Posted on 21 Nov 2018
VCAT’s Online Dispute Resolution pilot shows exciting potential benefits for the Victorian community.
We shared our online dispute resolution experience at an international symposium, ODR: The State of the Art, hosted by the Sir Zelman Cowan Centre in Melbourne.
VCAT conducted the Victorian-first pilot for a month from September 2018. It tested whether online dispute resolution could improve access to justice for people involved in disputes about goods and services under $10,000.
We heard 65 cases using the technology, with 71 parties participating in online hearings and 21 cases settled beforehand, an indirect result of online dispute resolution case management showing that online dispute resolution is a fast, cost-effective option for people with civil disputes at VCAT.
The pilot was funded by the Department of Justice and Regulation and delivered on a recommendation from the Access to Justice Review.
To show how online dispute resolution could potentially work at VCAT in future, we created a short video that illustrates how the technology would help a fictional small business – Jack Birch Cleaning – and his customers.