The CJC travels to Bangalore to present the project on online dispute resolution scheme

Scheme discussed at Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) Forum 2023 in Bangalore, India, 17-18 March

This year’s ODR Forum was held in Bangalore, the Indian hub/hot-spot for new technologies. Almost 400 experts from all over the world, with a relevant percentage from India, participated to the event.

Online dispute resolution has been very active in India, mainly due to Indian’s efforts to strengthen e-commerce and due to efforts to reduce the burden of millions of unsolved cases lying in traditional courts. Indian government in cooperation with Indian internet industry leaders have proposed, and is now piloting, a set of open protocols called Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC). ONDC aims at enabling customers to access multiple vendors and service providers, complementary or competing ones, through a single app of any of such online vendors or service providers. A structural part of ONDC will  be the resolution of dissatisfactions through ODR.

Zbynek Loebl, member of the e-Justice ODR scheme project team, presented the project objectives and discussed the challenges and possible synergies that may emerge with the designers of ONDC and top managers of sectors which are endorsing it, including banking. Although the interim results in the e-Justice ODR scheme project overcome the current developments of the Indian ODR system, it is interesting to see that the ONDC seems to be a bit ahead of current European efforts as regards the e-commerce. This tradeoff underlines the need to increase the dialogue with India in order to enhance the information and knowledge sharing.

In addition, the conference included the presentations about preparatory works for the standard ISO TC 32122 which will include ODR standard for B2C cases. In particular, the working team adopted ODR ethical principles from the National Center for Technology and dispute Resolution and International Council for Online Dispute Resolution. The work document will be available in May 2023 and might apply from 2025. The draft envisages certification scheme for ODR providers, similarly as recent EU legislation applicable to online platforms, namely the Digital Services Act.

The organization of the ODR Forum was excellent, the programme was very exciting and overall there was a great positive feeling. Well done, India!!

Contribution drafted by Zbynek Loebl (PRK), partner in e-Justice ODR project