By Waylon Fairbanks
THE CREATION of a mediation service as a means for conflict resolution was announced yesterday by the Cyprus Chambers of Commerce and Industry (KEVE)
The idea is to reduce both the exorbitant costs and time associated with conventional litigation, KEVE said.
“The service will help businesses. As it is known, due to the economic crisis, it is very important to solve business problems quickly, and with the cheapest solutions possible,” said KEVE in a press release.
Mediation circumvents the conventional legal process by relying on a third-party mediator to facilitate understanding and agreement between two conflicting parties, in order to reach an amicable consensus. Entering mediation does not cause parties to cede their legal rights; rather, it tries to deter a lengthy and damaging legal battle often detrimental to both parties involved.
KEVE’s implementation of mediation is part of a greater European Union (EU) effort to promote Alternative Dispute Resolution, or “ADR.” Since the Mediation Directive was passed in May 2011, EU Member States have incorporated mediation into their legal systems in various ways.
Cyprus, given the mounting concerns over the economic crisis, is trying to streamline the legal system for businesses. Other countries use mediation in legal disputes ranging from property law to divorce. Advocates of mediation argue that it ensures a more cordial solution and maintains a higher level of professionalism.
Law 159 passed by Cyprus’ House of Representatives in 2012 outlined the bylaws under which mediation will be used. Details regarding the implementation were also released yesterday. KEVE has a tiered fee system for mediation service, beginning with €300 if the case does not involve a sum exceeding €3,000 and up to 2.0 per cent in cases involving an amount of up to €500,000.
While the effectiveness of mediation in practice remains uncertain, KEVE maintain it is a great accomplishment in reforming the Cypriot legal system.