In the present-day globalisation of trade and commerce, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) – in the forms of arbitration, conciliation and mediation – has been increasingly seen as an efficient, economical and effective alternative to litigation for settling commercial and other disputes. The advent of computer technologies, and of Internet in particular, has promoted procedures to resolve disputes totally, or partly, online. This new phenomenon is known under the acronym of "ODR" (online dispute resolution). In particular, ODR instruments have proved to respond positively to the needs of medium-small disputes, such as those in B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to consumer) transactions over the Internet. Besides being the easiest and most innovative way of resolving problems deriving from transactions generated on the World Wide Web, ODR is also becoming popular in the resolution of off-line disputes. The reason is that the online dispute resolution service is simple and easy to carry out as it allows users to cancel time and space barriers, offering them the possibility to communicate easily.In the context of this situation, this chapter analyses two mediation procedures taking place entirely online in order to understand how communication evolves with the aid of digital media and how it differs from the traditional mediating interaction where participants are all physically present in the same place. In particular, the negotiation techniques employed by the mediators are investigated so as to identify any possible influence or conditioning on the part of the new environment and technology made use of. The various phases of a typical procedure are analysed so as to highlight the potentialities of this new tool.
Gotti, M. , D'Angelo, L. (2014)., Mediating disputes with digital media, in A. Wagner & R. K. Sherwin (eds.), Law, culture and visual studies, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 631-648.
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