Submitted Proposals

Organization: Chinese Domain Name Users Alliance
Title :
55. Resurrection of Online Dispute Resolution
Provide a concise formulation for the proposed workshop theme including its importance and relevance to the IGF.

The workshop would focus mainly on Online Dispute Resolution (ODR), its implementation, and importance in creating a trustworthy, transparent and non-discriminatory legal, regulatory and policy environment, as well as how ODR can help the Internet bring benefits to developing areas. Developing ODR is not only important as a key step towards the development of a more open non-discriminatory trading system, but is also a central component of e-commerce and technological development. ODR can aid in creating opportunities for friction-free cross-border commercial activities through the smooth resolution of possible disputes.

The importance of ODR cannot be overstated, as it is a necessary tool for both creating an online justice system that could develop and also implementing enabling policies that reflect not only everyday realities resulting from Internet use and misuse. ODR could also provide an alternative to divergent national policies that are often slow to adapt to technological development, and could promote an international environment supportive of e-commerce.

Provide the names and affiliations of the panellists you are planning to invite. Describe the main actors in the field and whether you have you approached them about their willingness to participate in proposed workshop.

Session moderator:
Prof. Hong Xue,
Beijing Normal University, China

Presentation Topics:
  • E-government and E-governance [presented online]
    Speaker: Mr. Daniel Rainey, Director of the Office of Alternative Dispute Resolution Services,
    The National Mediation Board, USA
  • ODR - Global issues and Indian Status
    Speaker: Prof. Vivekanandan, National Academy of Legal Studies and Research, India
  • ODR in developing areas
    Speaker: Mr. Jeff Aresty, InternetBar, USA
  • Discussants
    Mr. Pavan Duggal, Head of Pavan Duggal Associates, India
    Mr. Rajiv Singh, Managing Partner at Justitia Law Offices, India
ODR is not only for important to e-commerce but essential for the people’s access to justice in the information society.

The workshop will focus on the e-justice, which is an overlooked area in the Internet governance discussion.

Provide the name of the organizer(s) of the workshop and their affiliation to various stakeholder groups. Describe how you will take steps to adhere to the multi-stakeholder principle, including geographical diversity.

Hong Xue - Professor of Law, Tsinghua University Law School, China

The objective of the workshop will be to facilitate the exchange of information and best practices, and in this regard make full use of the expertise of the academic, scientific, and technical communities. The Organizers represent different backgrounds and bring a panoramic understanding of ODR to the table, including its uses and implementation requirements, as well as its potential, and generally providing a fair representation of the major stakeholder groups.

The perspective of technology providers and developers is represented by Ethan Katsh, who brings an understanding of the role of technology and the role the Internet can provide in building consensus. Jeff Aresty provides a legal perspective in trying to alleviate poverty through the use and development of e-commerce and resolving social network conflicts. Hong Xue is a respected academic in the field, who represents the opportunities and challenges for the development of ODR in the developing countries.

Frank Fowlie, ICANN Ombudsman, provides the perspective of an online Ombudsman who works as an independent officer with one of the IGF’s key stakeholders, ICANN; which in a multi-stakeholder organization, and participant in the IGF process. Colin Rule brings the pragmatic experience of online commerce and consumer protection to the discussion.

Does the proposed workshop provide different perspectives on the issues under discussion?

In bringing together a group of panellists with various and diverse experiences, the workshop would not only provide different perspectives and approaches to the use and implementation of ODR, but also would provide a general international (as well as regional) approach to ODR. Moreover, the workshop not only provides the opportunity for discussing viable solutions to the outstanding legal issues linked to the increased use of the Internet for business, but also a discussion of ODR as an agent of change to inspire judicial reforms in developing countries.

Please explain how the workshop will address issues relating to Internet governance and describe how the workshop conforms with the Tunis Agenda in terms of substance and the mandate of the IGF.

With the exponential expansion of Internet commerce, the need for effective dispute settlement systems is also increasing. However, the cross-national nature of much e-commerce and the highly dynamic nature of the Internet render many national legal systems powerless, and often make legal resolution prohibitively expensive. The use of ODR would not only constitute a viable solution to the issues arising from the use and misuse of the Internet, of particular concern to everyday users, but also enables the development of an international system that would facilitate the exchange of information and best practices.  This in turn, would take advantage of the expertise of the academic, scientific and technical communities in different nations and provide a technologically up-to-date solution. Moreover, ODR would also aid in fostering the sustainability, security, stability and development of the Internet, eliminating friction costs from everyday e-commerce.


The Tunis Agenda underlines the importance and the increasing volume and value of all e-business, both within and across national boundaries, calling “for the development of national consumer-protection laws and practices, and enforcement mechanisms where necessary, to protect the right of consumers who purchase goods and services online, and for enhanced international cooperation to facilitate a further expansion.” Although many national consumer-protection laws and practices already exist, their usefulness if often questionable and their application is often impossible or highly costly in e-commerce contexts, problems that can be remedied through the use of ODR. Creation of ODR norms and methods can draw on best practices and consumer-protection norms from all over the world, and afford a basic level of protection for all e-commerce users, creating trusted online communities (such as eBay) and thus aiding in the development of e-commerce all throughout the world. The ODR workshop aims to further the Tunis Agenda commitment to providing equitable access to information and knowledge for all by helping mainstream and align national approaches to e-commerce and dispute resolution.

List similar events you and/or any other IGF workshops you have organized in the past.

Hong Xue successfully organized the IGF 2007 Workshop “Internationalized Domain Names: Voices of Internet Users”, which involved multi-stakeholders and well received by the audience.


Hong Xue was one of the founders of the Dynamic Coalition on Digital Education at IGF 2007.


The Fellows of the National Centre for Technology and Dispute Resolution have organized several global forums on ODR (please see  The most recent of these occurs in June 2008, with over 120 participants from 30 nations (please see

Were you part of organizing a workshop last year? Which one? Did you submit a workshop report?

Hong Xue as the representative of the ICANN At-Large Advisory Committee and Yale Information Society Project organized the IGF Workshop “Internationalized Domain Names: Voices of Internet Users” in 2007 in Rio de Janeiro. Hong Xue has submitted the Workshop report by send an email to the IGF secretariat (since the online submission system does not work).