Bill Marsh last week chaired an 11-country meeting in Minsk, capital of Belarus, in partnership with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, to focus on the resolution of commercial disputes across the region. An agreed communique expressing support will follow shortly.
The two days of talks welcomed representatives, including Ministers and Deputy Ministers, from Ministries of Justice and courts of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, Mongolia, Russia, Tajikistan and Ukraine. They focussed on the challenges to implementing and growing commercial mediation across the region.
The meeting, opened and attended by Belarus Minister of Justice Oleg Slizhevski, is likely to constitute the most senior collection of representatives from those countries ever to meet to consider commercial mediation. Participants addressed the practical steps required for mediation in commercial disputes to become a reality, and shared experiences, obstacles and new thinking both from within and beyond the region.
Commercial mediation is widely recognised as an important component of effective justice systems, as well as a significant contributor to enhancing the investment and business climate.
Bill Marsh said: “I was delighted and honoured to welcome such senior representation from the 11 participating countries, and very grateful to Belarus Minister of Justice Oleg Slizhevski for welcoming us to Minsk for these discussions. Commercial mediation reforms have proved immensely effective in many countries and I have every expectation that these talks assist in will delivering progress on this front. I also thank the EBRD for demonstrating leadership in this field by funding the initiative”.
EBRD General Counsel Marie-Anne Birken said “The rule of law is of primary importance for our countries of operation. It is crucial for the development of proper judiciary and for shaping a better investment climate. In this respect the introduction of commercial mediation is another step in the right direction”.