The implementation of the modern mediation system took place in 2001 and made mediation a mandatory requirement for commercial and civil cases, before proceeding to trial. The mandatory mediation system assists citizens in resolving thousands of cases, contributing to one of the key goals emphasized for improvement of democratic institutions in Peru, by providing enhanced access to justice for people of low income, reductions in judicial caseload, and the promotion of a culture of peace.
The mandatory mediation system has resulted in the incorporation of ADR and mediation courses in law schools, the creation of mediation training centers offering accredited courses on a regular basis, and the opening of mediation centers (both private and state owned). Thousands of mediators have been accredited.
Peru’s mandatory mediation system has proven cost effective and a great benefit to the Peruvian economy, given the high rate of agreements reached. The system has also had other collateral benefits, such as the implementation of pilot projects in community mediation, peer mediation in schools, mediation in health services, and the strengthening of the capacities of public and private specialists to intervene in complex social conflicts, such as environmental conflicts in extractive industries.
During the past few decades, Peru has experienced one of the fastest growing economies in the developing world, with approximately 60% of Peruvian exports related to mining. Mining and other extractive industry practices have led to conflicts with rural and indigenous populations, at times disruptive. These conflicts are indicative of a lack of understanding, as well as a collaborative framework, for the resolution of such conflicts. Multiparty mediation and dialogue processes have proven efficient, when appropriately applied, in the constructive management of these disputes. More knowledge and experience is required to improve the management of these complex multiparty disputes, in order to balance economic growth, with the sustainable development of communities in Peru.
By Ivan Ormachea Choque, Senior Fellow-Peru, Weinstein International Foundation