Mediation use grows in Brazil

CAM-CCBC records an increased volume of proceedings initiated in 2020, even in the face of the challenges imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic

By Sérgio Siscaro

The use of alternative dispute resolution (ADRs) mechanisms has increasing gained space in Brazil – and it is not different with mediation.  Recognized by the Brazilian legislation since 2015, it brings important advantages in comparison with the adversarial system – such as, for example, the process agility, which provides more competitive costs and avoids the relationship wear between the parties. Therefore, it is a valuable tool for resolving business disputes.

Considering the data recorded by the CAM-CCBC in 2020, it is possible to state that the market for mediation proceedings is at a very favorable moment. By mid-September, seven mediations had been initiated by the Center – representing a 40% increase in comparison with the same period in 2019. The total amount of these proceedings was R$ 1.857 billion, with an average value of R$ 464.41 million. And in September, there were still three mediations in progress.

It is worth to mention that the trend observed this year is based on the gradual increase in the demand for mediation proceedings administered by the  Center. Between 2006 and 2019, 61 mediations were managed, involving resources of approximately R$ 5 billion.

In addition, the 2020 figures confirm CAM-CCBC’s  success in rapidly adapting to the social distancing needs imposed by the spread of the new coronavirus pandemic – migrating physical proceedings to the digital environment. Through digital platforms, the proceedings are conducted in such a way that ensures the mediation process efficiency and the safety of all involved.

The incentive to mediation gained an additional boost in August of last year, with the decision of the United Nations General Assembly (UN) to adopt the so-called Singapore Convention. The measure facilitates the adoption of decisions made in mediation proceedings, conferring more legal certainty to the international use of the mechanism.

Month of mediation

In line with the increased demand trend for these conflict resolution proceedings, the CAM-CCBC Mediation Advisory Board has intensified its activities. And in fact it will promote, during November, three specific online events with the purpose of discussing the use of mediation:

  • The use of mediation in the civil engineering sector will be the goal of an event on November 10, which will bring together representatives of large construction companies;
  • On November 20, the Mediation Task Force will hold an event on the use of this type of ADR in business litigations;
  • And on November 26, the CAM-CCBC Mediators List meeting will be held, when they will exchange experiences on business mediation.

The promotion of these events is essential to stimulate the exchange of experiences among professionals, discuss ways to improve mediation proceedings and, more generally, disseminate knowledge on the benefits of mediation to resolve disputes.

Crossing borders

CAM-CCBC’s strong presence in the mediation market has created interest abroad. In August, the Institutional Development Advisor of the Center, Lenora Hage, participated in an online event promoted by the Angolan Center for Mediation and Arbitration of Labor Conflicts (Camacl) to celebrate the four years mark of the Law on Conflict Mediation and Conciliation in that country.

The CAM-CCBC representative took the opportunity to address the Center experience  managing mediation proceedings in the Brazilian market – its history, way of acting in the market, services provided, and the necessary adaptations after the spread of Covid-19.

“We are on the path to a cultural paradigm shift, in the sense of breaking the culture of litigation, so ingrained in the way we deal with conflicts”, she said at that time.  And judging by the upward trend in the use of mediation, this change seems to be closer.