Mediation in civil and commercial matters: European Parliament endorses new rules

Mediation in civil and commercial matters European Parliament endorses new rules

A Directive on certain aspects of mediation in civil and commercial matters was adopted today 23 April 2008. The purpose of the Directive is to facilitate access to cross-border dispute resolution and to promote the amicable settlement of disputes by encouraging the use of mediation and by ensuring a sound relationship between mediation and judicial proceedings. The Directive is one of the follow-up actions to the Green Paper on alternative dispute resolution presented by the Commission in 2002, the other being the European Code of Conduct for Mediators established by a group of stakeholders with the assistance of the Commission and launched in July 2004.

Welcoming the adoption of this Directive, Vice-President Jacques Barrot said: “This Directive fulfils the political objective established in October 1999 by the European Council of Tampere, which – in the context of encouraging better access to justice in Europe – called for the creation of alternative, extrajudicial procedures for dispute resolution in the Member States. Mediation can provide cost-effective and quick extrajudicial resolution of disputes in civil and commercial matters through processes tailored to the needs of the parties. Agreements resulting from mediation are more likely to be complied with voluntarily and help preserve an amicable and sustainable relationship between the parties.

The Commission proposed the Directive in October 2004 (IP/04/1288). The Directive facilitates recourse to mediation by strengthening the legal guarantees accompanying it, thus giving real added value to citizens and businesses in the European Union. The key components of the Directive are as follows:

The Directive obliges Member States to encourage the training of mediators and the development of, and adherence to, voluntary codes of conduct and other effective quality control mechanisms concerning the provision of mediation services.

The Directive gives every Judge in the Community, at any stage of the proceedings, the right to suggest that the parties attend an information meeting on mediation and, if the Judge deems it appropriate, to invite the parties to have recourse to mediation.

The Directive enables parties to give an agreement concluded following mediation a status similar to that of a Court judgment by rendering it enforceable. This can be achieved, for example, by way of judicial approval or notarial certification, thereby allowing such agreements to be enforceable in the Member States under existing Community rules. Continue reading Mediation in civil and commercial matters: European Parliament endorses new rules

Canada and the International Convention on Investment Dispute Resolution

Canada has completed the enactment of Bill C-9, An Act to Implement the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (ICSID Convention). The bill has been passed by both the House and the Senate and has received Royal Assent.

This Act enables Canada to ratify a convention that has already been ratified by 143 countries, and that will provide Canadian investors with another internationally recognized instrument for protecting their assets abroad,” said Minister Bernier.

“This is welcome news for Canadian business,” said the Honourable David Emerson, Minister of International Trade. “Entrenching international standards will both promote and protect two-way investment between Canada and its trading partners around the world. These are key objectives of the Global Commerce Strategy.” Continue reading Canada and the International Convention on Investment Dispute Resolution

e-Justice Centre, ODR in Second Life

e-Justice Centre is an arbitration centre that belongs to the Portuguese Ministry of Justice and was developed in collaboration with the Department of Communication and Art of the University of Aveiro and the Faculty of Law of the Lisbon New University. This centre provides mediation and arbitration services for all avatars in Second Life in the resolution of disputes resulting from consumer relations or any other contract-based relations signed between parties.

The most interesting issue is that e-Justice Centre, is a mediation and arbitration centre, in the 3D virtual world of Second Life.

Picture of the virtual ODR centre e-Justice:

e-Justice Centre, ODR in Second Life
The centre provides mediation and arbitration services for avatars resident in Second Life, permitting the opportunity to decide on conflicts deriving from consumer relations or any contracts signed between parties. Users of the centre can opt to resolve submitted disputes through the application of Portuguese law or through the use of impartiality criteria. The functioning of the mediation and arbitration centre will be the responsibility of the Faculty of Law of the Lisbon New University via a protocol signed with the Ministry of Justice. Continue reading e-Justice Centre, ODR in Second Life

Labor disputes arbitration in China

Labor disputes arbitration in China

China‘s top legislature started to read the draft law on labor dispute mediation and arbitration amid an increasing number of labor disputes that emerged in the country. The draft law was submitted Sunday to the seven-day 29th session of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), or China’s top legislature, for the first reading. Arbitration in labor dispute cases will be important because in China are continuously increasing in recent years. Statistics show that labor dispute arbitration organizations at various levels dealt with 1.72 million labor dispute cases involving 5.32 million employees from 1987 to the end of 2005, with a growth rate of 27.3 percent annually.

Xin Chunying, vice Chairman of the Legislative Affairs Commission of the NPC Standing Committee said on the legislative session that excepting the increasing number of labor disputes, other problems also exist. For instance, the personnel in arbitration organizations are not professional and thus lack credibility and the process of arbitrating labor disputes is long, making the cost of arbitration high. Continue reading Labor disputes arbitration in China

International Dispute Resolution in United Kingdom UK

International Dispute Resolution in United Kingdom UK

World of Arbitration In a civilised society, citizens look to the courts to settle their disputes. The courts put judges at the disposal of the parties, the courts determine the substantive and procedural law which is to be applied and the courts enforce their own orders through court officers, when necessary. It is a one-stop shop.

For those engaged in alternative dispute resolution – ADR, the courts are available not merely to enforce decisions and awards but also to supervise and control the chosen ADR procedures, should matters go awry.

Where disputes arise in the international arena, the picture is a little different because national courts are rarely acceptable to both sides. Disputes between states or between an individual and a foreign state or between an individual and an international organisation may be regarded as being in a special category, where the aggrieved party may have recourse to treaty arbitration. Examples are arbitration before the PCA1 and arbitration under the auspices of ICSID2. Beyond that special category, the parties must make express provision for dispute resolution in their agreement, failing which the aggrieved party will be left to seek his remedy from the domestic courts of one country or another, depending upon which will assume jurisdiction.

The result is a contrast. Whereas national courts often represent a convenient and acceptable means of dispute resolution for parties to a dispute which has no international element, there is no international equivalent. In consequence, most international disputes fall to be resolved through a process or by a tribunal which is essentially consensual in origin.

This paper is concerned with the resolution of disputes arising under international construction contracts. The purpose is to survey the available alternatives and to identify some of the considerations to be borne in mind by those concerned. In this last context, the emphasis is on two key considerations, being enforcement and applicable law. Continue reading International Dispute Resolution in United Kingdom UK

CEDR Launches the First Mediator Audit

CEDR, in partnership with CMS, is carrying out research into the varying stages of development of mediation in the EU.

The research project follows the European Commission’s Green Paper on ADR and the subsequent report of the European Parliament. Both the report and the summary of responses to the Green Paper emphasised the need for further research into ADR before any harmonisation could be attempted on a European level.

The study concentrates on court-annexed mediation schemes for commercial disputes, excluding the areas of family and employment law, and will focus on the 15 member states. The aim of the research is to compile a geographical guide describing the development of ADR in each member state. From this it will be possible to analyse the relative progress of each country and isolate any key issues which warrant further research.

CEDR and CMS aim to regularly update the report in order to provide a contemporary view of the development of mediation across the EU.

Completing the questionnaire
As part of the research we would be grateful if you as a Law Firm, ADR provider, public administrations or other interested stakeholder, could find the time to complete the questionnaire to assist CEDR in compiling an accurate study into the current status of mediation in the EU.

The questionnaire, available in English, French and German, can be downloaded in word format in the following website..

Year 2003

Mediators Wanted – San Francisco

Online Dispute Resolution News Ken writes “Law school graduates with extensive ADR experience and credentials are sought to join a neutral panel in the San Francisco Bay Area. The panel is part of a new dispute resolution company backed by individuals with a strong background in the alternative dispute resolution industry. Continue reading Mediators Wanted – San Francisco

New Confederation of Accredited Mediators in the Philippines

The Supreme Court accredited mediators in Cebu City, Philippines formalized the organization of a non-stock, non-profit association called “Confederation of Accredited Mediators in the Philippines” or “CAMP”. Continue reading New Confederation of Accredited Mediators in the Philippines