Some changes are so slow, you don’t notice them, others are so fast, they don’t notice you. —Ashleigh Brilliant
On July 13, 2016, the legal world changed in a small but significant way when an Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) Tribunal started taking its first cases in British Columbia, Canada. BC’s Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) drew on prior private law examples such as eBay and PayPal’s ODR resolution platform. EBay was the proof of concept of ODR: By 2010, it was handling over 60 million disputes each year, most of which were fully resolved by the parties without any additional human intervention.
This development came after academics, scholars, the United Nations, universities, governments, private industry, lawyers and nonlawyers long debated the potential of using the power, reach and resources of the internet to settle legal disputes. This was the first time a government provided a mechanism for parties to settle a dispute in a totally online forum.