This paper invites the readers to rethink the relationship between online dispute resolution (ODR) and traditional dispute resolution mechanisms: alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and courts. To date, ODR has been viewed as a niche area, appropriate where traditional avenues are unavailable or inefficient. This paper explores the potential role of ODR even where traditional avenues for dispute resolution exist. In particular, the paper highlights the qualitative contribution ODR can have. Even where ODR is not employed as a means for resolving conflict, it can inspire change in the design of traditional means for dispute resolution. These traditional avenues have suffered from an accountability deficit and have tended to adopt rigid molds that resist learning and improvement. ODR, in particular due to its automatic recording of rich data on resolution communications in digital format, has the potential for enhancing both accountability and learning. The paper explores these qualities and suggests some of the ways in which traditional dispute resolution mechanisms could amend old habits and ingrained practices to strengthen their accountability and drive learning in the spirit of ODR.
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