Churchill Fellow, Katarina Palmgren, explores the use of online dispute resolution (ODR) to resolve civil disputes in Victoria, Australia.
To create the report, Ms. Palmgren researched ODR systems in the United States, Canada, and the UK to evaluate the opportunity to improve access to justice in Victoria, Australia.
Palmgren launched the report at the Melbourne ODR: State of the Art Symposium in late November, 2018.
In the report, Palmgren recommends that the Magistrates Court of Victoria make ODR available for civil claims less than $10,000, drawing on existing ODR implementations worldwide for best practices. She also recommends that the court make ODR mandatory for these cases.
District Court 14A Featured
During her research, Katarina Palmgren visited District Court 14A in Washtenaw County which launched Matterhorn ODR in 2014.
One subset of cases that has been considered suitable for an online court is infringements and traffic offences.
In its Resource Bulletin containing case studies of ODR in the public justice system the US Joint Technology Committee says that traffic violations handled on the Matterhorn ODR platform in District Court 14A of Washtenaw County are resolved more quickly and parties pay their fines faster and far more consistently [than in the traditional court setting] leading to fewer default judgments.
The Bulletin goes on to say that before ODR, only 51% of fines were paid within 30 days. For cases that go through the ODR system, 92% of fines are paid within 30 days.Excerpt from the November 2018 Churchill Fellowship Report by Katarina Palmgren
Additionally, Palmgren visited the Franklin County Municipal Court in Columbus, Ohio.
Congratulations to Churchill Fellow Katarina Palmgren for winning the Fellowship grant, for thorough research, and for highlighting the power of technology to increase access and improve the public’s experience with civil disputes.