Mediation is understood as negotiations between the parties with the participation of a neutral mediator – a mediator. The essence of such actions is to resolve the conflict between the parties without going to court. In other words, the task of mediation is to find a solution that suits both parties.
Mediation legislation in Belarus
In Belarus, all aspects of mediation are regulated by a law adopted in 2013. According to this document, the use of mediation is possible in the framework of disputes arising in the field of civil legal relations or economic activity. The law prescribes the principles of voluntariness and confidentiality of this process, the requirements for mediators and their activities.
A mediator is a person with special training who has received an appropriate certificate. Its functions do not include decision-making, but the key task is to create favorable conditions for the development of mutually beneficial agreements between the parties.
Mediation is often approached by parties who are already in the process of litigation. It is important to remember here that litigation can last for a very long time, require significant financial investments, but ultimately not lead to the desired result. This is connected with procedural restrictions, and with the risk of non-compliance with court decisions, and with some other factors.
Benefits of mediation
Against this background, pre-trial resolution of disputes through mediation looks like a more profitable option from all sides:
- Allows to avoid aggravation of the conflict, to maintain normal relations between business partners;
- It focuses not on confrontation, which takes time and effort, but on cooperation, joint development of a solution to the issue, search for a compromise;
- Eliminates excessive psychological stress – any conflict leads to emotional stress. Mediation gives the parties the opportunity to understand each other without creating a negative psychological background;
- Allows each of the parties to clearly realize their true interests;
- Allows you to find flexible solutions – in the process of mediation, representatives of each party generate their own options for solving the problem, including non-standard ones. All possible options can be discussed until the most suitable one is found;
- The law provides for the full confidentiality of information related to mediation. This means that the parties can avoid publicizing the details of the conflict and the conditions under which it was resolved.
Financial savings also play an important role. The parties get the opportunity to avoid legal costs and costs of paying for the services of a lawyer. True, if the mediation agreement is not fulfilled, such costs may still be required.
The order of the procedure
Mediation is relevant for resolving issues such as debt collection in Belarus or in other states, conflicts between business co-owners and many other cases. However, the procedure cannot be applied to criminal and administrative cases.
To take advantage of mediation, the parties must show such a desire, and this can be done both before going to court and after it. To organize negotiations, it is necessary to find a mediator using the appropriate register or contacting a specialized organization.
The first stage of interaction with the mediator is usually an information meeting of the parties, at which the consent of all parties to the dispute to the mediation procedure is discussed, and an agreement is concluded indicating the mediator’s remuneration. As soon as such an agreement is concluded, the course of the limitation period is suspended at the request of the parties.
If, within the framework of negotiations, the parties manage to reach a mutually acceptable solution, a written mediation agreement is drawn up. It contains all the necessary information, prescribes the decisions made, the timing of their implementation. The representatives of the parties and the mediator put their signatures.
It is important that the provisions of this document do not conflict with applicable law. The parties can also negotiate the consequences of failure to comply with this agreement.
The main advantage of the mediation agreement is that in case of non-execution, the creditor has the opportunity, within six months from the date of expiry of the period for voluntary fulfillment of the mediation agreement, to apply to the court at the location of the debtor with an application for the issuance of a writ of execution. At the same time, the court does not consider the case on the merits of the dispute in a long-time frame, but only decides the issue of issuing a writ of execution on the basis of a mediation agreement, which in turn guarantees the creditor a legal opportunity to promptly obtain a writ of execution and submit it for enforcement.
Therefore, pre-trial mediation is a real way to save time and money, to negotiate with an opponent about resolving issues related to international debt collection, and many other economic nuances.