Online mediation can no doubt be useful and cost-effective for resolving cross-border disputes, when parties live in different countries or continents, and probably speak different languages.
Sure, the technology for running such online mediations is already available and works well. On our website, for example, you can find video recordings of simulations we ran 2-3 years ago in 9 languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Greek, Thai, Romanian, and Polish - http://goo.gl/Jh44h
(Please Note. We no longer use Skype for our simulations; instead, we prefer using a video collaboration software called Zoom).
Besides technology, however, there are many other (and more important) factors to keep in mind when mediating online cross-border, bi-lingual disputes.
On our website we discuss three of those factors:
>> Mediation takes more time
>> Parties’ different cultures
>> Mediator’s different “hats”
And we also explain why, although, we believe that online mediation of International disputes offers great opportunities, we are also aware that we are dealing with a new, uncharted territory, which we plan to discover by trial and error – i.e. by experimenting through simulations, and finding out what works well or not-so-well.
For this reason, we welcome the collaboration with mediation centers and ADR organizations that are interested in this topic - http://goo.gl/L1jtay