The PARLe platform in the latest Joint Technology Committee’s Resource Bulletin on ODR platforms

The Joint Technology Committee (JTC) published a bulletin on January 28, 2020, containing various case studies on online dispute resolution (ODR). The committee notes that dozens, if not hundreds, of jurisdictions have implemented online dispute resolution mechanisms. Through seven case studies, it looks at the different possibilities available to courts to apply dispute resolution technology: opt-it or opt-out, build or buy, onsite or cloud, integrated into the case file or stand-alone.

In general, the committee notes that the ODR platforms that have been introduced show a more active participation by the parties and a reduction in the number of judgments rendered by default. ODR affects court users mainly from low-income and minority neighbourhoods, thus increasing participation in their proceedings (particularly in case studies involving minor offences such as traffic violations).

Because ODR allows parties to resolve cases from anywhere at any time of the day or night, many cases that would not otherwise be resolved are now resolved through out-of-court settlements. ODR also reduces the amount of time court staff spend on each case.

The committee reports on the effectiveness of the systems that have been put in place under the “opt-out” principle and under which the online procedure is the new standard. Under this principle, individuals who wish to use a paper-based or in-person procedure must have a compelling reason to do so.

The PARLe project, a partnership between the Office de la protection du consommateur du Québec and the Université de Montréal’s Cyberjustice Laboratory, is one of the case studies featured in the committee’s bulletin. The system developed is free and voluntary (“opt-in”), with jurisdiction over consumer disputes related to goods or services that have been delayed, defective, undelivered, or otherwise unsatisfactory. The platform facilitates the resolution of consumer disputes, whatever the value of the good or service in question, as part of an effort to improve access to justice.

To learn more about the different case studies discussed by the committee, the newsletter “Case Studies in ODR for Courts” is available here.

 

About the JTC

The JTC is a committee that was established by various justice sector bodies, namely the Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA), the National Association for Court Management (NACM) and the National Center for State Courts (NCSC), with the purpose, among others, of developing and promoting technological standards for courts and improving court procedures.

This content has been updated on 05/11/2020 at 10 h 27 min.