Massive Online Micro Justice: Towards Global ADR Mechanisms for Dispute with Internet Platforms?


The power of Internet platforms is enormous. Their power particularly includes the ability to control the availability of content on their platform, which can lead to various types of disputes with Internet users. Disputes about the availability of illegal content on Internet platforms can take multiple forms which can range from IP infringements (specifically copyright and trademark infringement) to the violation of other rights and interests (e.g. protection of privacy, personal data; protection against criminal activities, etc.). Traditional litigation before national courts is frequently not adequate for solving these disputes because of its usual drawbacks in terms of accessibility, costs and duration.


This is why alternative dispute resolution mechanisms can offer a viable option for solving such Internet-related disputes and can help address the challenges of Massive Online Micro-Justice (MOMJ), i.e. an online justice system that aims at solving a massive amount of micro Internet-related disputes affecting citizens and companies alike that are presently submitted to online platforms and decided by them. On this basis, the presentation will discuss the need to develop global policies governing online alternative dispute resolution mechanisms for disputes with Internet platforms. This appears critical in order to avoid fragmentation and to maintain access to justice in cyberspace. The presentation will further analyze different policy projects that have been initiated in Europe in order to regulate Internet platforms from the perspective of the development of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms. It will specifically discuss the Recommendation of the European Commission on measures to effectively tackle illegal content online of March 1, 2018 and the Recommendation CM/Rec(2018)2 of the Committee of Ministers to member States on the roles and responsibilities of internet intermediaries of the Council of Europe adopted on March 7, 2018.


Jacques de Werra is a professor of contract law and intellectual property law at the Law School of the University of Geneva, Switzerland since 2006 and is vice-rector of the University of Geneva since 2015 (where is in charge – among other missions – of leading the University’s digital strategy). Jacques de Werra researches, publishes and speaks on intellectual property law, contract law and Internet, IT and technology law. He has developed a particular expertise in IP commercial law including transfer of technology, licensing and franchising, as well as in alternative dispute resolution mechanisms for IP and technology disputes (specifically arbitration). 


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This content has been updated on January 14, 2019 at 13:50.