Posted at Legal Practice Intelligence - 20 November 2015
The Canadian Province of British Columbia (B.C.) is launching what is believed to be the world's first online-only Tribunal. The Civil Resolution Tribunal or CRT, will begin in 2016. The CRT is expected to move from voluntary to mandatory in 2017. At that point it will be mandatory to resolve minor strata and many small claims disputes up to $10,000 through the CRT.
Parties are welcome to use a lawyer or a trusted friend or family member to help with negotiation, case management, and most parts of the adjudication phase of the CRT.
People will be able to access dispute resolution services from the comfort of their living room, at a time when it is convenient, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. According to the CRT: "The reality is that self-represented litigants are now at the heart of our justice system. The CRT design recognizes that and provides for tools and services that will help support the process of resolving disputes."
There are two software systems being developed to support the CRT and increase access to justice in B.C. The first system, the Solution Explorer, is designed to provide people with the tools they need to assess their options and resolve their disputes themselves. The second system, the Dispute Resolution Suite, will enable the CRT to pursue further early resolution options and adjudications.