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The Discourses of Dispute Resolution

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Vijay K. Bhatia, Christopher N. Candlin and Maurizio Gotti

This volume presents some of the findings from a project on various aspects of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), including conciliation, mediation, and arbitration. To study the discursive practices of ADR today, an international initiative has been undertaken by a group of specialists in discourse analysis, law, and arbitration from more than twenty countries. The chapters in this volume draw on discourse-based data (narrative, documentary and interactional) to investigate the extent to which the ‘integrity’ of ADR principles is maintained in practice, and to what extent there is an increasing level of influence from litigative processes and procedures. The primary evidence for such practices comes from textual and discourse-based studies, ethnographic observations, and narratives of experience on the part of experts in the field, as well as on the part of some of the major corporate stakeholders drawn from commercial sectors.

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LARISSA D’ANGELO*Online Dispute Resolution in Italy:State of the Art and Future Perspectives

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LARISSA D’ANGELO* Online Dispute Resolution in Italy: State of the Art and Future Perspectives 1. Introduction In the present-day globalisation of trade and commerce, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) has been increasingly seen as an efficient, economical and effective alternative to litigation for settling com- mercial and other disputes (Davis 2006). Within the ADR panorama, Online Dispute Resolutions (ODR) has become a new and recent way of dealing with disputes, which is slowly appearing on the Italian commercial scene. In the last few years this phenomenon has become more and more popular. In particular, in the years 2000-2003 there was a rapid growth of online sites set up for promoting the resolution of disputes online through the ODR system. When it appeared, some people considered ODR to be too innovative, destined to disappear in a short time; instead others believed it was suitable only for certain instances (Sali 2003). However, despite this criticism, ODR has devel- oped constantly, gaining more and more attention from users. None- theless, although it is considered a faster and cheaper tool able to overcome geographical barriers, Italian consumers still seem to prefer the traditional mediation and arbitration practice (Katsh/Leah 2006). The experts think this is mainly due to cultural reasons and to the fact * The research on which this chapter is based is part of an international research project entitled International Commercial Arbitration Practices: A Discourse Analytical Study (http://www.english.cityu.edu.hk/arbitration/), headed by prof. Vijay Bhatia of the City University of Hong Kong. It also contributes to...

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