ICC International Court of Arbitration, number of cases jumped from 599 in 2007 to 663 in 2008

ICC International Court of Arbitration Secretary General Jason Fry described the last year as challenging. “This year can be best described as a period of consolidation. Mr Fry highlighted ICC’s new Hearing Centre in Paris, which opened for business in October 2008. Available for hearings, whether ICC, ‘ad hoc’ or under the auspices of other arbitral institutions. the Hearing Centre, the first of its kind in Paris, was proving to be very successful.

The Court’s Secretary General emphasized the importance of the anticipated information technology system upgrade, which would allow the Secretariat to keep track in real time of the status of each case, this is part of an entire review of priorities and procedures internally and externally with a view to delivering a quality service.

The ICC International Court of Arbitration‘s work load continues to increase at a fast pace. The number of cases registered jumped to 663 last year from 599 in 2007. In addition 407 awards were rendered in 2008, compared with 349 in 2007, while there were 1,317 cases pending compared with 1,285 at the end of the previous year. The new Hong Kong office of the Court was up and running, with some 100 cases already registered.

Colin Rule PayPal’s Director of ODR interviewed by Practical eCommerce

Colin Rule PayPal’s Director of ODR interviewed by Practical eCommerce

¿How, exactly, PayPal resolves disputes between ecommerce merchants and their customers? Colin Rule, PayPals Director of Online Dispute Resolution was intervied by Practical eCommerce magazine:

Practical eCommerce (PeC): If an ecommerce customer pays for a legitimate product using PayPal and then decides he doesn’t like it and complains to PayPal, what will PayPal do?

Colin Rule: In cases where the buyer is simply disappointed in the item, we would encourage the buyer to work directly with the seller. PayPal does offer buyer protection, but this protection covers buyers for items that they didn’t receive and for items that are significantly not as described. It does not cover cases where the buyer is merely disappointed with the item or where the item did not meet the buyer’s expectations.

Practical eCommerce (PeC): What are a merchant’s options if a customer asks PayPal to hold payment?

Colin Rule: If a merchant does get a chargeback, a couple pieces of information can be extremely helpful to dispute it. Proof of delivery, such as online tracking offered by both USPS and UPS, can be critical evidence in reversing the chargeback. A copy of the buyer’s signature confirming receipt can also be extremely effective. Finally, if a merchant did refund the buyer at any point in time, proof of the refund (and/or the shipment of a replacement item) is important.

Practical eCommerce (PeC): What other options are available to merchants to address disputes?

Colin Rule: Again, we always encourage buyers and sellers to first try to work through disputes together. To help with that, we’ve launched the dispute resolution center – a step-by-step system designed to facilitate communication between the buyer and the seller in order to get resolution of the issue. Since launching PayPal Dispute Resolution, buyer claims against sellers decreased by 50 percent, and seller losses on PayPal due to chargebacks decreased 20 percent.

If the dialogue with the seller fails to produce a satisfactory result, the buyer can then escalate the dispute into a claim, where our claims specialists gather information from both parties, examine the case and work with both parties to try to fairly and efficiently resolve the claim. In this process, PayPal will ask sellers for documentation that helps us determine that they shipped the item to the buyer and that the item was as described. Continue reading Colin Rule PayPal’s Director of ODR interviewed by Practical eCommerce

Online Dispute Resolution emerging in Kerala, India

Online Dispute Resolution involving mediation and arbitration with the help of technology, was emerging as a branch of dispute resolution, Chief Justice of Kerala, H L Dattu said on Saturday. In India, this method is in its infancy stage and is gaining prominence day by day, he said after inaugurating the National Conference on court annexed mediation and role of institutional arbitration here.

With the enactment of Information Technology Act, 2000, e-commerce and e-governance have been given a formal and legal recognition. Even the traditional arbitration law of India has been reformulated and ‘Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996’ was enacted, he said.

In mediation, the practitioner has no advisory role, instead, a mediator renders help to parties to develop a shared understanding of the conflict and to work towards building a practical and lasting solution, he said.

He also emphasised the need for creating awareness on mediation among the general public. Continue reading Online Dispute Resolution emerging in Kerala, India

Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre HKIAC

With about 350 arbitration cases / year (mainly in construction matters) Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) is one of the most actives dispute resolution centres of the world. Main areas of activity of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre HKIAC are:

Negotiation: The most common form of dispute resolution is negotiation. By this means alone nearly all disputes are solved. If negotiations fail, it is necessary to seek the assistance of a neutral third party or several neutral third parties to facilitate a solution.

Mr. Christopher To, Secretary General of Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre HKIAC, video:

Conciliation and Mediation: Conciliation and Mediation are often terms used interchangeably and they are together referred to as mediation. Both involve the appointment of a third party to assist disputing parties to reach a settlement of their difference. The mediator is not given any power to impose a settlement. His function is to try to break any impasse and encourage the parties to reach an amicable settlement. In commercial disputes an impasse most often arises from either a lack of trust in the integrity of the other party or a genuine good faith difference of opinion on the facts underlying the dispute or on the probable outcome of the case were it to go to court. The mediator may act as a shuttle diplomat acting as a channel for communication filtering out the emotional elements and allowing the parties to focus on the underlying objectives. He will encourage the parties to reach an agreement themselves as opposed to having it imposed upon them. Continue reading Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre HKIAC

What is (and isn`t) ODR – Online Dispute Resolution?

Jason Krause, ABA Journal online, wrote a really interesting article about ODR. These are some of the most interesting ideas about it:

– The American Arbitration AssociationAAA – says ODR is used in only a small percentage of all cases settled, but it has seen recent growth. In 2006, 3,000 of the 160,000 cases the AAA handled were done digitally.

ODR, Online dispute resolution is a broad category: Any mediation, ar­bitration or dispute resolution that takes place outside of court and at least partially online qualifies. It differs from alternative dispute res­olution, which refers to processes outside governmental jurisdiction. ODR can mean anything from e-mailing documents and evidence to using videoconferencing to bring the sides together. And it has been most effective in international or long-distance disputes involving technology issues. Continue reading What is (and isn`t) ODR – Online Dispute Resolution?

ICT Strategy of India: an Online Disptute Resolution ODR Perspective

ICT Strategy of India: an Online Disptute Resolution ODR Perspective

The aim of this article is to stress upon the importance of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for resolving contemporary electronic commerce (e-commerce) and other disputes. The best example of the same is the use of Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) for resolving these disputes and misunderstandings. The Online Dispute Resolution Mechanism (ODRM) is gaining popularity among all the countries of the World, including India. There are, however, certain prerequisites that must be satisfied before ODRM can be effectively established and used in India.

I. Introduction

In the present globalised and decentralised world, India cannot afford to keep its economy closed and secluded. Thus, an interaction between Indian economy and world’s economy is inevitable. That is not a big problem. The real problem is to make Indian economy an efficient and competitive economy. Though there are many indicators for measuring the strengths and weaknesses of an economy, but the ICT strategy of a nation is very crucial to put it on a global map. It is very important that the ICT strategy and policies of a nation must not only be suitable but should also believe in a “holistic application and implementation”. The ICT strategy and policy of a nation cannot afford to keep the different components of ICT[1] separate. Their amalgamation and supplementation must be done at a priority basis otherwise the ICT strategy and policy will not bring the desired results.[2] The present ICT strategy and policies of India are deficient and defective.[3] It must be appreciated that the ICT is directly related to International Trade, more particularly e-commerce. Thus, when the Indian economy will be integrated with the Global economy certain disputes are bound to be there. We cannot use the traditional litigation methods to resolve those disputes. That will only put more pressure on the already overburdened courts. The fact is that the increasing backlog of cases is posing a big threat to our judicial system. The same was even more in the early 90 but due to the computerisation process in the Supreme Court and other courts that was reduced to a great extent. However, the backlog is still alarming.[4] This is because mere computerisation of Courts or other Constitutional offices will not make much difference. What we need is a will and desire to use the same for speedy disposal of various assignments. There is a lack of training among Judges regarding use of Information Technology (IT). We need a sound training of Judges first before we wish to capatilise the benefits of IT. A good initiative has already been taken by the Supreme Court.[5] However, the same appears to be dormant for the time being. Thus, we need a public initiative as well.[6] Besides, the use of ICT for ODR purposes is also inevitable due to the mandates of the “right to speedy trial” that is provided by the Constitution of India. Continue reading ICT Strategy of India: an Online Disptute Resolution ODR Perspective