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Last year was a landmark year for the development of mediation in the United States as the country joined the Singapore Mediation Convention, which aims to make international agreements on the resolution of conflicts using this ADR method as easy to enforce as international arbitration awards.

The Convention applies to peace agreements that are concluded out of court, which are intended to settle a commercial dispute and are of an international nature. It was created in order to minimize the need to resolve conflicts in court.

Background

The search for effective and fair dispute resolution mechanisms remains an integral part of the development of international business, as evidenced by the adoption and improvement of international legal acts and national legislation of the world's leading countries. Along with the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Arbitral Awards by the international community, primarily within the framework of the United Nations, new legal norms on the procedure for resolving disputes, such as the Paris Rules, are constantly being developed and adopted.

At the same time, an international legal framework is being developed aimed at the development and wider application of out-of-court settlement of international commercial disputes, in particular, mediation procedures. In 2018, the UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) approved amendments to the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Conciliation, now called the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Mediation and the international settlement agreements concluded. In addition, in August 2019, the UN Convention on International Peace Agreements concluded as a result of mediation (hereinafter – the Singapore Convention), developed by the UNCITRAL Working Group, was signed in Singapore.

The need for such a document seems obvious, because the simplified implementation of mediation agreements will give impetus to the promotion of peaceful methods of resolving international commercial disputes and will have a positive impact on the volume and speed of international trade, promote sustainable economic development and more.

What is dispute resolution through mediation

Conflict resolution through mediation is the negotiation of the settlement of disputes without trial. The role of the mediator is to help the parties resolve their differences peacefully. Any assessment of the law and the facts depends on the parties. They develop a "remedy" for their dispute. Mediation can lead to an agreed remedy that is much like an arbitration award – perhaps involving a payment of money or a decision to end the commercial relationship. Dispute resolution through mediation can be expedited based on the Singapore Convention.

Scope of the Convention

A peace agreement to be recognized and applied in accordance with the Singapore Convention must have the following characteristics:

  • leads to the resolution of the dispute
  • was the result of mediation;
  • drawn up in writing;
  • signed by all parties;
  • is international.

The peace agreement can also be submitted electronically (with minimal reservations). Electronic signature is allowed subject to the specified conditions.

The location of each party to the peace agreement and the location in which the agreement must be implemented are the main determinants of whether a peaceful settlement of a dispute will be international.

Ratification to the Convention

For the Convention to enter into force, the signatory State must ratify it, and such ratification can be qualified with one or two allowed “reservations”. One such clause, which would significantly affect the breadth of the application of the Convention, would require the consent of the parties trying to resolve the dispute with the help of a mediator.

If you want to resolve a conflict without litigation in the US, settle a dispute through mediation, the specialists of IQ Decision are ready to provide you with highly qualified assistance.