Online Dispute Resolution In Africa

Defining Online Dispute Resolution ensures that readers stay in tune with the actual intentions of the writer.

Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) refers to a broad and flexible set of systems that are meant to integrate technology into various approaches towards the steps of alternative dispute resolution processes.


The parties involved in this form of dispute resolution may be buyers and online vendors settling their disputes amicably over the Internet.

ODR may also be the widely known traditional arbitration and mediation but this time around, done over the Internet mostly in the presence of lawyers (Our scope of discussion)

Online Dispute Resolution In Africa


Lawyers are mostly in the frontline of ODR.

For a legal tech product offering ODR services to succeed, the service must clearly present substantial ease to legal practitioners in terms of fees, time and other considerations.

They are the real re-occurring users of the product.

It is easy to confuse Lawyers’ clients as the real users.

As such, all updates should largely consider more of attorneys’ UX (User Experience)

We did a quick study of Legaltech companies offering ODR in different countries.

Surprisingly, we discovered a high rate of adoption in countries where Lawyers interests were better considered.

An opposite approach that lessens attorneys’ roles in ODR may likely lead to litigation after the ‘resolution’.

While this may be misconstrued as one-sided, it is not, as Lawyers are trained to resolve disputes in ways other professionals may not be.

Non/pseudo-inclusion of legal practitioners may result in a clear abandonment of enforceable fundamental clauses in the final resolution.

In our view, this line of thought should be considered else, the spread of ODR may be discouraged and traditional ADR with its limitations may continue to reign supreme.

Disclaimer: These are expressions of the writer’s personal opinions.

It should be construed as such and nothing more.

Do you have a contrary opinion? We would love to hear it.

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