Mediation Developments in Estonia

In Estonia, there is no requirement for licensure to be a mediator. The duties of a mediator can be performed by a notary, an attorney-at-law, a neutral person, or a mediation organization. Notaries wishing to perform as mediators have to be accepted by the Chamber of Notaries, which registers a notary as a mediator after receipt of a proper application. The Ministry of Justice is responsible for the surveillance of notaries performing as mediators. Attorneys-at-law wishing to register as a mediator must be accepted by the Bar Association after submitting an application. The list of attorneys-at-law registered as mediators is published on the website of the Bar Association. The Bar Association and the Minister of Justice supervise attorneys-at-law who are listed as mediators. No special accreditation requirements are needed for natural persons wishing to perform as mediators. Mediators must be independent and impartial. They are prohibited from representing a party in a judicial proceeding that concerns the same dispute as that addressed in the mediation. They must also keep all the information and documents that are discussed during the course of the proceeding confidential. Finally, a mediator is obligated to keep records of the mediation proceedings and maintain these records for at least five years.

The court must approve an agreement reached in a meditation process for a settlement to become enforceable (European Union, 2014).

By Archil Chochia, Senior Fellow-Armenia, Weinstein International Foundation.

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