Institutes of alternative dispute resolution and mediation in particular have existed in Russian Federation since the end of the fourteenth century. For the first time in Russian legislation on the settlement of disputes by peaceful agreement was mentioned in the Novgorod Birch bark manuscripts (1281-1313 years). Later references of settlement agreements can be found in almost all major legislation documents of Russian law: Pskov Judicial Charter in 1397, Sudebnik of 1497, the Cathedral Code of 1649 et al.
Civil and criminal justice were not clearly separated from one another at this period of time, and the “peace agreement” could be possibly done in the big area of legal disputes, including both criminal and civil offenses. Later, due to separation of civil and criminal procedure process, the settlement agreement had been regarded primarily as to an institution of civil procedure law. For quite a long time (from 1775 to 1862) in Russia special courts existed, so called “conscientious provincial courts” have been created by decree of Catherine II. Proceedings in these courts took place with the participation of intermediaries, whose purpose was to reconcile differences between the parties. If the attempt at conciliation failed, the dispute was then moved to the general court.