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Russia Considering Introducing Mediation to Its Commercial Procedure Code

Friday, October 24, 2014

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A mediation procedure that was abolished in Russia’s commercial law may make a comeback, as Russia’s Supreme Court has proposed the resumption of a mandatory mediation clause.  The clause would require individuals to delay lawsuits by 30 days to seek a mediated solution to their commercial disputes.


The rule wouldn’t be applied to bankruptcy cases, rights disputes, or lawsuits seeking compensation over a failure to deal with a dispute.  All other commercial conflicts would be required to enter mediation first, with sincere efforts to resolve the dispute, before a suit could be brought.


As in other countries, the mediation requirement is born out of a desire to speed up the legal process, which gets bogged down by large numbers of commercial dispute lawsuits.  Mediation has been shown time and again to reduce the number of submitted lawsuits significantly, making the processing of remaining suits much more efficient.


Compounding the problem, the Russian Supreme Commercial Court was recently dissolved, with its powers and jurisdiction transferred to the Supreme Court itself.  The court merger was designed to enhance justice, as the commercial court was perceived to often be biased and prone to partial decisions, but the new system has been incredible pressure on the already-swamped court system.  Mediation is seen as a way of relieving some of that pressure, allowing smaller disputes to self-resolve with some modicum of procedural rigor while more complex cases can get the attention of the court that they require and deserve.

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