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Amicable Dispute Resolution in the European Legal Tradition

book cover

ADR in the European Legal Tradition

A new book  Amicable Dispute Resolution in the European Legal Tradition by Dmitry Davydenko published in October 2013 contains an in-depth study of the history of private disputes’ amicable settlement in Europe.

The book contains a comparative law study but it also looks at amicable dispute resolution (ADR) from legal anthropology and legal sociology perspectives. The book is in Russian (with a short summary in English). The author bases his research on numerous sources in Russian, English, French, Italian and German languages.

The geographical scope of the book covers mostly Western European countries, including the United Kingdom. Law and practice of amicable dispute resolution in primitive societies, as well as in ancient Greece, Rome and Judea, Medieval Europe, Industrial Age and in post-industrial society.

Dr Davydenko refers to numerous examples related to private dispute settlement to illustrate his conclusions such as:

  • Ancient Greeks considered that the goddess of Peace was the mother of god of Wealth and the daughter of Themis, goddess of Justice
  • In ancient times mediation and arbitration formed a single dispute resolution procedure consisting of a ‘dialogue’ (negotiations) and, where necessary, a ‘crisis’ (an award). Also, reaching a settlement agreement after the arbitral awards was a common practice
  • Greek philosopher Socratus authored many question-posing techniques mediators have in their toolkit nowadays
  • Roman law penalized abusive, frivolous and vexatious claims
  • Since Middle Ages many European courts consistently practiced special ‘conciliation days’  (‘dies amori’), completely reserved for conciliation of the parties
  • First French Constitution prescribed compulsory  mediation and conciliation as prerequisites for hearing of the disputes by the state courts.

The treatise examines the origin and evolution of amicable settlement of disputes. The author argues that in fact the ability to amicably settle disputes and differences once set humans apart from the natural world.

The book describes the tendencies and the prospects of conciliatory procedures. On the basis of the research presented in the book, Dr Davydenko formulates a universal legal principle he defines as favor conciliationis or favor paci: favourising conciliation among disputing parties.

Table of contents and summary of the book are available online  in Russian and English.

Full text of the book is available through the website of the Infotropic Media publishing house.

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