Baker & McKenzie International Arbitration Yearbook: 2013-2014 - BELARUS
A. LEGISLATION, TRENDS AND TENDENCIES
A.1 Domestic Legislation
The Belarusian Law on the International Arbitration Court2 (the
“International Arbitration Law”) was enacted on 9 July 1999.
The law is based on the UNCITRAL Model Law and, since
1999, no amendments have been made to it.
Court-appointed mediation is established by the Commercial
Procedural Code and is used as a means of resolving commercial
disputes after legal proceedings have been initiated in a state
court. A judge can order mediation at the request of one of the
parties, or by the court’s own initiative at any stage of the
proceedings, including the appellate and enforcement stages. In
addition to court-appointed mediation, in July 2013 the
Belarusian Parliament adopted the Law On Mediation, which
sets forth rules for out-of-court mediation. Among other things,
this law sets forth (i) requirements which need to be met for
being appointed as a mediator, (ii) mandatory terms of
agreements to commence mediation proceedings, (iii) rules of
registration for mediation institutions and (iv) rules for
enforcement of agreements concluded as a result of mediation. It
also states that these agreements can be enforced in state courts.
This law came into force in January 2014, and the application of
its provisions will need to be clarified by subordinate legislation
and relevant court practice.
Additionally, in November 2013 the President of the Republic of
Belarus began a reform of the Belarusian judicial system. As a
result of this reform, two separate court systems were
consolidated: economic courts, which previously reviewed
commercial cases, and courts of general jurisdiction, which
previously reviewed other civil cases, as well as criminal and
administrative cases. The next step will be the consolidation of
civil procedural and economic procedural rules. Therefore, it is
not yet clear whether the provisions of economic procedural
rules and court practice relating to arbitration and mediation
issues will be changed or not.