Today, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) announced its adoption of Technical Notes on Online Dispute Resolution (ODR). The Technical Notes, which were formally adopted at UNCITRAL’s meeting in New York on July 5, 2016, are the first formal international text recognizing and supporting the use of ODR as a new method of dispute resolution. The formal press release from the United Nations Information Service can be accessed here.
The CPR Institute has been actively involved in the development and drafting of this innovative UNCITRAL text. In response to the need to develop more cost-effective approach to resolving B2B and B2C disputes in the Internet age, CPR became an official NGO Observer to UNCITRAL in the Spring of 2011.
Beth Trent, CPR’s Senior Vice President, Public Policy, Programs and Resources, was invited to serve as a member of the U.S. Delegation to UNCITRAL Working Group III (ODR) and provided an expert perspective on how to best achieve the objective of designing a system that enables parties to resolve disputes in a fast, flexible and secure manner, without the need for physical presence at a meeting or hearing.
The Technical Notes are expected to contribute significantly to development of systems that will enable this objective. Following UNCITRAL’s approach of issuing texts of universal application, the Technical Notes are designed to ensure that ODR systems are accessible to buyers and sellers in both developed and developing countries.