LinkedIn VK Twitter Facebook

News from Russia: First Mediation Training for Judges in Moscow: SOMEDIARS starts its activities

The first event was organized by the Center for promotion of mediation and alternative dispute resolution (SOMEDIARS) of the Institute of Legislation and Comparative Law with the Government of Russia. The seminar on “Introduction to Conciliation Procedures, Confilct management, Negotiations, Mediation, Conciliation” designed for the judges of courts of general jurisdiction and for the judges of commercial (arbitrazh) courts was held on November 21 and 22, 2012 respectively. The participants stressed the importance of using ADR tools in their activities and showed interest in further training.

Program “Introduction to conciliation procedures. Conflict management tools. Negotiations, mediation, conciliation” was the same for the two days, but the training took into account the specific features of the disputes and the character of the courts’ activities. Judges of peace and the federal judges of the courts of Moscow and Ivanovo region took part in the seminar of November 21, judges of Commercial (Arbitrazh) court of the city of Moscow and of the Moscow region, judges of the courts of appeal No 9 and No 10 and of the Federal commercial court of the Moscow area participated in the training of November 22.
The goal of the seminar was to familiarize its participants with the procedure, areas of application and mediation tools, advantages of mediation for private persons and for commercial entities respectively. During the practical sessions the participants together with the professional trainers worked on the methods of attraction of the parties to the dispute to mediation acting in turn as parties in dispute, judge and mediator.
Judges of the courts of general jurisdiction as well as the judges of commercial courts have taken notice of the necessity to expand information on the procedure of mediation and its advantages among the population and have pronounced themselves in favor of introduction of mandatory pre-court attempt of conciliation of the parties, including, but not limited to, by way of mediation. On the opinion of the participants to the seminar, should pre-trial conciliation attempt be introduced, 60% of the disputes shall be settled out of court. The participants were interested to learn more about the positive use of mediation in Moscow (and such information as well as such experience are quasi non-existing in the capital today). The judges specially mentioned the importance of the role of the literate representatives of the parties in the procedure, it was stressed that with the assistance of the attorneys oriented to the dialog the parties are often lead to the amicable settlement and able to reach it.
The judges of commercial courts actively discussed the issue of mandatory attempt of pre-court conciliation, asked about the foreign experience of using conciliation procedures for settlement of commercial disputes, showed interest in getting recommendations for application of mediator’s tools in the work of judge and wanted to know how they could be used in the court of appeal and in the court of review. Participants to the seminar stressed that the parties do not have sufficient information on the procedure of mediation, its conduct, role of mediator, perspectives for the dispute settlement, and the duty of the judge was to have a detailed understanding of the procedure since the law obliged the judge to explain it to the parties. Mrs Alla Bolshova, Chief scientific fellow of the Institute, former President of the Commercial court of Moscow shared her views on the possibilities and limits of use of mediator’s tools in the practice of the commercial judges, leading consultant of the Supreme Commercial Court of Russia Mr A. Solokhin has informed the audience on the plans of legislative introduction of the institute of court conciliators.
The feed-back form was distributed among the participants to the seminar.
Upon the results of November 21 seminar (28 participants – judges of the courts of general jurisdiction) :
• The seminar was appreciated as useful by 100% of the participants;
• The majority (26 participants) intends to apply the tools they were familiarized with;
• 23 participants deem necessary to learn the basics of mediation and ADR to the judges as well as to the court secretaries (assistant judges).
The attendees stressed the necessity to create the program on the efficient information the private persons on the procedure of mediation and explained their concern about the lack of information on the professional mediators.
21 judge of commercial courts answered the feed-back form on November 22, 2012 :
• 100% of the attendees deemed the seminar was useful;
• 100% of the attendees intended to use the mediation tools in their activities;
• The majority of the attendees believed that it was necessary to teach the basics of mediation and ADR to the judges, however, 12 attendees were against the training of the assistants judges: they motivated their answer with the following arguments: “the training shall distract them from their main job (they have enough to do without mediation and with low wages”, “ it makes sense to train the assistants who intend to become judges and use the mediation in practice”.
The majority of the attendees expressed their willingness to continue their training and detailed their expectations regarding its program. SOMEDIARS will continue its program for the judges.