Embracing online dispute resolution as an avenue to Justice in Kenya
Kariuki, James Ngotho
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Online Dispute Resolution (hereinafter ‘ODR’) is a branch of dispute resolution that incorporates aspects of information and communication technology (hereinafter ‘ICT’). However, this does not limit the scope of ODR to the internet since it also incorporates off-line dispute resolution. Essentially, ODR is a derivative from the conventional Alternative Dispute Resolution (hereinafter ‘ADR’) mechanisms. Withal, with the significantly rapid developing ICT sector, there is an urgent need for a direct and more efficient dispute resolution mechanism for online disputes. In Kenya for example, the rapid developments in the ICT sector have led to an increased access to internet facilities by the citizenry. It has therefore become difficult to ignore the changes brought about by ICT developments to the world of dispute resolution. Consequently, this study seeks to address the viability of ODR mechanisms in the Kenyan context. It will seek to clarify the barriers inhibiting this application and how they can be overcome. It will also address the validity of ODR as an independent dispute resolution mechanism contrasting it with the already established forms of ADR.