Author: Nicolas de Witt**
Published: October 2003
Dispute Resolution and Litigation
Description: With the dawning of the Internet Age, another era has dawned as well that of online arbitration, and more particularly, because Internet transactions frequently transcend national boundaries, that of online international arbitration. During the Internet boom, the number of Online Dispute Resolution (“ODR”) providers grew dramatically. Such companies generally provided for both online mediation and online arbitration as tools for the resolution of e-commerce disputes. While the number of ODR private providers has been significantly reduced, with many websites inactive or companies ceasing to do business, online litigation has developed with the launching of public cyber courts around the world, giving great hope to a new start for online arbitration.
Cyber courts came into existence in 2002. In the United Kingdom, for instance, consumers, small businesses and solicitors can now make claims to recover money owed to them by logging onto a new court service website. In Michigan, by statute, a cyber court can now handle hearings and proceedings online. Both of these online public services are operated by local courts and benefit from governmental support.
Similarly, online arbitration, which is still in its infancy, requires greater institutional support. It also awaits greater education, awareness and legal maturity.
*Notes & Comments
**L.L.M., Columbia University School of Law; Admitted to the bar in Paris and New York.