More than 100 million disputes are filed online each year around the world, and the number is growing every month. As our society becomes increasingly wired, internet users expect that they will be able to use the latest information and communication technologies to get their issues resolved as quickly and effectively as possible. Unfortunately the default channel for resolving most problems, the courts, are unable to deal with online, high volume, low value cases. Governments and international institutions have concluded that Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) is the best option for providing fair redress for these cases, and several (including UNCITRAL and the European Union) have recently announced plans to launch cross-border ODR schemes. Even with that emerging consensus many crucial details have yet to be worked out: How can fairness be ensured? Who should act as the decision makers? Should outcomes be binding? How can these systems benefit the developing world? We propose a workshop proposal on Online Dispute Resolution to tackle these questions, bringing experts in ODR together with internet policy designers from around the world. Now is the window of opportunity to design these systems in such a way that they are transparent and trustworthy, and we believe that IGF is the right forum to convene such conversation and exchange our views and concerns.
The agenda will cover:-
* Consumer ODR from eBay and beyond and the draft European Regulation on consumer ODR (2011/0374 (COD))
* The particular role of ODR in the developing world with specific focus on Africa with examples of useage to date and, importantly, for the future.
* The varying role of ODR in newly industrialised countries with established and trusted cross-border commerce with specific focus on India.
* The challenges posed by ODR from the perspective of the individual in terms of "law and justice" and the more traditional "landscapes" for civil justice systems.
* Advanced game theory based tools for facilitating negotiation between parties.
* The role of ODR as a solution to the fast developing power and impact of consumer reviews of online business.
* ODR in Latin America and its impact on Spanish-Latin American commerce.