On June 16, 2020, the National Assembly has officially passed the Law on Mediation and Dialogue at the Court with the voting results of 436/455 deputies’ approval (accounting for 90.27% of the total number of National Assembly deputies). Specifically, the Law consists of 4 chapters with 42 provisions on mediation and dialogue before the Court processes the petition for civil, marriage, family, business, trade, laborlawsuit…

Especially, this Law does not regulate and exclude conciliation and dialogue activities prescribed by other Laws.

In addition, the Law includes main and notable contents as follows:

Regarding the scope, the Law has detailed regulations on the State’s principles and policies on mediation and dialogue at the Court; rights and obligations of mediators at the Court and parties involved in this activity at Court; liability of the Court.

Simultaneously, the Law also stipulates and guides in detail the principles, time and method of conducting mediation and dialogue activities at the Court as follows:

On the time of performing the mediation and dialogue activities, according to the provisions, this activity takes place before the court processes the petition for civil, marriage and family, business, commerce, labor lawsuit; request of recognition of divorce;… However, this Law does not apply to mediation and dialogue prescribed by other laws.

Regarding “speaking and writing” used in mediation and dialogue is Vietnamese. In addition, the Law also stipulates in detail for each case, avoiding the issue of language disagreements leading to the negative effect on parties’ right. In case the participants in mediation and dialogue use their own spoken and written language, they may arrange by themselves or request the mediator to arrange their own interpreter. In case participants in mediation or dialogue are people with hearing, speech or visual disabilities, they have the right to use sign language and words reserved for people with disabilities and must have people who know sign language and words for people with disabilities to translate and that is also considered as a translator.

Regarding principle of mediation, dialogue at the Court, the Law stipulates that the parties participate on a voluntary basis; the voluntary agreement respect; parties involved must not force the parties to agree against their will; Ensure equality in rights and obligations of parties to the Mediation and Dialogue; Ensure gender equality, the rights and legitimate interests of children in conciliation and dialogue at courts. The content of conciliation and unification must not violate the prohibitions of the Law, not contrary to social morality, not to shirk obligations, not to infringe upon lawful rights and interests with the State or agencies, other organizations and individuals. There are also principles in the mode of implementation and to mediators.

Regarding information confidentiality, the Law stipulates that during the mediation, dialogues process, it’s not allowed to record audio or video or minutes of mediation and dialogue. The minute making is only for recording the results of mediation and dialogue

Regarding the costs of mediation and dialogue at the Court, it shall be guaranteed by the State budget, except for cases where legal entities or individuals file petitions for settlement of disputes over business and commercial matters with quotas and translation costs.

Regarding the termination of mediation and dialogue at the Court, according to the Law, the mediation, dialogue ends when it falls into one of the following cases: Successful conciliation, successful dialogue; the parties not reaching an agreement, agreement on the whole content of the dispute, appealing or only reaching agreement, agreement on a part of the dispute, suit, …

The time limit for mediation and dialogue shall not exceed 20 days from the date the Mediator is appointed. Particularly for complicated cases, this time limit may be extended but must not exceed 30 days … In particular, the parties may agree to extend the time for mediation, dialogue but not exceeding 2 months …

In addition, the Law also provides regulations for mediators:

Mediators who record achievements in performing their tasks are rewarded. At the same time, if they violate the provisions, depending on the extent, they may be reprimanded or forced to quit as Mediator.

The Law on Mediation and Dialogue at the Court takes effect from January 1, 2021

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