Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) in Second Life

eJustice Centre

e-justice centre (get Second Life coordinates / slurl here)

From Bill Warters comes news of a superb new ODR initiative in Second Life. Created by  the Portuguese Ministry of Justice in cooperation with the University of Aveiro and the Faculty of Law of the Lisbon New University, this tour de force pushes the envelop in ODR in its use of Second Life.

The e-justice centre provides mediation and arbitration services for avatars resident in Second Life, focusing on conflicts deriving from consumer relations and contracts signed between parties. More on the process it employs to resolve disputes here and below is a 9 minute video of the centre:

As I said would be the case with mobile phones and ODR way back in 2004, Second Life as a platform holds great potential for ODR systems, dealing with both real world disputes as well as in-game / sim disputes.  A presentation I gave at the 5th International Forum on Online Dispute Resolution in Liverpool, England earlier this year explored these ideas in more detail (I was the only one in the entire Forum who spoke about Second Life and its potential for ODR).

Combine this with aspects of sims conducive to dispute resolution as brought out in my post Second Life – Business, ODR, Language and Peace and you begin to see the potential of Second Life to foster ODR mechanisms.

The e-justice centre follows in the foot steps of Harvard’s CyberOne, which also uses Second Life, though the emphasis of CyberOne is on teaching (there are also other examples of similar initiatives)  whereas the e-justice centre is a fully functioning dispute resolution presence within Second Life.

To me, this is a harbinger of things to come that I hope will be picked up and explored in more detail at the up coming  6th International Forum on Online Dispute Resolution in Hong Kong.

Also read:

4 thoughts on “Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) in Second Life

  1. Online Dispute Resulution is recently successfully introduced in The Netherlands on the website of a non-profit organization. We are experimenting with a combination of MediaWiki and Blog, to provide an environment where people can add their own information and find new information from other users. What you describe abour ODR in SL is awesome. I will try to visit you in SL asap.

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