Further to our previous post on the use of ADR in Africa we now feature in part 2 the responses from Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, C?te d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti and Egypt.
Referral to alternative dispute resolution methods before or during a trial or arbitration procedure is optional. However, the use of this type of mechanism may be made compulsory by an agreement of the parties.
Parties are not required to undertake preliminary conciliation proceedings in Cameroon. Nevertheless, they may volunteer for conciliation before the competent court and the claimant may make the decision to opt for conciliation unilaterally. The judge may endeavour to conciliate the parties, who may be assisted by their lawyers at any stage of the proceedings.
There is no legal requirement to submit to any alternative dispute resolution before or during court or arbitral proceedings, unless the parties enter into an express agreement.
Decree No 30/2005 of 9 May 2005 created mediation centres and Decree No 31/2005 of 9 May 2005 introduced rules regulating the mediation procedure. These decrees seek to facilitate the use of mediation as an alternative dispute resolution forum, but mediation is not commonly used in Cape Verde.
Central African Republic
The courts may intervene to assist the parties to reach a settlement. Parties may, either by themselves or at the initiative of the court, reach a settlement at any time during the proceedings (articles 399 and 400, Code of Civil Procedure).
The president of the court can invite claimants acting sur requête to provide any and all necessary clarifications or additional information. If the claim is pursued, the president of the court attempts conciliation between the parties (article 60 of Order No 67-018).
An initial conciliation phase is mandatory in civil matters brought before the juge de paix. If the judge is successful in facilitating conciliation, an enforceable settlement agreement will be drawn up and signed by the judge and the parties (article 48 of Law No 004/PR/98 of 28 May 1998 on judicial organisation).
In the Comoros, it is within the judge’s remit to conciliate the parties. The parties therefore have the option of conciliation, on their own initiative or on the initiation of the judge. Extracts of the report recording the conciliation may be issued. They are valid as instruments permitting enforcement. In employment disputes, parties must always undertake preliminary conciliation. Should the conciliation procedure fail, the judge refers the case for litigation.
All proceedings are exempt from preliminary conciliation, save where the law provides otherwise (article 133 of Code de procedure civile commercialet administrative (Code of civil, commerical and administrative procedure) (the CPCCA). The parties may nevertheless reconcile, on their own or on the judge’s initiative, throughout the proceedings (article 134 of the CPCCA).
The Labour Code obliges the presiding judge of the court to seek conciliation in disputes brought before him. In the event of full conciliation, an excerpt from the conciliation report, signed by the clerk and issued to the parties, is deemed to be an enforceable ruling. If conciliation fails, the presiding judge refers the matter to a public hearing.
Democratic Republic of Congo
Conciliation procedures prior to court action brought before the lower courts are mandatory. Please see question 5 above.
The National Centre for Arbitration, Conciliation and Mediation (CENACOM) was created to promote alternative dispute resolution, particularly mediation. However, ADR is not compulsory in arbitration unless the parties have made an agreement to this effect.
If the agreement between the parties provides for mandatory alternative dispute resolution prior to proceedings, they must comply with those contractual provisions. Otherwise, no alternative dispute resolution methods are mandatory (except in employment matters, where a conciliation attempt before the Work Inspector is mandatory).
There is no requirement under Egyptian law for the parties to consider ADR or mediation, although the parties may agree to submit to this by way of contract.