Judicial Dispute Resolution (JDR) is an alternative dispute resolution with a judge, parties to the dispute and their lawyers. This process of JDR is very similar to mediation. In place of a mediator, a judge assists the parties in the settlement of their disputes. The parties involved do not have to follow court protocols in addressing and communicating with the judge. The judge is more directive and flexible in such settings. 

The main idea behind JDR is that judges preside over dispute resolution settlements. Intelligent Settlement Systems are using data to settle cases and such prediction or decision-making may not work in most areas of law. The challenges of data storage and cybersecurity also threaten artificial intelligence’s role as the fourth party to disputes. Several such apprehensions have led to the evolution of judicial dispute resolution. Promoters of judicial dispute resolution discourage the use of artificial intelligence in law to settle cases. 


Judicial Dispute Resolution in Canada

In the book, ‘Judicial Dispute Resolution New Roles for Judges in Ensuring Justice' by Lawrence Susskind, Justice William Tilleman and Nicolas Parra Herrera, nine cases were solved using JDR in Canada showcasing its relevance in the contemporary legal world. In an analysis of those cases, it was found that the outcomes and judgements were completely unpredictable. The JDR process described in this book has resulted in an agreement in eighty percent or more of all JDR cases in Canadian courts.

The Judges presiding in these cases were especially trained. The atmosphere was not of a trial but mediation. These proceedings did not require citing any precedent. The preliminary hearings offer a range of ideas. There are no predictions based on facts or law, unlike artificial intelligence. JDR is typically booked for one full day and takes place in a meeting room at the Courthouse or via videoconferencing.

The approach is to solve problems between parties which blurs the lines of winning or losing the case. There is always an option of going back to trial with the parties involved. There is no record of these proceedings and therefore no case precedent is established. Initially, judges have a copy of the case but eventually, all the documentation is shredded. Parties to the dispute do get copies for themselves.  Compliance seems to be hundred percent from the parties involved in the dispute submitting to JDR. Court fees are paid by the government and lawyers’ fees are paid by parties. Cases are solved in a matter of days, unlike litigation. The orders issued during the proceedings are drafted with everyone’s input.

Therefore, judicial dispute resolution is divided into three stages in Canada:

  • Booking a JDR date. 
  • Preparation for the JDR.
  • The actual day of JDR when proceedings will be held. 


Advantages of Judicial Dispute Resolution 

JDR saves money and time in comparison to other forms of alternative dispute resolution and it increases the quality of justice in the eyes of parties. It is still unclear whether artificial intelligence will be seen as serving justice by the parties involved. 

Like alternative dispute resolution, confidentiality is maintained and the procedure is tailored by the parties. JDR can be binding or non-binding. The judge involved can make a final decision on the unresolved issues in a binding JDR. The role of the judge here is more directive unlike a mediator and encourages the parties to be flexible and open in their negotiations. The parties receive private feedback from the judges. If the dispute is not resolved by the allotted judge, another judge can be referred. Such reference will not be in continuation of the previous proceedings. 

Judicial Dispute Resolution solves the status quo problems in our legal systems but takes away the drawbacks of artificial intelligence. 


Online Dispute Resolution in Judicial Dispute Resolution

Instead of making robot judges, lawyers or predicting systems in law; online dispute resolution’s amalgamation with judicial dispute resolution is proposed by several jurists. The presence of an actual judge and the independence of online dispute resolution will establish the idea of justice. 

JDR does not need case precedents. Settlements in JDR are within the framework of courts. The procedural work will be handled by online dispute resolution technology. Such technologies also provide case management making the hearing more accessible to all the parties. The costs will be less and flexibility of location will be provided. 

Therefore, online dispute resolution companies can partner with courts around the world. This will also eliminate the concerns of a data breach, cybersecurity and decision-making by intelligent systems. Online dispute resolution in judicial dispute resolution has tremendous benefits and is evolving rapidly leading to the improvement of the legal system.



There is very little information about JDR because of the ‘no precedent rule’ and confidentiality. JDR has worked for many decades in Canada to solve multiple complex disputes. With training judges and combining judicial dispute resolution with online dispute resolution technology, many existing legal problems can be solved. Most judges opt to become arbitrators, mediators or conciliators after retirement in India. With numerous online dispute resolution start-ups in India, JDR may also be incorporated in future. Although, Indian judges already face an overload of cases and an additional responsibility such as JDR may be inappropriate. Therefore, other ways to recruit JDR judges must be established. JDR has a promising future and may serve as a better alternative to litigation and traditional mediation proceedings.