Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) is a branch of dispute resolution which uses technology to facilitate the resolution of disputes between parties. It primarily involves negotiation, mediation or arbitration, or a combination of all three. In this respect it is often seen as being the online equivalent of alternative dispute resolution. However, ODR can also augment these traditional means of resolving disputes by applying innovative techniques and online technologies to the process.
ODR is a wide field, which may be applied to a range of disputes; from interpersonal disputes including consumer to consumer disputes or marital separation; to court disputes and interstate conflicts. It is believed that efficient mechanisms to resolve online disputes will impact on the development of e-commerce. While the application of it is not limited to disputes arising out of business to consumer online transactions, it seems to be particularly apt for these disputes, since it is logical to use the same medium (the internet) for the resolution of e-commerce disputes when parties are frequently located far from one another.
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