Ukraine signs the Singapore Mediation Convention facilitating the implementation of international mediation agreements

Singapore. 7 August 2019 – Representatives of 46 countries including Ukraine signed the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation, (hereinafter – the Singapore Mediation Convention”) – the multilateral treaty developed by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL).

Strategic differentiator

Mediation, being an alternative to the dispute resolution in court, is yet beginning to emerge in Ukraine. The signing of the Singapore Mediation Convention would serve as a strategic prerequisite for its implementation in the domestic law, stimulating the mediation in resolving the cross-border commercial disputes.

The need for such document is compelling and undeniable. The simplified procedure for the performance of mediation treaties would facilitate the promotion and inculcation of amicable settlement of international commercial disputes. This would also have a positive impact on the scope and growth rates of international trade, promoting a stable economic development etc. Implementation of alternative dispute resolution methods in judicial system of Ukraine would, in turn, positively affect the investment attractiveness and worldwide reputation.

Keeping in mind the purpose…

As explicitly emphasised in the related Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 20 December 2018, the General Assembly recalled its resolution 2205 of 17 December 1966, by which it established the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law with a mandate to further the progressive harmonization and unification of the law of international trade and in that respect to bear in mind the interests of all peoples, in particular those of developing countries, in the extensive development of international trade. Against this background, the General Assembly convinced that the adoption of a convention on international settlement agreements resulting from mediation … would complement the existing legal framework on international mediation and contribute to the development of harmonious international economic relations.

The Singapore Mediation Convention brings permanency to the international framework on mediation, resultantly, promoting more stable and prosperous international trade relationships between countries and regions. Undoubtedly, the enhancement of mediation will foster economic growth and access to justice.

In experts’ opinion

Pavlo Petrenko, the Minister of Justice of Ukraine, believes the further implementation of the signed treaty would strengthen the role of mediation as an alternative to arbitration to settle the international commercial disputes and would have the over-all positive impact on the development of international trade. He noted: “To date the procedural law of Ukraine provides for prerequisites to implement the mediation concept in trial, and the draft law “On activities in the mediation sphere”, as developed on the basis of the best European and worldwide practices, was introduced in July for consideration by the Verkhovna Rada.”

“Signing of the Singapore Mediation Convention has become a leap forward on the path to changing the worldwide practices of dispute resolution, not to mention Ukraine. In line with unification of the law enforcement rules the Singapore Mediation Convention guarantees that the settlement agreement resulting from mediation shall be binding and enforceable in compliance with the simplified procedure adopted in various jurisdictions of the signatories. And this is a resounding signal to businesses – the mediation procedure is a reliable and effective way for the parties to resolve commercial disputes and to preserve long-term relations. No doubt, the enforcement of the Singapore Mediation Convention would extend the framework of mediation and, thus, facilitate the access to justice”, – said Senior Associate at Asters Law Firm Yuna Potemkina, the member of the ADR Committee of the Ukrainian Bar Association.

Mikhailo Shumylo, the Deputy Head of the Department for Analytical and Legal Work of the Supreme Court – the Head of the Legal Sub-Department (IV), explained that the aim of the Singapore Convention is to give to agreements on the settlement of commercial disputes through mediation the same level of recognition as the decisions of international commercial arbitrations have, as defined in the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (New York, 1958). “The signing and further ratification of the Singapore Convention by Ukraine will allow not only to simplify and accelerate the settlement of commercial disputes in the sphere of international economic relations, but also to deepen the integration of our country into the global economic processes,” said Shumylo.