Mediation accounts as a rather new method in its non-traditional structure, and therefore, regulations in this regard are scarce. States have endeavored to set some principles and standards for this dispute resolution method on the national and international level in the past decades. We have gathered here for you the most important of these regulations.
1. Criminal Procedure code
Article 82 of the Criminal Procedure Code, under Chapter 3, titled “Duties and Powers of the Prosecutor,” authorizes the judicial authority to refer the sixth-degree, seven-degree, and eight-degree cases of criminal offenses which the sentence can be suspended, to a person or institution for mediation.
Text of Article 82:
In criminal offenses with sixth, seven and eighth degree, the punishment of which can be suspended, the judicial authority may, at the request of the accused and with the consent of the victim or private plaintiff and by providing appropriate security, give the defendant a maximum of two months to acquire the plaintiff’s forgiveness or to provide compensation. The judicial authority may also refer the matter to the Dispute Resolution Council or to a person or institution for mediation with the parties’ consent to reach a compromise among them. The mediation period is not more than three months. The deadlines mentioned in this Article can be extended only once if necessary. If the plaintiff forgives and the matter is forgivable, the prosecution will be terminated. In other cases, if the plaintiff forgives or his damages are compensated, or an agreement is reached, and the accused lacks an effective criminal record, the judicial authority may, after obtaining the defendant’s consent, suspend his prosecution from six months to two years. In this case, the judicial authority obliges the accused, under the notes of Article (81) of this code, as the case may be, to carry out some orders subject to the said Article. In case the accused doesn’t fulfill the agreed obligations without a valid excuse, at the request of the victim or the plaintiff, the suspension of the prosecution will be canceled, and the prosecution will resume.
Note: The investigator may request the prosecutor suspension of the prosecution or referral to mediation.
2. Bylaw on Mediation in Criminal Affairs
Article 84 of the Criminal Procedure Code stipulates that the Ministry of Justice should prepare a bylaw for the implementation of Article 82 of this code. The Mediation in Criminal Affairs Bylaw defines various topics, including mediation, mediator, mediation institution, crimes subject to mediation, mediation process, etc.
It should be noted that this law only applies to criminal affairs, and legislation has not been enacted explicitly regarding mediation to other areas.
3. Judiciary Circular to Develop a Culture of Peace and Reconciliation, to provide a suitable and necessary ground for resolving disputes arising from juvenile delinquency, to benefit from the advantages of reconciliation and mediation based on Islamic compassion, and to avoid the use of imprisonment for children and Youth
In 2006, the Head of the Judiciary, in a circular, instructed the Chief Justice of the Provinces, in cooperation with the General Managers of the Prisons Organization, to provide training measures for each province and other relevant authorities to enjoy from the benefits of reconciliation and mediation in disputes resulting from juvenile delinquencies, use the capacity of Dispute Resolution Councils. In this regard, the required criteria, including the conditions of people active in this field, have been stated.
1. United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation – The “Singapore Convention on Mediation” – 2018
The UN General Assembly adopted this Convention on December 20, 2018, and so far, 51 countries, including the Islamic Republic of Iran, have signed the document. This Convention shall enter into force six months after the third deposition of the instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval, or accession, which has not yet happened. Therefore, the Convention is not currently binding.
The Singapore Convention governs mediation agreements and oversees dispute resolutions arising from international and written trade agreements.
2. UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Mediation and International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation – 2018 (amending the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Conciliation, 2002)
The UNCITRAL Model Law has been developed to help countries change and modernize mediation laws. This Model unifies the rules related to the mediation process, encouraging mediation, and ensuring predictability and increasing certitude in mediation.
The Model Law was passed in 2002 and amended in 2018.
3. The Charter of the United Nations – 1945
Article 33 of the UN Charter refers to mediation as one of the peaceful means of dispute resolution:
- The parties to any dispute, the continuance of which is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security, shall, first of all, seek a solution by negotiation, inquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, resort to regional agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful means of their own choice.
- The Security Council shall, when it deems necessary, call upon the parties to settle their dispute by such means.