As we were informed by the founder of judge.me online arbitration platform this initiative would provide ODR services to world at large. Individuals and companies may resolve their disputes through this platform by using its legal dispute resolution services.
Microsoft, the United States-based multinational computer technology corporation has recently won a domain name case against TN Chen. The company submitted a complaint to the National Arbitration Forum, requesting the disputed domain names bing-wallpaper.com and bingimg.com to be transferred from the respondent to the complainant.
Recently the arbitration court at the public association “Ukrainian arbitration union” (Odessa) issued an award. That award was adopted after the hearings which were held by means of telecommunication. The participants presented their position to the arbitration court in video conference. The award was announced to the parties through a web-cam as well. Later on the award was signed as a written document and forwarded to the parties. This event became a ground for discussion in Ukrainian specialized mass media. Some of my colleagues treated that event as a step to implementation and propagation of the Internet-arbitration concept. Though I welcome that progressive practice I am far from believing that e-arbitration is limited to or its main feature consists of the possibility of web-hearings. Electronic form arbitration clause (agreement), e-claim, admissibility of electronic evidences, turnover of electronic documents during the process and enforceability of an electronic award, - that is an inexhaustive list of main issues related to the e-arbitration concept. If the reader is interested in that matter I would recommend to familiarize with the document “International commercial arbitration. 5.9. Electronic arbitration” prepared under the auspices of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
There is no specific regulation allowing or prohibiting online arbitration in Ukraine at the time. Actually there is no Ukrainian practice of online arbitration. However, I have already heard “well grounded” opinions of specialists in arbitration concerning online ADR and its future in Ukraine. Those opinions seemed interesting to me because (1) they are based on subjective understanding of the term “online arbitration” and (2) for the mentioned reason they jeopardize the idea of online arbitration. Let me explain. The term “online arbitration” is often replaced with the terms “e-arbitration” and “virtual arbitration” which have almost synonymous meaning. In the Ukrainian language the word “online” and prefix “e-“ are rather foreign substance. Thus, “virtual arbitration” remains. However, for Ukrainian legal brains virtual is something fake. Moreover, during several years (2005-2009) local arbitration courts were often misused. Many times they were used as an instrument of legitimization of title to real estate. Taking into account that usually there was no dispute in such real estate cases the proceedings were “virtual”: no evidences presented, no hearings took place.
Thank heaven that the experts supported by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) developed the concept of electronic arbitration. This is what may be implemented in the Ukrainian legal practice though it may take years.