Alternative Dispute Resolution In Second Life®


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Alternative Dispute Resolution In Second Life®

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Alternative Dispute Resolution In Second Life®

  1. 1. Alternative Dispute Resolution in Second Life
  2. 2. What is it?• A way to settle disputes processes and techniques that fall outside of the government judicial process• It usually includes negotiation, moderation, and arbitration• "Alternative" dispute resolution is usually considered to be alternative to litigation• ADR can increasingly be conducted online or by using technology, and it may have or not a government’s support
  3. 3. What is it not?• It’s not enforcement (both parties have to agree)• It’s not tied to a single country’s legal system or any arbitrary system• It’s best used to settle commerce and business disputes
  4. 4. How does it work?• Usually both parties try first to negotiate: they settle their differences without any third parties• If negotiation fails, an independent mediator participates with both parties in a mediation: it will suggest a possible resolution, but not force anyone to accept it• If mediation fails, both parties can agree on arbitration instead: an independent party (usually formally trained as a judge) will decide the outcome, based on audiences with both parties
  5. 5. But how are resolutions enforced? • There is no real enforcement. Both parties, at the beginning of the process, deposit an amount equivalent to the issue under discussion as an escrow with the ADR office. • After a decision has been reached, the ‘winner’ will get the total amount (minus fees). • In real life, both parties often forfeit the right to litigate further (thus the purpose of using ADR)
  6. 6. Why ADR in Second Life?• Second Life is a shared, collaborative environment, where users have complete freedom about the choices they make• While Linden Lab imposes some “social conducts” (the Community Rules), commerce is completely unregulated• Abuse Reports to Linden Lab regulate behaviour, but rarely have a successful result, and the proceedings are not transparent
  7. 7. Why another ADR office? ADR systems have been implemented among residents, but...• The moderators are not impartial• It takes volunteering time• Moderators are not trained professionals and cannot present credentials• They have no easy way to reach residents requiring mediation and arbitration
  8. 8. The Solution?• Providing ADR requires absolute neutrality of the mediators and trust of residents in that neutrality, as well as in the ability of solving conflicts• A neutral system requires a neutral entity to run it• It cannot depend on “whims” and volunteer time; it requires a professional organisation and full-time commitment
  9. 9. The eJustice Centre• Sponsored by the Portuguese Ministry of Justice• Staffed by real life mediators/arbitrators and students of the New University of Lisbon’s Law School; built by the University of Aveiro• Modelled after real life Arbitration Centres• Uses UNCITRAL Model Law as adapted for specific use within Second Life (Portuguese Law is an option for Portuguese residents)• Residents can opt for mediation first and arbitration later, or only arbitration
  10. 10. Submitting a Request for Mediation 1. SL Resident with a request for mediation goes to the eJustice Centre and fills a form on a notecard including the name of the other party and a description of the issue 2. The notecard is dropped on a device, and a process number is generated (further data can be added later to the process, via the Web or SL; witnesses can be named to be notified) 3. The other party is notified. If they agree to mediation, a meeting between both parties is arranged 4. Both parties deposit an escrow with the eJustice Centre 5. A mediator will be present in the meeting, and will give tips and suggestions on how to find a compromise. The suggestions are not binding, the decision will come from both parties together 6. If the mediation is successful, the winner gets the money held in escrow (minus fees; currently zero)
  11. 11. Arbitration after Moderation1. If the moderation fails (ie. the parties are not able to agree on a final decision), the next step is arbitration2. A new meeting is set up and this time the two parties will meet with a panel of arbitration judges3. The claims are reviewed, and the arbitration judges will make a decision on the issue4. The winner gets all the money held in escrow (minus fees)