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Bengaluru: 22nd International ODR Forum highlights global progress of ‘online dispute resolution’

Bengaluru: The National Centre for Technology & Dispute Resolution (NCTDR) organised the 22nd edition of the International ODR Forum on March 17th and 18th, 2023 in the Silicon Valley of India at the Bangalore International Center. This event brought together over 250 influential individuals, experts, and innovative thinkers from various fields, including business, government, and society, to engage, network, and envision ways to progress online dispute resolution (ODR).

Leading National and International dignitaries such as Former CEO of NITI Aayog – Amitabh Kant; Co-founder of Infosys – Nandan Nilekani, Executive Director of SEBI- Pramod Rao, Director of NCTDR – Ethan Katsh, CEO of odr.com – Colin Rule and many more, were present at the event. They shared their views on the role of ODR in promoting a more inclusive and effective judicial system in India and across the world.

Amitabh Kant during his virtual appearance said, “ODR will allow access to justice in ease of doing business by making dispute resolution cheaper, quicker, and most importantly equally credible as conventional methods.”

On 17 March, in the ODR Innovation Pop-up, many companies and enterprises showcased their innovation in the online dispute resolution ecosystem.

In the same innovation pop-up Jupitice, the World’s First and Only Justice Technology (JusTech) company, showcased its UN-based ODR platform powered by AI & Blockchain. During the innovation pop-up, the JusTech company launched its one-of-a-kind AI chatbot – SAYA, which serves as a digital legal assistant empowering users to manage their disputes and make better and informed decisions.

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The two-day event was filled with various panel discussions concerning the ODR landscape.

On 18 March, In the session “ODR by the State: A Learning Circle” discussion around the significance of state governments and State legal Service Authorities adopting online dispute resolution took place. During the discussion through virtual means, Gurpreet Kaur Deo, Spl DGP, Community Affairs Division, Punjab shared the collaboration between Moga Police and Jupitice Justice Technologies towards a pilot project – SAANJH-Dilasa.

Founder and CEO of Jupitice, Raman Aggarwal calling data a prime currency and emphasising on organising and analysing it said, “data that is lying in the third party is scattered, and we are wasting our data.” “We should see the root cause and do the root analysis of that data and come up with nice policies and legislative amendments.”

He further said, “We should have a technology which can support the judiciary, we should have the technology which can support the quasi judiciary, we should have the technology which can support the area justice system across the group and then, of course, the ODR.”

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India presently faces a huge backlog of cases pending in Indian courts. With 4.3 crore cases pending in District Courts, 53.5 lakh cases waiting for their turns in High Courts, and 70,000 cases awaiting final decisions at the Supreme Court, ODR offers an economical, inexpensive and convenient option for disputes resolution and seeking justice, without the burden and expense of traditional legal procedures. During the event, Nandan Nilekani rightly quoted, “ODR has the potential to reduce the load on the court by dissolving high volume of disputes outside the court.”

India, being the largest democracy globally, has a duty to take the lead in advancing online dispute resolution, and significant advancements have already been made in this field. The recent approval of the mediation bill and the launch of Digital LOK Adalat provided support for these initiatives. The discussions and presentations at the International ODR Forum will undoubtedly contribute significantly to the development of ODR as a vital tool for dispute resolution in India’s judicial system.

The International ODR Forum is the leading global networking platform for the ODR community, taking place annually in various regions around the globe, and it showcases how ODR is being put into practice worldwide.

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