Civil Resolution Tribunal

British Columbia seems to be leading the way in terms of ODR innovation in recent months. On the family side we here at Rewire Justice Technology have helped the Legal Services Society launch MyLaw BC for P2P legal disputes. In a further (and very exciting) move towards the digitisation of courts, British Columbia’s Civil Resolution Tribunal Act received Royal Assent May 31, 2012. The act established a new dispute resolution body, the Civil Resolution Tribunal. It is anticipated the Civil Resolution Tribunal Act (CRTA) will come into force and the tribunal will begin to phase in operations in 2016 – 2017. The Civil Resolution Tribunal will provide an accessible forum for the resolution of a wide variety of strata property disputes and small claims. The tribunal will encourage people to use a broad range of collaborative dispute resolution tools to resolve their disputes as early as possible, while still preserving adjudication as a valued last resort. It is intended, as with the Family Law Act, to encourage a collaborative, problem-solving approach to dispute resolution, rather than the traditional adversarial litigation model. Whilst the success of the model is yet to be seen, I think it safe to say that developments like these are clearly showing judiciaries around the world that ODR is one of the few, realistic solutions to many of the problems facing current legal systems.

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