Introduction to the Journal

2014 International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution  
The publication of this first volume of the International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution ('IJODR') marks a critical milestone in the evolution of ODR. ODR, as a parallel universe blending information technology and dispute resolution schemes and applications, has grown exponentially since the late 1990s and the advent of the 'fourth party'. Whilst acknowledging that ODR is a dispute resolution, and possibly dispute prevention, field, it seems manifest that the term 'ODR' is not subject to
more » ... universal consensus over its scope. However, it is abundantly clear that ODR is a branch of dispute resolution that utilizes technology and artificial intelligence to settle disputes. Traditionally, ODR targeted online disputes of diverse forms and origin. Nevertheless, ODR seems to have outgrown its initially predestined online milieu and is now capable of fulfilling its potential by targeting offline disputes. In light of the proliferation of technological applications and advent of fully fledged ODR schemes and providers, the IJODR signals the creation of the first dedicated global forum for discussion, disputation, and theory-building in the increasingly complex border between 'traditional' dispute/conflict engagement and technology. The IJODR offers a truly global and inclusive voice for the ODR universe with a diverse Board of Editors and, we hope, a diverse group of authors. The content of this inaugural volume demonstrates the breadth of the impact of ODR, and the myriad directions from which one may approach the interaction of ADR and ODR. This volume contains four scholarly contributions covering a myriad of illuminating issues as well as a book review and an indispensable news section. Rabinovich-Einy and Katsh discuss in their authoritative article entitled 'Digital Justice: Reshaping Boundaries in an Online Dispute Resolution Environment' the disruptive nature of technology, particularly as it applies to the concept of justice and justice systems. In particular and notwithstanding the benefits technology provides, Rabinovich-Einy and Katsh assess why ODR is deemed, by some people, as a threat to the principles and values of ordinary dispute resolution and address the qualities of technology that can enhance dispute resolution processes. Rainey, in his seminal article entitled 'Third Party Ethics in the Age of the Fourth Party,' outlines the profound nature of the impact of technology on the ethics of third party work. Such impact is one that is not revolutionary but rather evolutionary, and brought about by the new technology introduced and induced demands, restrictions and freedoms. Rainey scrutinizes instances where technology affects ethical considerations, such as questions of confidentiality and selfdetermination and its evolutionary impact.
doi:10.5553/ijodr/2014001001001 fatcat:g4fnmhxnenc2vhwtaqfmwa5zca