For information only - not an official document

11 July 2016

UN Commission on International Trade Law Adopts a Text on Online Dispute Resolution ("ODR")

VIENNA/NEW YORK, 11 July (UN Information Service) - The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) adopted Technical Notes on Online Dispute Resolution ("ODR") at its meeting in New York on 5 July.

UNCITRAL's work on ODR is a response to the sharp increase in online cross-border transactions, and the consequent need for a mechanism for resolving disputes that arise from such transactions. ODR is designed to assist buyers and sellers in resolving their disputes in a simple, fast, flexible and secure manner, without the need for physical presence at a meeting or hearing.

The Technical Notes on ODR are descriptive and non-binding. They are expected to contribute significantly to the development of systems to enable the online settlement of disputes arising from cross-border low-value sales or service contracts. In following UNCITRAL's approach of issuing texts of universal application, the Technical Notes are designed to ensure that ODR systems are accessible to buyers and sellers in both developed and developing countries alike.

The final version of the Technical Notes on ODR will shortly be available at


The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) is the core legal body of the United Nations system in the field of international trade law. Its mandate is to remove legal obstacles to international trade by progressively modernizing and harmonizing trade law. It prepares legal texts in a number of key areas such as international commercial dispute settlement, electronic commerce, insolvency, international payments, sale of goods, transport law, procurement and infrastructure development. UNCITRAL also provides technical assistance to law reform activities, including assisting Member States to review and assess their law reform needs and to draft the legislation required to implement UNCITRAL texts. The UNCITRAL Secretariat is located in Vienna, Austria , and maintains a website at

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For information contact:

Timothy Lemay
Principal Legal Officer
UNCITRAL Secretariat
Email: timothy.lemay[at]