CCODR is a joint project of CodeX and the Gould Center for Dispute Resolution intended to improve access to justice in courts. Its goal is to design, implement and evaluate an online dispute resolution (ODR) platform for handling small claims and family cases that are referred to court-connected mediation. The CCODR project leverages available technology and innovative process designs to offer an effective, affordable and scalable solution to courts’ growing difficulty to provide these services in traditional offline means. In recent years, the vast majority of state court systems were hit with budget cuts which resulted in diminished access to justice. In California, for example, most of the state’s 58 superior courts had to reduce their hours, suspend services, or shut down branches altogether. Many court-connected alternative dispute resolution (ADR) programs, such as mediation and arbitration, were also forced to reduce activities. Thus, court-connected ADR programs, which were originally instituted as a means for containing the overflowing case-dockets and providing a meaningful recourse, are no longer able to meet the growing needs. The CCODRD project examines the practical feasibility and normative desirability of instituting online court-connected ADR services that leverage technology and civil society resources to maintain this important path to justice. The project revolves around three core themes: (a) how can ODR technology expand the access of persons of limited means to courts through readily-available applications? (b) How can ODR systems improve the functioning of, and cooperation between, individuals and entities that deliver court-connected ADR services? And (c) How can ODR reduce the costs and increase the accessibility of ADR processes, without diminishing parties’ sense of procedural justice? By piloting a court-connected ODR system and evaluating its operation, the project’s goal is to propose an appropriate wide-scale implementation of ODR tools in courts.
Project leader: Ayelet Sela
The descriptions of current and past projects of CodeX non-residential fellows are provided to illustrate the kind of work our non-residential fellows are carrying out. These projects are listed here for informational purposes only and are not endorsed by CodeX, Stanford Law School, or Stanford University.