ODR Forum 2018 — Innovation and Impact

From my colleague, Amy Schmitz:

Dear colleagues,

I write to you about the 18th Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) Forum, to be hosted by the NZ Centre for ICT Law in the School of Law at Auckland University, on the 14th & 15th November, 2018.  The ODR Forum is the key annual event for those working and innovating across the array of fields of practice and development in providing access to justice and dispute resolution through information technology.  Each year, the Forum has witnessed the growth of the field and of the potential to enhance our justice options, whether in innovations in court practice, advances in access to legal information for prospective litigants or, more recently, in the uses of blockchain in securing self-executing contracts or providing enduring identity for refugees.

This is a fabulous event, with speakers from the community of ODR pioneers who continue to shape this work, as well as others who have joined in as the field continues to develop.

Some information for your consideration:

  1. Here’s the website for the Forum.
  2. Registration:  Please register at this link.  Note that Early Bird registration closes on 14 September 2018.
  3. Program and presentations:  The program is still being developed and, of course the shape of the program will depend on the contributions offered by many of those attending. We currently have proposals on, amongst other things, blockchain and smart contracts; a panel on ethics and new developments in IT/AI and dispute resolution; a survey of developments in ODR and tribunals; a panel on standards in ODR; a panel on the role of ICT in violent conflict and civil unrest; a presentation (possibly via Skype) on British Columbia’s Civil Resolution Tribunal; and more. Please consider offering a topic for panel discussion, and submit your proposals.  In doing so, do please note the broad themes of the Forum: Innovation and Impact.  All proposals will be considered by the Forum’s program committee.
  4. Travel:  Your own travel agents will note that a number of major airlines offer direct services to Auckland.  For travel within New Zealand, pre- or post-Forum, please contact Monica Sawant. We also hope to have further information on packages for domestic travel on the website soon.  In making your international travel arrangements, you might like to consider the next piece of information:
  5. Melbourne: The Sir Zelman Cowen Centre at the Victoria University in Melbourne, will hold a one-day seminar on ‘ODR: The International State of Play’ on the 22nd November.  We’d encourage as many of you as possible to attend both events and thus make best use of the journey to the South Pacific.  Information on that seminar will be loaded to our website shortly. If you do plan to attend this seminar, you might consider arriving in NZ via Auckland and leaving for Australia via Christchurch, to Melbourne, thus completing a circuit with a bit of travel in NZ’s beautiful South Island included.
  6. Sponsorship:  Here’s information on sponsorship options.  Should you or your organization wish to sponsor some part of the Forum, do please contact Kylie Watkins.

Finally, the editors of the International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, wish to publish a special edition of the Journal containing selected papers from the Forum.  Should you be interested in having your presentation published, please ensure that your submission to the website portal for presentations includes at least a paper abstract.  The editors will follow up with approaches to the authors.

For further questions, please contact Prof. Ian Macduff or Kylie Watkins.

Best regards,


Amy J. Schmitz

Elwood L. Thomas Missouri Endowed Professor of Law

University of Missouri School of Law


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