A dispute resolution organization (DRO) is a conceptualized organization providing or orchestrating the various services associated with dispute resolution in competition with other such organizations and without help or hindrance from the state.[1]

Theory[edit | edit source]

Enforceability of verdicts[edit | edit source]

Murray Rothbard argues that court decisions need not be enforced by the government in order to be effective. Even before the decisions of dispute resolution organizations were considered legally enforceable in government courts, merchants obeyed them to avoid the risk of ostracism and boycotts. A merchant who refused to abide by the verdict would be blacklisted and thus become unable to avail himself of an arbitrator's services in the future.[2]

Appeals courts[edit | edit source]

The Market for Liberty notes that contracts could provide for appeals courts, if the parties were willing to take on the risk of extra expense occasioned by appeals. For a New Liberty also cites appeals courts as a means of settling disputes among people who subscribe to different dispute resolution organizations. Thus, if Brown, a subscriber to Metropolitan Court Company is accused of a crime against Jones, a subscriber to Prudential Court, then the case may be heard in both courts; if the courts agree on Brown's guilt or innocence, then that judgment will stand; but if they disagree, then an appeals court agreed to by Metropolitan and Prudential will decide the case.[3]

Subrogation[edit | edit source]

Free nation theorist John Frederic Kosanke has conceptualized a system of private justice based on subrogation - a means whereby insurers recoup losses and damages attributable to an outside party and compensate policyholders or uninsured victims. Restitution Transfer and Recoupment (RTR) agencies would employ bonding agencies, private investigators, private dispute resolution organizations, and private aggressor containment agencies, as required. Instead of having to pay for restitution, victims sell restitution rights to the RTR agencies.[4] This arrangement can be compared to the contractual nature of the Goðorð system employed in the Icelandic Commonwealth by competing chieftains.

Examples in practice[edit | edit source]

Where restrictive regulations recede, the private dispute resolution business tends to expand dramatically. For instance, Ethan Katsch and Karim Benyekhlef formed the Internet Dispute Resolution Organization which features a tested online dispute resolution interface.[5][6] A perceived advantage of dispute resolution organizations over governmental court systems is that the former can exist in a competitive marketplace in which entrepreneurs on the lookout for profits seek to outdo their rivals in providing good service, low prices, and other features valued by their clientele. However, such organizations would not necessarily need to be for-profit; many dispute resolution organizations today are nonprofit organizations funded largely through grants from charitable foundations as well as local governments with an interest in taking some of the adjudication burden off of their court system. In an anarcho-capitalist society, voluntary communities might provide such grants.

In the United States, the American Arbitration Association handles about a fourth of the business arbitration in the country. Judgments in arbitrations arising from contractual arbitration agreements are ultimately enforceable in United States Federal Court because of the Federal Arbitration Act.[7] Trade associations handle the vast majority of such disputes. The Council of Better Business Bureaus operates arbitration programs for consumers and encourages businesses to precommit to arbitration of consumer complaints. Major private courts include Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services Company, Civicourt, and Judicate. Many firms specialize in minitrials.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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