The advancement of ADR is part of the ongoing justice system reform in the Republic of Georgia and is a requirement of the country’s Association Agreement with the EU. Arbitration and mediation are considered critical for decreasing the court’s excessive caseload and improving access to justice throughout the country. Mediation is of particular interest and demand in Georgia. Traditional forms of mediation have been practiced for centuries, and the population long continued to prefer bargaining, over the courts.
ADR-trained lawyers and judges continue their efforts to promote mediation and other forms of dispute resolution to enhance economic development and social connections within Georgian civil society.
Amendments to the Georgian Civil Procedure Code took place in 2011, stipulating procedures for the establishment of court-annexed mediation programs. This legislative amendment constitutes the country’s first attempt to codify and regulate mediation by law. Despite this and further legislative amendments, a separate law on mediation does not yet exist. With the support of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and GIZ (the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) and with the involvement of local and international experts, a draft law on mediation has been prepared to be presented to the Georgian Parliament.
By Dr. Giorgi Tsertsvadze, Senior Fellow-Republic of Georgia, Weinstein International Foundation