Mediation in Ecuador has witnessed twenty years of development, since the enactment of the Arbitration and Mediation Act in 1997 and its Constitutional acknowledgment in 1998. Today, mediation is broadly used by the legal community, as well as the general public. Disputes that are resolved in mediation include a variety of subject matter and are increasingly complex.
Ecuador´s view of mediation has been internationally recognized for two specific reasons: First, the strength of the mediated settlement agreement (MSA) that allows for immediate enforcement of local MSAs, as well as internationally recognized MSAs. Second, the ability of the State to settle disputes through mediation, a characteristic not typical in civil law countries.
Despite these developments, there are still challenges to be faced in the future. Ecuador is moving toward the professionalization of mediation, which will hopefully ensure its growth.