back to article REPORT: UK needs online eBay-style court for civil justice

An online court, similar to eBay's disagreement resolution service, should be set up to administer civil justice disputes in the UK, an official report has recommended. HM Courts & Tribunals Service should establish a new, internet-based court service, known as HM Online Court (HMOC) for disputes under £25,000, said the online …

  1. TrevorH

    Wouldn't it be cheaper and more or less as reliable just to flip a coin?

  2. Busby

    In my experience ebay's complaint resolution process is useless and seems designed to be exploited by scammers. 70 million cases handled and closed to ebay's satisfaction of those probably a minority reached what would be the correct result. So for gods sake don't model our justice system on that steaming turd!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      eBay's dispute resolution system has a very useful simple and effective system of handling complaints, as long as you happen to be the customer. The customer is always right, the seller is ALWAYS wrong. No matter what. The customer said the box was empty? Then the customer must be telling the truth. You care to express an alternative view? Sorry, all we could hear was a faint buzzing. Now bend over, Mr. Seller...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes agreed, I got scammed by e-bay's dispute resolution service.

      They seemed to avoid telling me that after 30 days the case will be closed regardless of whether the other party has fulfilled his end of the deal and that they refuse to re-open it.

      As a scammer all you do is sell and expensive item, don't describe it correctly so a dispute is opened. Stall for time until agreeing to have the item returned stall for more time and don't sign for return delivery. Time it right and the case gets closed - you lose your money and the goods.

      I even explained this scenario to the e-bay guy on the phone and he agreed that it was entirely possible.

      In my case e-bay could see from the tracking number that I had returned the goods and could see from pay-pal that I wasn't refunded yet but still closed the case automatically and wouldn't re-open it. In the end I stopped using e-bay and they lost way, way more in fees.

      1. moiety

        The dispute resolution service has downsides for both parties. For the seller it's the fact that the service favours the buyer. For the buyer it's the fact that the dispute is auto-killed in less time than it can take a package to arrive from China.

    3. big_D Silver badge

      c't magazine, in Germany, has a bi-weekly section on readers having difficulty with companies. Telcos, as a whole, probably make up the most claims, but fleaBay and ScamPal make up the most complaints for a specific company. And it is often the customer getting the bum's rush and the seller sailing off into the sunset.

  3. Lusty Silver badge

    Prepare for the deluge

    I can see a lot more claims being made when the requirement to miss work and turn up at court goes away. Great move as far as I'm concerned, this sort of stuff really needs modernising

  4. malle-herbert Silver badge

    What about evidence ?

    Does this mean that all evidence in a case will also have to be digitised somehow ?

    1. MrXavia

      Re: What about evidence ?

      there is such as thing as post?

      I can see you open a claim online, opposing party has the chance to resolve without involving anyone else, if not escalate to independent adjudicator, post in any evidence/scan and send also...

      The problem I see is that the other party will still not pay up if they loose....

      and innocents will be trolled for money, taken to court JUST to trick them into paying with threats of bailiffs....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What about evidence ?

        When I saw the headline, I immediately wondered how this could possibly work.

        In retrospect, and online facility could be a good way to reduce the cost and loss of work etc for the purely administrative side of the law.

        On the other hand, the threat of having to go to court might sometimes pursuade the parties to come to agreement beforehand.

        On the other, other hand, the threat of going to court can often be a disincentive to the legitimate complainant to bother at all.

  5. Derichleau

    This would be ideal for contract disputes. Think how many companies require you to accept or agree to a privacy policy for example. But a company must process your personal data in accordance with the all UK data protection laws and regulations and no acceptance or agreement of a privacy policy is going to change that.

  6. Otto is a bear.

    Probably never used eBay

    Let alone the disputes process.

    Mind you I used it, the seller said, oops my mistake, keep the goods and I'll send the right stuff immediately, and they did.

    I see this as being a great opportunity for Capita/Serco/G4S to make lots of money, to win all you need to do is buy their shares.

    I also think the digital advisor who thought this one up knows sweet FA about the management of evidential data, and has no idea how easy it is to fake digital documents.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    British justice

    Do they mean justice for the highest bidder? It certainly seems to work in the courts; you don't see the wealthy getting nailed too often, especially by HMRC.

  8. Mike Smith

    "Guilty! Read the charge!"

    God, if they model it on fleabay, or in fact anyone else with a similar attitude, we really are screwed. I'm beginning to wonder if the Internet shouldn't just be shut down to save what's left of human intelligence.

    <wanders off sadly whistling Dem Bones>

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Conflicting interests

    Lawyers spinning out work in order increase their own revenue vs Engineers trying to find the best & quickest system to help legal resolutions.

    A logical system that applies a single rule set to everyone vs Judges.

    This system is going to get mired in red tape if it ever gets past the committee mauling.

  10. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge

    Pkace your bets...

    Another "role" for Crapita?

    1. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge

      Re: Pkace your bets...

      Pkace!! Arggh!

  11. Robin Szemeti

    We're doomed

    Scammers use the ebay "resolution" process in both directions ... the sellers who send empty boxes, and then just produce the tracking ID to ebay, case closed ... and buyers who return empty boxes, with a tracking ID .. money refunded, cased closed.

    There is however one thing you can be certain of, eBay never, EVER loses. The buyer may lose, the seller may lose, but eBay never loses.

    Same with an online justice system ... you can be sure that the lawyers, or their digital counterparts will come up winning every time.

  12. derfer

    Headline Incomplete

    Is it just me or should the headline be finished off?

    " a hole in the head"

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