LawTech.Asia

Southeast Asia's foremost Law & Technology Review

Author: Josh Lee

Recent Growth and Developments on Online Dispute Resolution in Southeast Asia

Written by Josh Lee and Professor Thomas G. Giglione

This is the first part of a two-part series on recent developments in online dispute resolution. These series was co-written by Josh Lee and our guest contributor, Professor Thomas G. Giglione.

Professor Giglione is an experienced commercial mediator, and is the Convener for the 2017 Asia Pacific Mediation Forum Conference in Da Nang, Vietnam.

Introduction

Notwithstanding the continued importance of “traditional” dispute resolution mechanisms such as litigation and ADR, online dispute resolution (“ODR”) has continued to grow in influence and importance as an enabling tool for lawyers in assisting clients with the resolution of disputes.

This development, however, has been patchy at best. Certain regions, such as South-East Asia (“SEA”), do not seem to have embraced ODR as compared to regions like the European Union (“EU”). This is in spite of the sustained explosion in growth of mobile usage and e-commerce in SEA – between January 2016 and January 2017, for instance, the number of internet users and mobile subscriptions in SEA jumped by 80 million and 62 million respectively.

In this 2-part series, we intend to bring attention to major ODR developments in the EU, and to explore the possibility of applying such developments in the SEA context. In particular, our two mini-articles will cover the following areas:

  1. Briefly trace the global development of ODR, and to identify the development phase that ODR is in today;
  2. Identify the latest major development on ODR in the EU, the pan-EU ODR system, and to examine its main features, strengths, and criticisms;
  3. Broadly assess the desirability and feasibility of implementing a region-wide ODR network in SEA, with suitable modifications, if any; and
  4. To this end, identify certain inroads that have been made so far towards the implementation of such a region-wide ODR network in SEA.

The first part of this series will cover (a) by tracing the global development of ODR, and attempt to identify the phase of development that ODR is currently in.

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What Will The Lawyer’s Office Of The Future Look Like?

Written by Josh Lee | Edited by Amelia Chew

Introduction

During his speech at the Opening of the Legal Year in 2017, the Honourable Chief Justice of Singapore Sundaresh Menon spoke about a determined push by the legal profession towards embracing technologies that will enhance effectiveness and productivity in the legal workplace. With this backdrop in mind, as well as the mainstream acceptance of technologies, such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality and cloud storage, what sort of workplace might lawyers expect to see in the future?

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The Changing Role of Lawyers in the Next Few Years

Written by Josh Lee

(Editor’s note: This article was originally published in the May 2015 edition of the Law Gazette (a publication of the Law Society of Singapore). We would like to thank the Law Society and its Publications Department for graciously allowing us to reproduce this article on this site for our readers.)

Introduction

Since the start of the year, the legal fraternity has been involved in much debate. There has been the on-going discussion about the glut of lawyers in Singapore. There was also a big debate over the dropping of certain UK universities from the approved list of overseas law schools. These discussions have spurred much thought about the attractiveness of lawyering as a career (especially among fresh-faced undergraduates) and the changing role of lawyers in society.

Thus, it was fortuitous that on Friday, 13 March 2015, the Young Member’s Chapter under the Professional Affairs Committee of the Singapore Academy of Law and SCCA PEERS Sub-Committee jointly organised the Singapore Legal Career Forum 2015, entitled, Being a Lawyer in the Next Five Years. Mirroring the on-going discussion in the wider fraternity, the aim of the Forum was to give those present an idea about the changing role of Singapore’s lawyers amidst the fast-evolving legal landscape. Held at the Viewing Gallery on the eighth floor of the Supreme Court, the impressive skyline of the Central Business District provided a fitting backdrop to the Forum.

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Virtual Fighter – Online Dispute Resolution

Written by Josh Lee | Edited by Stella Chen, Micole Yang

Introduction

Predictions of the future often tell us that we will soon have robot housekeepers, cars that drive themselves, and holidays in space. While these may be still some time away, it is already possible today to imagine a future where we no longer think of going to a physical location (the courts) to resolve our disputes. The ongoing revolution in communications technology and artificial intelligence systems may soon allow us to dispose most of our problems with a click of a mouse button.

This article seeks to give a general introduction to our readers about the phenomenon of “online dispute resolution” (“ODR”). This includes: (a) covering the definition of ODR and what ODR generally entails, (b) a brief coverage of current and prominent examples of ODR, and (c) examining the opportunities for ODR in light of growth trends in the region, and what young lawyers and law students can do (now) to leverage on the ODR trend.

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