The Efficacy Of Australia's Civil Justice System

2023 Words Apr 25th, 2016 9 Pages
There have long been concerns about the efficacy of Australia’s civil justice system. The Australian Productivity Commission’s December 2014 Access to Justice Report reported concerns that the system was “too slow, too expensive, and too adversarial”. The findings refer not only to litigation but also to alternative methods of dispute resolution.

Alternative dispute resolution is a large, diverse, and highly innovative field. However, in Australia it remains largely under utilised and often idiosyncratic. Alternative dispute resolution is commonly understood as any method of resolving disputes outside of traditional adjudication. Some well known methods of alternative dispute resolution include mediation, arbitration, and negotiation. Online dispute resolution is a newer, less well known method of alternate dispute resolution. Over the last decade in Australia, online dispute resolution has grown in popularity.

This essay expands upon the concerns raised in the Access to Justice report and assesses the benefits and drawbacks of online dispute resolution. Online dispute resolution has the potential to save time and costs for those who use it. Furthermore, advocates of online dispute resolution praise it for its communicative and flexible nature, both of which are in opposition to the more traditional adversarial conduct of other methods of dispute resolution. However, it does not fully solve the issues identified in the report. Of most concern is the fact that…
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