EU Project "Pravo-Justice" and Dnipropetrovsk RJRC Join International Mediation Conference in Dnipro
On November 30, Dnipro State University of Internal Affairs hosted an international scientific and practical conference "Mediation as a way to resolve private and public law disputes." Dnipropetrovsk Regional Justice Reform Council (RJRC) was one of the co-organizers of the event. Dnipro RJRC is supported by EU Project "Pravo-Justice".
“The adoption of the law on mediation has raised many issues: what are the further steps, how to implement it effectively? EU Project "Pravo-Justice" will actively support development of mediation in Ukraine. One of such priority tasks is to draft article-by-article information and explanatory commentary on the Law so that lawyers and citizens understand its rationale and apply it properly,” said Oksana Tsymbrivska, Key National Expert of EU Project "Pravo-Justice", Justice Sector Policy and Coordination Component.
Luiza Romanadze, advocate, mediator, Ph.D. in Law, President of the Ukrainian Academy of Mediation, "Pravo-Justice Project" expert, focused on key provisions of the Law On Mediation, which takes into account the peculiarities of almost 30-year shaping of mediation in Ukraine and which is designed to create the most favourable conditions for its dissemination.
“To merely adopt the law on mediation is not enough to truly decrease cases backlog in the judiciary. We need comprehensive changes and a huge awareness-raising campaign for the people because they simply do not know that such a procedure exists and the opportunities it provides," said Luiza Romanadze.
Oleksii Savchuk, Coordinator of Dnipropetrovsk Regional Justice Reform Council, spoke on how relevant alternative conflict resolution in commercial disputes is, "Mediation will reduce the backlog in the judiciary and improve the parties' reputation, while litigation may forever mar the reputation in the court register".
Andrii Ryshchenko, judge of Dnipropetrovsk District Administrative Court, Coordinator of Dnipro RJRC,spoke about the findings of the study by EU Project "Pravo-Justice" on the possibility of using mediation in administrative disputes, the report of which was published on Project website.
Among other things, the study identified a number of problems in administrative disputes that can be resolved through mediation:
- lack of trust to state institutions because there is no dialogue between citizens and the state;
- non-enforcement of court judgements, especially those containing obligations;
- overly lengthy and costly litigation.
Based on the findings of the analysis, Project experts singled out categories of disputes in which mediation is potentially possible after the entry into force of the Law “On Administrative Procedure”, as well as the models of referring such cases to mediation.
"Given the specific nature of authorities' functions, it is possible to introduce in administrative disputes a court-annexed or court model of mediation with the participation of persons who have additional competence in law and understand how authorities function, or a judge-mediator to whom such a case should be referred," emphasized Andrii Ryshchenko.
Intervention by Svitlana Serhieieva, advocate, mediator, Ukrainian Bar Association board member, "Pravo-Justice" Project expert, concerned the research by EU Project international and national experts which recommended gradual and balanced introduction of mandatory mediation information and assessment meetings in order to inform the persons about mediation, assess mediability of a dispute.
In particular, this is relevant for such categories of cases:
- civil disputes arising from family relations;
- commercial disputes arising from corporate relations;
- civil and commercial disputes arising from transactions;
- other categories of civil and commercial disputes upon judges' referral.
"The fact that there exists a conflict (dispute) among business founders negatively affects business and can lead not only to reduced profits, but also to business itself destructed in the future. In addition, the dissemination of information that there is such a dispute can be used by competitors. That is why a confidential mediation procedure is reputable and a real alternative to litigation for business. Introducing mediation information and assessment meetings in this category of disputes before going to court is a good way to shape a culture of out-of-court settlement of corporate disputes," considers Svitlana Serhieieva.
In 2020–2021, EU Project "Pravo-Justice" discussed using mediation in administrative, commercial and civil proceedings, as well as in-depth analysis of legislative and institutional gaps in implementing mediation in Ukraine in various fields of law. Based on them, the Project drew up reports on the categories of cases in administrative, civil and commercial litigation in which it is advisable to use alternative dispute resolution.