There is a growing list worldwide of online tribunals.

  • June 01, 2018
  • David J. Bilinsky

Here is a sampling:

BC’S CIVIL RESOLUTION TRIBUNAL (“CRT”)
Canada’s first online tribunal currently hears strata property disputes of any amount and small claims matters of $5,000 and under. On April 23, 2018, the government introduced changes that, if adopted, will expand the CRT’s jurisdiction to include motor vehicle accident claims and disputes involving non-profit societies and co-operative associations. These changes, in part, will include assessing liability and quantum for motor vehicle claims below $50,000, allowing lawyers to represent parties in motor vehicle claims and allowing time limits to be set for judicial review proceedings.

SDRCC
The Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada (“SDRCC”) offers world-class resolution facilitation, mediation, med/arb and arbitration services through its online presence to resolve disputes in the Canadian sport system at the national level for national sports organizations, multisport service organizations, athletes, coaches, officials, administrators and volunteers. Using online dispute resolution, the mediators, arbitrators and med/arbitrators can work with the parties toward a dispute’s resolution. When in arbitration and med/arbitration, the arbitrator can render a final and binding decision. Parties have legal representation and the disputes can often be resolved in a very short time frame. Until recently, I was a director of the SDRCC.

CONDOMINIUM AUTHORITY OF ONTARIO (“CAO”)
The CAO is a newly established organization that offers online dispute resolution services through the Condominium Authority Tribunal. Ontario’s first online tribunal helps settle and decide condo-related disputes using an online dispute resolution system. Currently, it only accepts disputes over condo records, but I anticipate that this jurisdiction will be expanded in time.

NORTHERN IRELAND’S DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE’S TRIBUNALS ONLINE SERVICES
This is a first step by Ireland’s Small Claims Courts and allows you to start a small claim online (debts, unsatisfactory workmanship, faulty goods or claims for damage to property, up to £3000). This is an extension of their Small Claims Court that allows for filing and then progressing the claim online. You can track the case online and do searches but any court hearing occurs at a regular court house.

NEW ZEALAND DISPUTES RESOLUTION TRIBUNAL
The Dispute Tribunal of New Zealand handles small claims disputes for disputes up to $15,000 (or, if everyone agrees, $20,000). Jurisdiction includes car accidents, house or flat disputes (fences, damage to property, disputes between flatmates), buying goods or services and business deals. Interestingly, you can use the tribunal even if you signed an agreement stating that you would not.

ENGLAND AND WALES
These jurisdictions are in the process of digitalising all courts and tribunals. But in terms of finished products they currently have:

THE MONEY CLAIMS
Online is going to be soon replaced by the Online Court Pilot procedure.

THE UK TRAFFIC PENALTY TRIBUNAL
The two tribunals above offer end to end ODR. It is only a matter of time before more and more tribunals and courts turn to online services as part of, or their entire, delivery method.

© 2018 David J. Bilinsky