As the title indicates, the focus of this article is upon reduction of costs and other inconveniences in the use of the technically based Online Dispute Resolution (“ODR”). However, because ODR derives from the better-known offline Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”), a brief description of the function and growth of ADR is necessary.
II. THE GROWTH OF ADR
The purpose of ADR (which in its primitive phase is older than any judicial system) is to provide an alternative to litigation within a national court system. Modern international ADR, more specifically in its arbitration form, developed as part of the growth of internationalism after the First World War with the creation of arbitral decisional bodies. These became known as institutional ADR providers and included the International Chamber of Commerce (“ICC”) and the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”). In time, the London Court of International Arbitration (“LCIA”), which prior to World War I acted as a decisional body in Great Britain for both domestic and international arbitral disputes, changed its name and purpose while at the same time limiting the right of judicial appeal from its decisions. Following the creation of the World Bank after the Second World War, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (“ICSID”) was established for the purpose of arbitrating or mediating private international investment disputes between states and nationals of other states. The main focus was upon resolving disputes between developing nations as debtors and foreign enterprises, especially contractors. Subsequently, the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (“SCC”) changed from a solely onshore institution to the role of an offshore provider.