The Power of Perspectives

The Canadian Bar Association

Valentin Callipel

Agents of Innovation

Online resolution can help shape justice reform

By Valentin Callipel September 15, 2017 15 September 2017

Online resolution can help shape justice reform


Can judges – or lawyers – be agents of change in our justice system?

Forgive me if the question is rhetorical, but in recent months we have heard countless alarming predictions that lawyers will be replaced with machines and courts with private companies – all more effective, more efficient and more attuned to the sway of economic actors devoted to rationality and efficiency.

Returning from these flights of fancy to the more practical, it appears that reform of our current justice system is concerned with determining whether to first increase the number of judges (so far only a mildly successful approach), divert some litigation outside the justice system or modernize proceedings using information and communication technology. What should we prioritize? Therein lies the very thorny question our different levels of government feel compelled to address in the aftermath of the R. v. Jordan ruling, which continues to unsettle public opinion on a daily basis.

This is where a close look at the evolution of online dispute resolution (ODR) can assist us and provide some serious food for thought.

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