New Mediation Rules in Russia

On 11 March 2010, draft regulations establishing mediation as alternative procedure for the settlement of disputes were introduced to the Russian Parliament. Assuming they are accepted, they will come into force on 1 January 2011.

Mediation has not previously been expressly provided for in Russian legislation nor has any law contained a detailed description or procedure for it.

In most cases, mediation allows parties to reach the best possible, and a mutually beneficial, compromise without involving judicial bodies or reducing the effectiveness of the settlement process.

The draft regulations contain complex and detailed legal mechanism for mediation, as well as various amendments and additions to civil law, civil procedural law and arbitration procedural law.

It is assumed that mediation can be initiated by agreement between the parties. A mediator may arrange meetings with both sides jointly or individually. This may culminate in the resolution of their dispute, which may be formalized in a civil law contract or an amicable settlement approved by a judge if the dispute has been already submitted to the court.

If the dispute is not resolved, the participants may not disclose during judicial proceedings any information provided by another party to conclude a mediation agreement or about their intentions to do so. They are also prohibited from disclosing any opinions or suggestions made by the parties during the mediation process and any information about a party’s readiness to accept any suggestions. The mediator may not provide the parties with legal counseling or other help.

The individual or organization providing mediation services is not authorized to disclose any information about the mediation procedure unless it is expressly permitted by the parties.

The draft regulations also contain certain quality requirements and procedures for the provision of mediation services, as well as some features of mediation in the course of initiated proceedings in arbitration tribunals and courts of common jurisdiction.

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