Online dispute resolution platform launched for legal practitioners whilst social distancing

  • A new Belfast-based organisation has launched an online ‘dispute resolution’ tech platform enabling legal practitioners to resume this line of work while social distancing during the COVID-19 lockdown.

    With face-to-face mediation, arbitration and adjudication sessions across the UK and the Republic of Ireland cancelled as a result of the current pandemic, the Consumer Code for Online Dispute Resolution (CCODR) claims it will also enable dispute practitioners to seek out work beyond their geographical locations while working remotely.

    Working in partnership with Australian-based developer Modron, the platform aims to reduce costs and commute time, and allow for parties to participate in online dispute resolution sessions remotely following the easing of restrictions.

    It also plans to make alternative dispute resolution more accessible for many larger organisations as part of their HR and customer services functions.

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    Its founders are “confident” that it can be applied to issues including small claims and family-sensitive issues outside of court, which barrister Michael Bready commented is a need that “was echoed in Lord Justice Gillen’s 2016 Review of Civil and Family Justice in Northern Ireland.”

    Features include end to end encryption (E2EE), a full suite of case management tools for alternative dispute practitioners, encrypted uploading and file sharing, and integration of digital billing including invoices, payments and receipts.

    Co-founder of CCODR, John Keers believes the platform is to be used over other common mainstream video conferencing facilities, saying: “The issue with many of these platforms is the lack of end-to-end encryption, known security weaknesses, and the possibility of not complying with General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). When dealing with sensitive topics and documents, it is essential that alternative dispute practitioners are utilising a platform that is safe, secure, and compliant with all domestic Data Protection laws”.

    Co-founder and CEO Gary Lyons added that dispute practitioners subscribing to the platform will also become approved under the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) Consumer Code scheme, which will “allow the public to verify membership and build confidence” in the practitioner.

    CCODR is also encouraging a unification of industry standards. Director at the organisation and director at Cleaver Fulton Rankin Solicitors, Aaron Moore commented: “Bespoke CPD training opportunities will be available at reduced rates for members as well as the reassurance of working with a collaborative network of likeminded specialists.”

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    Source: Written from press release

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    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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