MATRA PATROL - Alternative Dispute Resolution

18 - 28 October 2015

Please note that this training programme has already taken place

In order to simplify and improve the fundamental principle of access to justice it is essential to enable the development and appropriate operation of alternative, extra-judicial procedures for the settlement of disputes, particularly in civil and commercial matters. The view of the EU legislator expressed in the Preamble of the Directive 2008/52/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2008 on certain aspects of mediation in civil and commercial matters (hereinafter: Mediation Directive) is illustrative in this respect: ‘the objective of securing better access to justice, as part of the policy of the European Union to establish an area of freedom, security and justice, should encompass access to judicial as well as extrajudicial dispute resolution methods’.

The purpose is to promote the public good of reducing litigation, promoting access to justice and ensuring the proper functioning of the internal market. Thus, the need to ‘facilitate a move towards a more modern mediation-friendly justice culture’, as well as the need that the Member States ‘encourage and promote the use of a future ADR centre’ is emphasised.

The relevance of arbitration has been growing steadily, particularly in resolving commercial disputes involving international elements.

Taking into consideration the relevance that the EU legislator attaches to mediation and other out-of-court means of dispute resolution, it is essential for the strengthening of the rule of law in the target countries to ensure that an appropriate legal framework is in place and that appropriate steps have been taken in strengthening the organisational and functional framework. The purpose of the programme is to assist the judicial and administrative institutions, as well as organisations that provide services and promote various out-of-court means of dispute settlement in the target countries in their efforts to improve the effectiveness in protecting legal rights and interests of individuals and legal persons. This is an important part of legal reforms on a larger scale, necessary to comply with the requirements for a possible EU membership, as well as an essential part of social transformation towards democratic structures. The Progress Reports of the Commission to the Parliament and the Council for almost all target countries illustrate that backlog of cases undermines the efficiency of legal proceedings.

Therefore, the interest for improving efficiency in administration of justice, particularly those involving cross-border elements, in the target countries is evident. It enhances legal certainty and predictability for the citizens and legal persons and accordingly contributes to strengthening democracy and the rule of law in these jurisdictions.An accessible, impartial and effective ADR system is an important aspect in enhancing the efficiency of legal proceedings, taking appropriate measures in reducing the backlog of cases and consequently improving the access to civil justice.

Training programme

The course addresses various forms of dispute resolution in civil and commercial matters in order to illustrate the advantages of a certain method for a particular type(s) of dispute(s). The purpose is to provide the participants with the insights in the complementary/supplementary character of various forms of dispute resolution and the need for cooperation and coordination between different instances (the courts, arbitral institutions and mediation centres) in target countries in order to enhance the efficiency in dispute resolution and a wider use of out-of-court settlement mechanisms. The course is focused on arbitration and mediation. The legislations of target countries in these fields of laws are compared with Dutch legislation and practice. Besides, their compliance with the EU and internationally accepted standards is examined. Not only the legal framework is addressed, but also the organisational and structural aspects of arbitration and mediation in the target countries are dealt with (arbitral institutions, mediation centres and their rules, as well as disciplinary rules and qualifications of arbitrators and mediators).

Target group

Participants from the target countries working for the judiciary, chambers of commerce and organisations involved in arbitration and mediation.

Information and training programme organisation

T.M.C. Asser Instituut