This post is the second of a 3 post series on Alternative Dispute Resolution. If you haven’t already read part 1, I recommend doing so before continuing.
Future of Alternative Dispute Resolution (continued)
According to data submitted by the US to the APEC forum, 2017 will see 942 million e-commerce business disputes. (1) According to an article by David Dodwell in the South China Morning Post, these disputes involved, on average, entities in six different nations with six different legal systems, and therefore made it necessary for the parties involved to hire six different lawyers to represent their interests. Obviously, this represents a significant expense, and it’s enough to make a large firm nervous. For a small business; however, this type of business disputes most likely means the end of their company. This is one reason why 35% of these e-commerce disputes go unresolved – many litigants see the cost involved and choose to simply go bankrupt rather than continue with the dispute.
Online Alternative Dispute Resolution
With the great cost of these online business disputes, you can start to see why the idea of online business dispute resolution might sound like a good one. Furthermore, APEC is just the sort of organization to undertake online dispute resolution. For the last few years, they have been working on ways to get small businesses to participate in international trade among their 21 Pacific Rim member nations. One barrier to entry into this kind of marketplace is the risk associated with the cost of any potential business disputes. APEC decided to combat this problem by creating a set of online mediation and arbitration tools that companies can use to resolve online business disputes in the same place they arise – the internet. This makes it unnecessary to hire lawyers in each individual jurisdiction, and provides a framework through which non-litigated international business disputes can be legally recognized.
Check back soon for The Expanding Roles of Alternative Dispute Resolution, Part 3