Mediated International Settlement Agreements: The New Era - WAMR 2018 Vol. 12, No. 4
Originally from World Arbitration and Mediation Review (WAMR)
[The] shift in trend from mediation to arbitration as the preferred mechanism cannot be ascribed to institutional support or universal applicability of arbitration laws. Mediation was also considered a suitable alternative dispute resolution technique and was recognized by institutions. The rules on international commercial conciliation and mediation formulated by the International Chamber of Commerce (“ICC”) have been in effect since 1923, with the latest revised version taking effect on January 1, 2014. Other institutions like the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (“UNCITRAL”) stipulated its own conciliation rules and have been in effect since 1980. However, those rules have not been accepted by private parties as much as UNCITRAL’s arbitration rules (“UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules”) have been accepted. One of the primary reasons for this lack of reception could be the potential lack of knowledge about them among the parties. As the use of mediated settlement agreements through mediation in an arbitration is rare, there is still a lack of familiarity among parties with such a recourse for conflict resolution on an international level. Moreover, as international commercial arbitration awards are now recognized and enforced almost all around the world, the awards have legal backing from courts of signatory-member countries as opposed to mediated international settlement agreements. This means that the awards are considered a safer alternative than international mediation.
This article discusses the concept of mediated international settlement agreements or consent awards through mediation in arbitration, and its advantages and enforcement. The article will also examine the perspectives of different nations regarding the enforcement of consent awards. Last, the paper will discuss how international commercial mediation is a better alternative for dispute resolution than arbitration.