Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) 

#GS2 #Governance 

In a first, NITI Aayog, in association with Agami and Omidyar Network India, brought together key stakeholders in a virtual meeting on 6 June 2020 for advancing online dispute resolution in India. 

What is ODR 

  • ODR is the resolution of disputes, particularly small- and medium-value cases, using digital technology and techniques of alternate dispute resolution (ADR), such as negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. While courts are becoming digitized through the efforts of the judiciary, more effective, scalable, and collaborative mechanisms of containment and resolution are urgently needed. ODR can help resolve disputes efficiently and affordably. 

Why it is needed? 

  • Covid-19 has instilled an urgent need for ODR that requires decisive action, with the likelihood of a spurt in disputes before the courts—most notably in lending, credit, property, commerce, and retail. In the coming months, ODR could be the mechanism that helps with achieving expedient resolution. 
  • The seminal meeting generated tremendous recognition of the opportunity that ODR presents in India. A multi-stakeholder exercise will be undertaken in the coming weeks to help achieve this in a sustainable, efficient and collaborative manner for the transformation of justice delivery across various facets 
  • Senior judges of the Supreme Court, secretaries from key government ministries, leaders of industry, legal experts, and general counsels of leading enterprises, explored the opportunities and specifics of what lies ahead. 
  • The common theme was a multi-stakeholder agreement to work collaboratively to ensure efforts are taken to scale online dispute resolution in India. 
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