Federal Law No. 6 of 2021 On Mediation for the Settlement of Civil and Commercial Disputes.

In April 2021 the UAE Government passed Federal Law No. 6 of 2021 On Mediation for the Settlement of Civil and Commercial Disputes. The Law brings into force a robust framework in which mediation can occur in the UAE and sets out the obligations of mediators.

The law defines mediation as a process in which a neutral third party assists the parties in reaching a mutually acceptable agreement. The mediator does not have the power to impose a decision on the parties, but rather facilitates the negotiation process. The law also sets out the qualifications and requirements for mediators, including their training and experience.

The law aims to promote mediation as a means of settling disputes between parties in civil and commercial matters. It establishes a framework for mediation and sets out the requirements for mediators and mediation institutions.

One of the key features of the law is the requirement for parties in a dispute to attempt mediation before going to court. This requirement applies to all disputes, regardless of the amount in dispute or the complexity of the case. If the parties do not agree to mediation, or if mediation is unsuccessful, they can then proceed subject to court.

The law also provides for the confidentiality of the mediation process. The mediator and the parties are prohibited from disclosing any information about the mediation to third parties, including the court. This is intended to encourage the parties to be more open and honest during the mediation process, without fear that their statements will be used against them in court.

In addition, the law provides for the enforcement of mediated settlements. If the parties reach a settlement through mediation, it can be enforced by the court in the same way as a court judgment. This gives the parties greater certainty that their settlement will be upheld and reduces the risk of further disputes arising.

There are two types of mediation: judicial mediation and non-judicial mediation. Judicial mediation is conducted by a judge or a court-appointed mediator, while non-judicial mediation is conducted by a private mediator or a mediation institution. Both types of mediation have their own procedures and requirements, and the choice of mediation type depends on the nature of the dispute and the preferences of the parties involved.

It is a significant change in the way disputes are resolved in the UAE. It encourages parties to resolve their disputes through mediation, which is a faster and more cost-effective alternative to litigation. It also provides a legal framework for mediation and ensures that mediators are qualified and trained to handle disputes.

In conclusion, the law is a positive development for the UAE. It provides an alternative method of resolving disputes that is faster, less expensive, and more flexible than traditional court proceedings. It also encourages parties to be more collaborative and creative in finding resolutions to their disputes. However, it remains to be seen how effective the law will be in practice, and whether parties will be willing to embrace mediation as a viable alternative rather than the judicial proceedings.

Jassim Al Suwaidi Advocates & Partners can provide valuable assistance and guidance to individuals and businesses seeking to use mediation to resolve civil and commercial disputes under Federal Law No. 6 of 2021.

1. Provide legal advice: advising clients on their legal rights and obligations under the law, as well as the potential risks and benefits of using mediation to resolve a dispute, and assist in drafting mediation agreements and other legal documents.

2. Identify qualified mediators: helping clients identify qualified mediators who have the necessary experience and training to handle their particular dispute, and assist in selecting a mediator who is impartial and has no conflicts of interest.

3. Prepare for mediation: helping clients prepare for mediation by identifying the relevant issues and gathering the necessary information and documents, and help clients develop a negotiation strategy and prepare for potential outcomes.

4. Represent clients during mediation: represent clients during the mediation process, advocating for their interests and working to reach a mutually acceptable agreement, and help clients understand their legal rights and obligations during the mediation process.

5. Enforce mediated settlements: If the parties reach a settlement through mediation, we can help ensure that the settlement is properly documented and enforceable under the law, and can also assist in enforcing the settlement if necessary.

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