About the Lecture



The Singapore Mediation Lecture series aims to enhance the understanding and use of mediation in resolving cross-border commercial disputes.

The Singapore Mediation Lecture 2016 will be delivered by Colin Rule, eBay and PayPal’s first Director of Online Dispute Resolution.


Business-to-business and business-to-consumer eCommerce is growing rapidly, which in turn is generating many millions of online disputes. Technology is not only changing society, it is changing the way disputes are resolved. Consumers, businesses, and lawyers increasingly expect to be able to resolve any issues that arise 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, right from their laptops and tablets. Also, transactions now routinely cross the globe, and disputants are unwilling to sort out complex issues of jurisdiction every time a problem crops up.

A solution to sorting out these disputes may be to use Online Dispute Resolution (ODR). ODR is the application of information and communications technology to the practice of dispute resolution. It enables the construction of low-cost, cross-border resolution systems that are independent of any one nation's jurisdiction, which better mirrors the structure of the internet. 

Colin Rule, who served as eBay and PayPal’s first Director of Online Dispute Resolution will discuss the challenges of resolving disputes in cyberspace and useful lessons to be learnt, drawing from his knowledge of ODR systems that are already in operation (such as eBay and PayPal's systems which resolve over 60 million disputes per year), as well as how ODR could create a new justice system for the internet – which one day may replace face-to-face justice systems altogether.

The Singapore Mediation Lecture is proudly brought to you by Harry Elias Partnership LLP and Singapore Mediation Centre, in collaboration with the Singapore Management University.