rechtohnestreit.de – Research project to promote autonomous dispute resolution (ADR)
Goal: An interactive, lay-friendly guide to alternative dispute resolution
Many court proceedings are only conducted because conflict parties are not aware of the options for a faster, more economical and less burdensome settlement of their dispute.
But even those who have heard of conciliation, mediation or arbitration are often overwhelmed. It is hard to identify which solution is the right one for their case, to whom they may turn, what is the relevant procedure, what it costs and how it can be initiated.
- Lack of awareness for ADR
- Difficulty to choose a method
- Unclear how to get started
In recent years, a great deal has already been done to raise general awareness of consensual, out-of-court dispute resolution procedures.
Nevertheless, these offerings are still used far too little, unnecessary lawsuits are conducted and legal claims are abandoned for fear of the associated inconvenience.
- Unnecessary litigation
- Unequal access to justice
The project Recht ohne Streit (loosely translated: "Justice without altercation") therefore aims to investigate whether access to the most appropriate way of resolving conflicts in individual cases can be facilitated by a user-friendly, interactive Internet portal: a service that simultaneously informs, motivates and supports the parties to the conflict in initiating the relevant proceedings.
- Interactive guidance
- Information and motivation
- Direction to first steps
Scientifically sound recommendations – independent, user-centered and anonymous
The internet portal rechtohnestreit.de is available free of charge to anyone affected by a conflict, whether in private or business life. It is free to use, does not pursue commercial interests and is not associated with specific occupational fields.
The portal can be used in different ways:
Users can inform themselves in general about the possibilities of self-determined or externally determined conflict resolution in order to find their own preferred solution. It is up to them how deep they want to delve into the topic – even to the point of further literature references.
By entering information on the nature of their conflict and their interests for its resolution, users (who remain anonymous) can obtain concrete recommendations for optimal conflict handling in an automated way.
Approach: A motivational system rather than a navigation system – guidance for self-determined resolution finding.
Through innovative, user-centered design methods for communicating legal issues ("legal design"), the project utilizes interactive techniques to make legal processes accessible to people who are not legal professionals.
Acquiring knowledge through interaction
Unlike simple navigation systems, the system does not merely indicate one procedure best suited to the type of conflict in question. Rather, the nature of the query and the possibility of interacting with the system prompt users to gain clarity themselves about what they are primarily concerned with in terms of the conflict and its termination.
Comprehensive understanding of ADR processes
Any recommendations arrived at as a result of this are explained in detail. It is highlighted to the users why certain processes meet the expectations they have indicated, which of their requirements may only be met to a limited extent or not at all. They then also have the opportunity to revisit their interests and consider other priorities.
Actionable information and guidance
Alongside descriptions of the sequence, providers and costs of the recommended processes, users can also access concrete assistance on how to initiate the process: how to win over the other party, find the appropriate body and manage the process.
Hence. the solution connects
information, motivation and navigation.
By linking to online portals of the judiciary, the legal profession, arbitration and mediation associations, as well as legal protection insurers, or professional and non-profit organizations, the portal shall also facilitate contact with the providers of corresponding services.
In a further expansion stage, it could be envisaged for users to be able to request personal conflict advice simply by clicking on a button.
rechtohnestreit.de does not provide advice that would require a legal examination of the individual case.
Scientific direction and funding
The interdisciplinary working group behind Recht ohne Streit is headed by Emeritus Professor Dr. Reinhard Greger (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg), who has been conducting research on out-of-court conflict resolution for 25 years.
Funding is initially provided from residual research funds.