Tajikistan is elaborating legislation to keep commercial disputes arising between domestic and foreign business people out of court.

A working group elaborating a mediation law includes representatives of President’s Executive office, Supreme Court, Higher Economic Court ad relevant ministries and agencies, according to the press center of Tajikistan’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI).         

The work on elaboration of this law is reportedly being financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) with support from the International Development Law Organization (IDLO).

Mediation law refers to a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in which the parties to a lawsuit meet with a neutral third-party in an effort to settle the case.  The third-party is called a mediator.  It is this person’s job to listen to the evidence, help the litigants come to understand each other’s viewpoint regarding the controversy, and then facilitate the negotiation of a voluntary resolution to the case.  The purpose of mediation is to avoid the time and expense of further litigation by settling a lawsuit early on in the process.

Unlike other forms of ADR, mediation is not binding on the parties.  In fact, thinking about a mediation proceeding in terms of whether the parties will be bound by the outcome suggests a misunderstanding of the nature of mediation.  The mediator’s role is not to reach a decision – it is to help the parties reach their own decision.  There is no guarantee that mediation will produce a settlement agreement resolving the case.

When mediation is successful, it can save huge sums of money.  Litigation is expensive.

The Center for Mediation and Law was set up at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Tajikistan in May 2017.