With the rapid growth of ODR in a number of sectors it is vital to establish ethical standards to undergird the design, structure, practices, and implementation of global online dispute resolution systems. This simplified standard set builds on previous work by the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution on principles for ODR practice. Taken together they are intended to provide a touchstone for best practices, rules, qualifications, and certification efforts for online dispute resolution processes and practices.
ICODR Believes that quality Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) programs must be:
- Accessible: ODR must be easy for parties to find and participate in and not limit their right to representation. ODR should be available through both mobile and desktop channels, minimize costs to participants, and be easily accessed by people with different physical ability levels.
- Accountable: ODR systems must be continuously accountable to the institutions, legal frameworks, and communities that they serve.
- Competent: ODR providers must have the relevant expertise in dispute resolution, legal, technical execution, language, and culture required to deliver competent, effective services in their target areas. ODR services must be timely and use participant time efficiently.
- Confidential: ODR must maintain the confidentiality of party communications in line with policies that must be made public around a) who will see what data, and b) how that data can be used.
- Equal: ODR must treat all participants with respect and dignity. ODR should enable often silenced or marginalized voices to be heard, and ensure that offline privileges and disadvantages are not replicated in the ODR process.
- Fair/Impartial/Neutral: ODR must treat all parties equally and in line with due process, without bias or benefits for or against individuals, groups, or entities. Conflicts of interest of providers, participants, and system administrators must be disclosed in advance of commencement of ODR services.
- Legal: ODR must abide by and uphold the laws in all relevant jurisdictions.
- Secure: ODR providers must ensure that data collected and communications between those engaged in ODR is not shared with any unauthorized parties. Users must be informed of any breaches in a timely manner.
- Transparent: ODR providers must explicitly disclose in advance a) the form and enforceability of dispute resolution processes and outcomes, and b) the risks and benefits of participation. Data in ODR must be gathered, managed, and presented in ways to ensure it is not misrepresented or out of context.