The Mediation Rules approved by the Dubai International Arbitration Centre in July 2023 have come into force. They came into force on 1 October and mean all new mediation requests submitted to the Centre after this date will be governed by the Rules.
This will be subject to the introductory provisions set out in the Rules.
The Rules will apply where the parties have agreed to mediate their dispute at the Centre. Any party may refer a dispute to mediation at the Centre regardless of whether there is a pre-existing agreement to mediate.
Where there is a pre-existing agreement to mediate, the Rules will apply to mediations which start after the date the Rules came into force regardless of the date on which the agreement to mediate was entered into.
The parties may agree in writing to modify the Rules to the extent that the modiﬁcations are within the spirit of the Rules and do not render them inoperable, providing the modifications are approved by the mediator.
The aim is for all mediations to be conducted fairly, impartially, efﬁciently and proportionately with the sum(s) claimed and/or counterclaimed and the complexity of the dispute being taken into account.
The mediator, the parties and the parties’ representatives undertake to conduct the mediation in line with this objective. The party requesting mediation must submit an application to the Centre in the specified form and send a copy to the responding party at the same time.
The responding party will submit a reply in the specified form to the Centre and send a copy to the requesting party at the same time within 15 days of being notified of the application.
The Centre may grant the responding party an extension of up to seven days to ﬁle a reply, provided that the request for an extension contains the responding party’s consent that the dispute be referred to mediation under the Rules, if requested.
If no reply is received from the Centre within the specified time limits or within the additional time determined by the Centre in its discretion, it will be considered that the responding party does not consent to the dispute being referred to mediation under the Rules and the mediation will not proceed.
Where the parties reach an agreement to refer the dispute to mediation in line with the Rules, the mediation will start on the date the Centre sends written conﬁrmation to the parties that agreement to this effect has been reached.
The Rules also contain provisions on notifications, communications and calculation of time limits, mediation costs, appointment of mediators, conduct of the mediation and conclusion of the mediation.
In addition, they contain provisions on confidentiality, the functions of the Centre and Arbitration Court, exclusion of liability and document retention.
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