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Online dispute resolution: a future in family law?

Date:18 FEB 2015
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Solicitor Advocate

Online Dispute Resolution in low value claims

Over last week-end (15/16 February 2015) the Civil Justice Council published its report on online dispute resolution (ODR): Online Dispute Resolution for low value civil claims (February 2015) by the Online Dispute Resolution Advisory Group. The terms of reference of the authors of the report included to review the ‘potential and limitations [for] the use of Online Dispute Resolution for resolving civil disputes’ of less than £25 000; and to look at how ODR could develop and how it might overlap with ‘virtual courts’. Possible parallel developments with family proceedings were outside the terms of reference of the report; though the potential for civil justice identified by the report could be translated easily to many family breakdown disputes (financial remedy proceedings are an obvious example as explained later). (The authors use the term ‘dispute resolution’ (eg online ‘dispute resolution’: ‘DR’) to mean litigation as a whole not – as do many family lawyers – to mean mediation and other non-court dispute resolution.)

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