Artificial Intelligence and Law

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 207–232

Legitimacy and the Virtualization of Dispute Resolution


DOI: 10.1007/s10506-006-9012-2

Cite this article as:
Mommers, L. Artif Intell Law (2005) 13: 207. doi:10.1007/s10506-006-9012-2


For any type of institutionalized dispute resolution, legitimacy is a crucial characteristic, as legitimate dispute resolution promotes, for instance, general trust in state institutions and participation in economic activity. A lack of legitimacy will prevent the acceptance of dispute resolution, and thereby its use. Although many textbook definitions limit the meaning of legitimacy to legality, in its every-day use legitimacy is in fact a much broader concept. It encompasses different criteria relating to the nature of dispute resolution: is a form of dispute resolution properly embedded in a reliable institutional environment?, and: are its outcomes properly underpinned? Virtualization concerns the ways in which information and communication technologies affect administration, communication, accessibility and assessment. As an example of virtualization in dispute resolution, a scenario about on-line feedback is scrutinized. This scenario comprises the implementation of a feedback system to enable participants in an instance of dispute resolution to comment on various aspects of the dispute resolving process.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.eLaw@Leiden, centre for law in the information societyLeidenNetherlands

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