Greater use of mediation and arbitration to resolve commercial disputes in Moldova would bring many benefits. For litigants, they offer dispute resolution that is quicker and cheaper than court action, with more tailored outcomes. For courts, they can reduce case load burdens and improve clearance rates. For these benefits to be realised, it is critical that mediation and arbitration be both efficient and well understood by potential litigants.
Under a technical cooperation project commenced by the Legal Transition Team (LTT) in 2013 (the TC Project), the EBRD assisted the Ministry of Justice with promoting the use of mediation and arbitration in the business community in several ways. In relation to mediation, the TC Project piloted a court-annexed mediation system. A small group of mediators was intensively trained and then assigned to two courts, at which they provided mediation services to litigants. Judges of these courts were closely involved in the TC Project work, and referred disputes to the mediators. The pilot has been a success. Mediators were able to resolve approximately a third of the matters referred to them. Judges and court administrators have shown enthusiasm for court-annexed mediation, and are eager to extend it to other courts. In relation to arbitration, the TC Project prepared a practical handbook to assist arbitration users, reviewed the legislative framework and recommended amendments to align it with international standards. The arbitration handbook has been in high demand and run out of print. In the course of these activities, it became evident that there are few well-trained arbitrators in Moldova, and that a larger pool of high quality arbitrators is required. Awareness raising activities promoting arbitration in the legal community are also necessary.
The second phase of the TC Project would respond to the request of the Ministry of Justice to meet these needs, incorporating both arbitration and mediation components.
Following successful implementation of Phase II of the TC Project, a third phase is proposed to be developed, to focus on further promoting the use of mediation and raising awareness of mediation among the business community in Moldova. The TC Project will therefore create a high profile pool of mediators, including court-annexed mediators, and promote mediation among the business community and future users with the overall aim of ensuring sustainability of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in the country.
The TC Project is consistent with the EBRD Country Strategy for Moldova approved by the EBRD Board of Directors on 30 April 2014, which notes the need to continue making the commercial laws in Moldova fully effective, particularly by “strengthening the court system, tackling corruption and implementing other measures to strengthen the rule of law”.
The use of mediation and arbitration to resolve commercial disputes in Moldova is increased.
TC Recipient Information
Ministry of Justice, Republic of Moldova.
The project is funded by the EBRD-UK Investment and Governance Fund and the EBRD's Special Shareholder's Fund.
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