The mediation procedures have become a mandatory stage of commercial litigations in Turkish Law as of January 01, 2019. After only 4 months of practice, it appears that the success rate of mandatory mediation procedures is %65, according to the data published by the Mediation General Office of Justice Ministry of Turkey. As the national mediation procedure seems to be useful thus far, Turkey took a new step and signed the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation be known as the "Singapore Convention on Mediation" ("Convention"), which provides enforceability to international mediation agreements, on August 07, 2019 in Singapore.
The Convention has been drafted by the United Nations Commission of International Trade Law ("Commission") and adopted by the General Assembly during the 62nd plenary meeting held on December 20, 2018. The main motivation of the Commission is "to become an essential instrument in the facilitation of international trade and in the promotion of mediation as an alternative and effective method of resolving trade disputes". Indeed, the mediation has always been a low-cost, swift and efficient way to resolve a dispute, in comparison to other dispute resolution methods, which can also be observed from the data obtained in Turkey, from a micro perspective.
Heretofore, the mediation agreement breaches were brought before different dispute resolution venues, such as Courts or arbitrative alternatives, if any respective clause was placed in the mediation agreement. Considering that mediation itself is a way to avoid dispute through mutual agreement of both parties on certain topics; the bringing breach of agreement to courts practically beats the purpose of mediation, as it brings litigation back on the table again. Henceforward, direct enforceability of the international mediation agreements in any event of breach might steer parties of a commercial relationship into mediation.
II. Scope of the Convention
The Convention is, basically, designed for the international mediation agreements concluded after a commercial dispute. However, the mediation agreements, even on commercial disputes, are still required to have some certain qualifications for the Convention to be applicable. Thus, the Convention is still inapplicable for commercial mediation agreements other than the ones described in the articleA1/1 of the Convention. Besides that, the mediation agreements, which are specifically mentioned in Article 1/2 of the Convention are also excluded from the scope of the Convention and accordingly, the Convention cannot be applied on them.