The Organisation for economic co-operation and development (OECD) in 1999 stated in its published work ”Guidelines for Consumer Protection in the Context of Electronic Commerce” expressly stated guidelines for an effective means of using e-commerce in a highly digitalized world. In other words, encouraging the use of online dispute resolution (ODR) in the resolution of e-disputes/online disputes.

The provisions were essentially to foster business to business as well as business to consumer business relationships. Also to increase the ability for governments to work together for the provision of accessibility to alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms in the resolution of disputes in a timely manner.

Quite remarkable in the OECD resolve to the creation of rules and regulations, is its mandate to address issues regarding cross-border business. This is especially regarding the use of digital methods in implementing alternative dispute resolution (ADR) systems.

Online dispute resolution has been used digitally for the settlement of certain disputes. Notably e-commerce matters, which solely has been because such matters can be resolved in a speedy manner through online means.

Therefore, to a large extent, it would be correct to state  that ODR supplements conventional methods of ADR ‘s in  dispute resolution, such as arbitration, mediation, negotiation, which in turn means there is e-mediation, e-arbitration, e-negotiation. Online mediation/e-mediation is notably the most advanced form of online dispute resolution and the commonly used mechanism in ODR. E-mediation is mostly used in the resolution of disputes online for family disputes, referred to as family e-disputes which includes child custody and  virtually all child e-disputes and couple separation e-disputes.