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  • Graham Ross

ODR for Collective Redress


Continuing from my previous post on how increasingly interest is being shown in the potential for ODR in specific types of claims, last week I travelled to Salamanca University in Spain to talk on the role of ODR within collective redress (i.e. group/class actions) claims. Salamanca is a beautiful historic old Roman town with UNESCO World Heritage status some 120 miles west of Madrid.

A team of partners led by Professor Lorenzo Bujosa Vadell of Salamanca University are responsible for the EMEDEU project, a research initiative part funded by the EU's civil justice program to study online mediation in cross-border civil and commercial matters. My focus was on collective redress and how ODR can not just improve the resolution process (reducing cost and increasing speed) but do so while at the same time , through early alerts to causes of mass harm, helping to reduce the extent and impact of damage.

Giving the subject some thought I came up with the following benefits that can be offered by the application of intelligent resolution technology:-

* Fact gathering and claim framing without the cost/delay of human assistance;

* Resultant profiling of claims gives opportunity for computer learning to grow empirical knowledge on elements/extent of elements in each mass harm;

* Automated guidance to mediators into channeling cases into appropriate categories/identification of non-standard cases and new categories

* Profiling of outcomes agreed by the parties can inform mediators of suitable outcomes from given case profiles;

* Cognitive computing to ensure mediators work to a consistent and high level of knowledge and, through predictive analytics, benefit from ‘creativity’ of outcomes to offer the parties;

* Personality assessment to aid the mediator in understanding character;

* Asynchronous nature of the communication enables mediators to run multiple mediations within the same mass harm case;

* Ease of collaboration between mediators acting in the individual cases

* In reducing cost and time (both to commence and to conclude), ODR makes mass harm mediation more accessible.

* Greater accessibility produces more cases and thus incidences of the mass harm leading to increased knowledge of the causes and extent of the harm;

* Increasing mutually agreed settlements through mediation over independently declared outcomes through arbitration (whether binding or non-binding) improves quality of justice.

A book is being published containing the various papers and researches. Further information will be given here.

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