant evolution and even more so with the use of smartphones. The convenience of having the extension of our minds at the end of our hands redefines ADR.
What is Dispute Resolution Center?
A Dispute Resolution Center is an independent organization that provides services in the field of ADR. The range of services spans from the administration of the case, training and seminars for ADR practitioners, and facilities for hearings and conferences. Very often, dispute resolution centers provide a set of rules for regulating different ADR proceedings, especially arbitration and mediation, disputing parties are able to agree on the use of such rules. Moreover, it is common for dispute resolution centers to provide model clauses for arbitration and mediation. These clauses can be easily inserted by the parties in their contracts to resolve disputes using ADR.
The evolution of Dispute Resolution Centers
Before the advent of the Internet and the diffusion of smartphones, tablets, and other items that allow conducting online hearings, every step in an ADR proceeding was conducted in person. However, an in-person hearing involves a number of problems such as travel costs for parties who live in different countries, suitable dates and places for holding hearings. Regarding the place for hearings, Dispute Resolution Centers are the most appropriate place to host hearings, providing an ideal venue with additional benefits such as administrative services, rules, list of neutrals. These issues could lead to an inefficient proceeding or a delay in resolving the dispute.
Due to the technological evolution, ADR entered a second era and Dispute Resolution Centers have to adapt their services as well. Considering that parties still prefer in-person hearings and some countries allow traveling for business and legal purposes, centers keep providing the traditional services for this type of hearing. However, the new needs caused by the pandemic and concerns about health and travel restriction led centers to implement their online services, including the creation of ODR platforms, protocol to conduct hearing online.
How technology can help Alternative Dispute Resolution
Technological advancement, especially online platforms for communications such as LINE, Skype, Zoom, etc. are useful tools that can be beneficial for the ADR field. These would permit parties to have online hearings and allow them to save travel costs or easily agree on a date for hearings. The use of these technologies is not intended to replace the traditional options available in ADR, rather, they aim to provide an alternative for ADR users.
Dispute Resolution Centers are implementing their services with protocols for online hearings but so far only the Thailand Arbitration Center has created the platform called TalkDD, specifically designated for Online Dispute Resolution services.
THAILAND ARBITRATION CENTER (THAC)
The Thailand Arbitration Center (THAC) is an institution that provides alternative dispute resolution services, comprising of arbitration and mediation, for cross-border disputes. It is established by the Act of Arbitration Center B.E. 2550 (2007). The THAC was first founded and commenced its operation in 2015, intending to promote and strengthen the alternative dispute resolution system and services in Thailand.
The Thailand Arbitration Center is located in the heart of Bangkok, one of the most international and vibrant cities in South-East Asia. The THAC is easily accessible with its convenient locale in the vicinity of international airports. It offers high-standard ADR services, affordable administration fees, and state-of-the-art facilities for in-person and remote hearings (https://thac.or.th/rooms/).
The latest service introduced by the THAC is the Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) platform for arbitration mediation and negotiation, called “TalkDD” (https://odr.thac.or.th/auth/login). This innovative service is easy to use, it can be accessed by laptops, smartphones and tablets with a simple login system.
For further information, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or +66 (0)2018 1615. THAC is looking forward to helping you.