The New Russian Mediation Law in Action

In January 2011 the very first settlement agreement reached by means of mediation in accordance with the new Federal Law on Mediation having which became effective on January 1, 2011. The preliminary court hearing in proceedings chaired by judge Sorokina of the Arbitrazh Court of the Omsk region was broadcast via videoconferencing system from the Russian Supreme Arbitrazh Court. Representatives of the parties from several Russian regions took part in the hearing: the Omsk, Novosibirsk, Tyumen and Krasnoyarsk regions.

The videoconference line was set up by the arbitrazh courts of the Novosibirsk, Tyumen and Krasnoyarsk regions. The preliminary court hearing in that case was commenced in January 2011 in the courtroom of the Arbitrazh Court of the Omsk region. A shareholder of ZAO Sibirskaya Gornitsa challenged validity of the general meeting of shareholders’ resolution. Upon the defendant’s initiative, professional mediators were engaged to mediate the dispute.  Three days later the parties submitted to the court the documents signed in the course of the mediation procedure.

With the parties consent the court commenced proceedings by means of a videoconference, whereby the settlement agreement was approved. Upon completion of the court hearing the parties and judges of various arbitrazh courts discussed advantages of mediation procedures and videoconferencing.

The clear advantages of the ADR procedures were pointed out in the discussion: harmonization of relations and lessening of tension in the society, additional guarantees of legal protection of business. The discussants also noted that modern technologies put into operation in arbitrazh courts facilitate holding of court hearings with the use of videoconferencing between several arbitrazh courts at the same time thereby significantly reducing the time and monies spent by the parties to the dispute from other regions and ensuring easier access to justice.

Dmitry Davydenko

About the Author:

Dr Davydenko is the Director and co-editor of the CIS Arbitration Forum. He is Chief expert of Arbitration and Mediation Center at the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He also provides expert opinions on Russia-related international business law matters. He is listed as a recommended arbitrator of International Commercial Arbitration Court and Maritime Arbitration Commission at Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as well as some other arbitral institutions.

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