This article chronicles the evolution of the field of online dispute resolution from its inception in the mid-1990s to its current application in and outside the court system. While originally ODR played a modest role in the limited domain of e-commerce, over the years its application has expanded significantly, as have its form and function: from processes that have sought to replicate online equivalents to ones that reimagine the design of procedures to better fit party needs and to address the justice system's longstanding problems. The article predicts that the future of ODR lies in increased automation, which includes artificial intelligence and various forms of structured negotiation, and, consequently, a reduced role for human third parties. This will require a rethinking of the ways in which access to justice, procedural justice and substantive justice can be realized. The key for realizing the values and goals of the justice system lies in the careful design and ongoing evaluation of online systems, activities that have themselves been transformed by technology and the availability of big data.
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