The Minister of Justice of the Republic of Moldova opened the forum by declaring the following: “We want to adopt best international practice when it comes to ADR as a key aspect of the legal reform we have strategy…we were able to begin a mediation court pilot in the courts in Chisinau and Balti which was a success story and by 2016 we want a professional core of mediators to resolve business disputes.”

The forum which was co-organised and sponsored by CEDR, comes at the end of the phase I of the thirty-six month project that CEDR consultants have been working on within the country to strengthen the systems of alternative dispute resolution in Moldova and to promote its use especially in the business community.  Presentations were made by the Minister of Justice, Deputy Minister of Justice, the Mediation Council, Phil Batson the British Ambassador to Moldova, Alan Colman of European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), with Ranse Howell, project lead for CEDR, delivering three sessions on best practice in international mediation, professionalization of mediation within Moldova through what has been achieved in Phase 1 of the project and what is expected in Phase 2.

The €560,000 project, sponsored by the EBRD, was initiated in response to the publishing of the Government of Moldova’s Justice Sector Reform Strategy for the period of 2011 – 2016.  The sector-wide strategy represents a comprehensive and integrated approach in establishing a common framework for reform efforts to be completed.

Project phase 1 (2013-2014)

Mediation

Key activities included:

  • Assessment and review of the current state of ADR within Moldova
  • Design and implementation of two mediation pilots in the District Courts of Botanica and Balti
  • The training of eighteen mediators on CEDR’s Mediation Skills Training course to staff the first pilot in the country
  • Awareness raising of judges, lawyers and business people within the country.

Aside from celebrating the successes of the last twelve months, the forum has been organised as a means to review and launch the second phase of the project which in November 2014 began.

Project Phase 2 (2014 – 2016)

Mediation

Key activities include:

  • Train the trainer for ten individuals who will go on to serve as trainers, to further support mediation outreach activities
  • Mediation Skills training for eighteen individuals who will staff the continuance of the mediation schemes in the Courts of the First Instance
  • Court of Appeals mediation scheme to be established using the CEDR accredited mediators who have been mediating cases in Chisinau and Balti.
  • To assist in the establishment of a mediation centre within the Chamber of Commerce.

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By Andrew Fiddy

Andrew Fiddy is CEDR’s Programme Manager responsible for the management of international aid-funded dispute resolution and change projects. He has managed projects in the Middle East, North and East Africa, and Central and Eastern Europe for clients that include the International Finance Corporation, World Bank and the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development. He is a CEDR accredited mediator and is a conciliator with the Funeral Arbitration Service and the Renewable Energy Association.