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What is the structure of the civil court system?
In the Turkish judicial system, together with an amendment introduced in July 2016, civil courts have been established in three degrees: first instance courts, regional courts of appeal and the Court of Appeals. The regional courts of appeal that have been integrated into the civil court system are designed as a second-tier court to review objections to judgments of the first instance courts.
A party who wishes to appeal against a decision of the first instance court must submit its objection to the regional court of appeal. Furthermore, decisions of regional courts of appeal can be brought before the Court of Appeals as a final appeal court. The three-level judicial system was introduced in Turkey with the intention of improving the quality of judicial decision making and to reduce the workload of the Court of Appeals. The organisational structure of the regional courts of appeal is the same as the Court of Appeals and any investigations related to such courts are conducted by an assembly of civil chambers.
The first instance courts are subdivided into general and special courts in accordance with Act No. 6100 (the Code of Civil Procedure). The general courts are in charge of proceedings concerning personal rights and property in accordance with article 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure while the special courts were established to resolve disputes regarding labour law matters, intellectual and industrial property rights, consumer rights and commercial matters.
The number of judges in the first instance varies from one to three depending on the nature and value of the case while the regional courts of appeal and the Court of Appeals are constituted by three and five judges, respectively.
Judges and juries
What is the role of the judge and the jury in civil proceedings?
The jurisdiction of the courts is designated by article 1 of the Code of Civil Procedure and accordingly the judge has the authority to intervene for jurisdiction at every stage of the trial. The passive role of the judge involves the evaluation of claims, arguments, evidence and other documents that are submitted to the court by the parties. On the other hand, in accordance with the principle of preparation of the case by parties, the judge does not investigate the matters that are not requested or declared by the parties, hence does not conduct ex officio research or evaluation on the matter. The role of the judge varies greatly depending on the kind of dispute (ie, while the judge has a more passive role for commercial disputes, he or she has a more active role in disputes involving custody of a child).
The Turkish judicial system does not have any jury involvement for either civil or criminal cases.
What are the time limits for bringing civil claims?
The statute of limitations is regulated under the Turkish Code of Obligation No. 6098. Accordingly, each claim is subject to a 10-year statute of limitations unless otherwise regulated within the relevant law. The statute of limitations is not taken into account by judges unless declared or objected to by the parties. The statute of limitations is five years for receivables that are mentioned below:
- periodic incomes;
- accommodation and food and beverage charges;
- debts arising front the retail sales of small enterprises;
- debts arising from a partnership agreement and based on a relationship between the partners or between the partners and the company;
- debts arising from commission contract or agency contract; and
- debts arising from a construction contract, except when the contractor does not perform his or her obligations.
The time limits are mandatory by law and they cannot be suspended by the agreement of the parties.
Are there any pre-action considerations the parties should take into account?
Although in most cases the Turkish judicial system does not require a pre-action consideration, some specific actions may be required by law and the most notable example is the default process that must be initiated as a pre-action. On the other hand, the Turkish judicial system allows voluntary pre-action considerations such as provisional seizure, provisional injunction and determination of evidence.
How are civil proceedings commenced? How and when are the parties to the proceedings notified of their commencement? Do the courts have the capacity to handle their caseload?
Proceedings in the Turkish judicial system begin with the submission of the lawsuit petition to the court.
The court receives the petition and sends it to the defendant together with the preliminary proceedings report. The preliminary proceedings report includes the trial procedure and the hearing start date.
With the aim of finding effective solutions for the increasing workload of the courts, the Strategy Planning Report for 2015-2019 was published by the Ministry of Justice on 15 July 2015.
In order to provide an efficient information system and litigation process for judicial authorities, government bodies, attorneys and their clients, the Ministry of Justice has introduced the International Judiciary Network Information System (UYAP), which has been fully operational since 2005. With the UYAP system, all types of judicial activities can be carried out and monitored electronically. The UYAP system allows electronic signatures to be used. This has accelerated the judicial system and contributed to a reduction in the courts’ workload.
What is the typical procedure and timetable for a civil claim?
In accordance with the Code of Civil Procedure, there are three phases, after the stages of bringing a lawsuit and exchanging of petitions: the preliminary examination phase, the investigation phase and the judgment phase.
During the preliminary examination phase, a series of operations are performed, which are: examination of the causes of action, examination of preliminary objections, taking necessary actions for submission and collection of evidence, precise determination of the legal disputes, and preliminary operations. The judge will encourage the parties to mediate or settle at this stage.
The investigation phase is the stage in which evidence is examined. The judge shall determine the accuracy of the allegations and defences of the parties and the facts alleged through an oral proceeding.
During the judgment phase, the judge shall render his or her final judgment in the material aspects within the scope of the evidence submitted and the defences of the parties.
The time frame for civil lawsuits varies depending on the action and the procedure used, but they usually take between one-and-a-half and three years.
Can the parties control the procedure and the timetable?
Civil proceedings are conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure. The parties shall be bound by the periods determined by the law. However, in the event additional time is required due to the nature of the case, parties may request an extension from the court. If such request is considered appropriate by the judge in this regard, the time for response can be extended by two weeks. In addition, in order to expedite the litigation process parties may agree on some matters within the judgment process. The agreed matters are accepted at the judge’s own discretion by considering whether such agreements are valid and binding for both parties.
Evidence – documents
Is there a duty to preserve documents and other evidence pending trial? Must parties share relevant documents (including those unhelpful to their case)?
Pursuant to article 219 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the parties are obliged to submit all documents that are stated in the list of evidence. Electronic documents may also be submitted with hard copies to the court on condition that such documents are recorded properly to the electronic environment being used for examination upon request. With respect to the documents that are constantly used, such as accounting records, only the certified copies of the relevant parts of them are required to be submitted to the court. Therefore, the parties are required to keep such documents, and submit them to the court.
Evidence – privilege
Are any documents privileged? Would advice from an in-house lawyer (whether local or foreign) also be privileged?
Pursuant to the Code of Civil Procedure, all petitions and documents submitted to the court are received by the court. The parties may review the court file under the supervision of the court and obtain copies of the documents from the court file. This is stipulated by the right of defence. If there is a confidentiality order on the documents in the court, such documents may only be examined with the express consent of the judge.
In accordance with the Attorneys’ Act, it is forbidden for lawyers to disclose information about the files that they have received. Lawyers can only serve as witnesses in a case with the consent of their clients. Even if such consent is given, the lawyer may abstain from acting as a witness.
Evidence – pretrial
Do parties exchange written evidence from witnesses and experts prior to trial?
In the Turkish judicial system, parties are not able to exchange written evidence from the witnesses prior to trial. However, article 9 of the Code of Civil Procedure allows requests for an expert opinion regarding the lawsuit to be submitted to the court. Therefore, the parties may obtain an expert opinion on their allegations and submit such opinion to the court.
Evidence – trial
How is evidence presented at trial? Do witnesses and experts give oral evidence?
In the Turkish judicial system, evidence to be presented to the court is submitted as a list. The documents listed as evidence may be submitted to the court in copies, provided that the originals are kept. The judge may request to review the original version of a document. The documents and witnesses declared in the evidence list may not be changed.
Witnesses attend the hearing and answer the questions of the judge with respect to the lawsuit and give an oral statement at the hearing. The oral statements of the witnesses are taken down in the minutes of the hearing and kept in writing. Pursuant to article 152 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the attorneys of the parties may directly ask questions to the witnesses, expert witnesses and the third parties invited to the hearing; however, the parties may ask questions only upon the permission of the judge.
Although it is possible for experts to give an oral statement, they may submit a written report to the court. The court may decide to seek the opinion of an expert, upon the request of a party or per se, in cases where specific and technical knowledge is required except for purely legal matters and queries.
What interim remedies are available?
A preliminary injunction may be granted on the subject matter of the dispute in cases where there is a concern that an inconvenience or serious damage would occur as a result of a delay, or a change in the current situation, which would cause a difficulty or impossibility related to the exercise of a right. In accordance with article 391 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the court may decide on any kind of injunction that would prevent or remove the damage, such as protection of property or the right that is the subject matter of the injunction or safekeeping or taking or not taking an action.
The court may decide, when necessary, to keep records of the properties or rights or may make a sealing transaction on movable or immovable property that is the subject of the dispute. The special provisions in other laws relating to temporary legal protection, such as provisional attachment, safeguard measures and the decisions of interim arrangements, are reserved.
What substantive remedies are available?
In the Turkish judicial system, there are three main types of cases and judgments: an action for performance, a declaratory action, and constitutive lawsuits.
In the action for performance, the court shall request the defendant to give or do something or cease from doing something.
In a declaratory action the court is required to determine the existence or non-existence of a right or legal relationship or whether a document is false or not.
In constitutive lawsuits, the court shall create a new legal status or change the content of an existing legal status or remove it. These cases are also known as ‘innovative cases’. Such cases are opened where it is prescribed by law.
In addition, if so requested and upon the ruling of the court, a default interest may be ordered on the actions of debt.
What means of enforcement are available?
In accordance with the provisions of the Execution and Bankruptcy Law No. 2004, the judgment of a civil court is enforced by the competent execution offices. The enforcement of the judgment of a case is conducted by the relevant execution office. The creditor of the case is entitled to confiscate the debtor’s assets (via public sale or auction). Depending on the nature of the judgment, a defeated party that does not comply with the court judgment that is banned from performing certain acts or is ordered to perform a certain act may be imposed sanctions in accordance with the Execution and Bankruptcy Law.
Are court hearings held in public? Are court documents available to the public?
In accordance with article 28 of the Code of Civil Procedure, court hearings are open to the public. However, due to reasons related to public morality or protection of personal rights, the courts may decide to conduct the hearings in a confidential manner. In a confidential hearing, the court warns the people attending the hearing not to disclose the information they have heard during the hearing and records such warning in the hearing minutes.
The parties and their lawyers have access to any and all documents regarding the lawsuit.
Lawyers are authorised to examine the lawsuit files by presenting their lawyer identity cards to the court.
Does the court have power to order costs?
Pursuant to the Code of Civil Procedure, it is envisaged that all fees, including court fees and the attorneys’ fees of the counterparty, shall be borne by the defeated party. The attorneys’ fees ordered by the court are calculated in accordance with the relevant legislation. If the requests of the plaintiff are partially successful, then fees and expenses shall be allocated between the plaintiff and defendant on a pro rata basis. Court expenses and fees are determined in accordance with the relevant legislation. Court fees are calculated based on the value of the subject matter of a dispute and paid by the party designated by the court.
Are ‘no win, no fee’ agreements, or other types of contingency or conditional fee arrangements between lawyers and their clients, available to parties? May parties bring proceedings using third-party funding? If so, may the third party take a share of any proceeds of the claim? May a party to litigation share its risk with a third party?
Lawyers’ fees are regulated by the regulations organising the professional duties and obligations of the lawyers and in principle a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement is not accepted. All fee arrangements, including pro bono and conditional fee agreements shall comply with such regulations. Further, in accordance with the Code of Civil Procedure, the parties are not allowed to make arrangements with respect to court fees.
In accordance with Turkish law, there is no provision preventing the plaintiff party to obtain finance from third parties in order to initiate legal proceedings. However, financial assistance obtained from a third party does not enable such third party to be involved in the proceedings as a party.
As a rule, all risks that may be incurred by a defendant during the case shall belong to the defendant and consequently the defendant is not entitled to share the risk. However, in cases where the decision of the court may have an effect on a third party as well as the defendant, the third party may present his or her request to attend the lawsuit. In the event the court accepts, it is possible for the third party to become a party to the lawsuit.
Is insurance available to cover all or part of a party’s legal costs?
There is no insurance available to cover all or part of a party’s legal costs.
May litigants with similar claims bring a form of collective redress? In what circumstances is this permitted?
Under article 113 of the Code of Civil Procedure, associations, societies and other legal persons can file a lawsuit, on their own behalf with the purpose of protecting the interests of their members or the individuals they represent. In such lawsuits, the plaintiff may seek compensation, reinstatement or protection measures against the defendant.
On what grounds and in what circumstances can the parties appeal? Is there a right of further appeal?
Under the new three-tier appeal system the regional courts of appeal act as appeal courts against the decisions given by the courts of first instance. The Court of Appeal remains the final decision-making authority for appeals that have been made against regional court of appeal decisions.
In accordance with article 341 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the following can be appealed:
- final decisions of the courts of first instance;
- refusal decisions of precautionary attachments and preliminary injunction claims; and
- decisions made on objection in case of approval of precautionary attachments and preliminary injunction.
The circumstances that are not eligible for appeal are stated in the same article. Accordingly, decisions of actions concerning assets for amounts under 3,560 liras are non-appealable. The regional courts of appeal are the final judicial authority for the following decisions:
- decisions regarding cases the amount of which does not exceed 47,530 liras (including this amount);
- decisions regarding cases within the jurisdiction of the courts of first instance in specific laws;
- decisions given in a judicial locality in order to settle a dispute on authority and competence between the court of first instance and decisions related to the indication of the appropriate court;
- decisions regarding ex parte proceedings;
- decisions on the correction of the civil registry records of persons, excluding cases involving results on the lineage of a person;
- decisions on transfer of legal actions to another court in a judicial locality, if the judges of the courts of first instance in that judicial locality have any legal or factual obstacles to hear; and
- decisions on temporary legal protections.
The appeal period is two weeks for the regional courts of appeal and one month for the Court of Appeal.
What procedures exist for recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments?
The procedures on recognition and enforcement of a foreign judgment are regulated by the Turkish International Private and Procedural Law. Article 50 of the Law regulates the preliminary conditions for recognition and enforcement. Accordingly, there are three main conditions for a foreign judgment to be recognised and enforced:
- the existence of a foreign court judgment;
- it is required to be awarded in relation to the civil lawsuits; and
- the decision is required to be finalised pursuant to the acts of state rendering such decision.
On the other hand, the enforcement of foreign judgments is possible subject to the conditions provided in article 54 of the International Private and Procedural Law. These conditions are as follows:
- existence of an agreement, on a reciprocal basis between the Republic of Turkey and the state where the court decision is given or a de facto practice or a provision of law enabling the authorisation of the execution of final decisions given by a Turkish court in that state;
- the judgment must have been given on matters not falling within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Turkish courts or, on condition of being contested by the defendant, the judgment must not have been given by a state court that has deemed itself competent even if there is no real relation between the court and the subject or the parties of the lawsuit;
- the court decree shall not openly be contrary to public policy; and
- the person against whom enforcement is requested was not duly summoned pursuant to the laws of that foreign state or to the court that has given the judgment, or was not represented before that court, or the court decree was pronounced in his or her absence or by a default judgment in a manner contrary to these laws, and the person has not objected to the exequatur based on the foregoing grounds before the Turkish court.
Are there any procedures for obtaining oral or documentary evidence for use in civil proceedings in other jurisdictions?
Using oral or documentary evidence in civil proceedings in foreign countries is dependent on the mutual agreements signed with such countries. Since Turkey is a party to the Hague Convention on Civil Procedure and the 1970 Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters, it can be easily said that the scope of the execution area for such procedure is highly comprehensive. In addition, in the absence of any mutual agreement, the reciprocity rule shall be applied for foreign countries.
UNCITRAL Model Law
Is the arbitration law based on the UNCITRAL Model Law?
The International Arbitration Law No. 4686 (the Arbitration Law), which entered into force on 21 June 2001, was prepared with the influence of the UNCITRAL Model Law.
What are the formal requirements for an enforceable arbitration agreement?
Article 412 of the Code of Civil Procedure in the case of domestic arbitrations and article 4 of the Turkish International Arbitration Code in the case of international arbitrations set out the definition and formal requirements for the validity of an arbitration agreement. An enforceable arbitration agreement must be:
- executed between the parties with the aim of resolving all or part of the disputes that have arisen or that may arise from the legal relationship between them, whether from a contract or not;
- in writing. It can be an arbitration clause in a contract or a separate agreement. This requirement is considered fulfilled if there is a written document signed by the parties; written communications between the parties confirming agreement (eg, letter, telegraph, telex, fax or electronically); no objection to the petition for arbitration claiming that there is a written arbitration agreement; or reference to a document containing an arbitration clause, provided it is part of the main contract; and
- accord with the rules of the jurisdiction agreed by the parties. In the absence of an agreement on jurisdiction, it must be valid in accordance with Turkish law.
Choice of arbitrator
If the arbitration agreement and any relevant rules are silent on the matter, how many arbitrators will be appointed and how will they be appointed? Are there restrictions on the right to challenge the appointment of an arbitrator?
The parties are free to determine the number of arbitrators in the agreement provided that an odd number of arbitrators is appointed.
The Turkish International Arbitration Law No. 4686 regulates the number of arbitrators and their appointment process in the absence of provision in the agreement. Within that scope the Law introduces that in the event the number of arbitrators is not determined by the parties, three arbitrators shall be appointed. In addition, pursuant to the Law, unless otherwise agreed by the parties, the following principles are applicable to the appointment of the arbitrators:
- only natural persons can be appointed as arbitrators;
- in an arbitration with a sole arbitrator, if the parties are unable to agree on the arbitrator, he or she shall be appointed, upon request of a party, by the civil court of first instance;
- in an arbitration with three arbitrators, each party shall appoint one arbitrator and the two arbitrators thus appointed shall appoint the third arbitrator. If a party fails to appoint an arbitrator within 30 days of receipt of a request to do so from the other party or if the two arbitrators fail to agree on the third arbitrator within 30 days of their appointment, the appointment shall be made, upon request of a party, by the civil court of first instance. The third arbitrator appointed shall be the chair of the arbitral tribunal; and
- in an arbitration with more than three arbitrators, the arbitrators who will appoint the last arbitrator shall be appointed by the parties in equal numbers in accordance with the procedure set forth in the above paragraph.
In accordance with the same article (article 7) an arbitrator may be challenged if: he or she does not possess the qualifications that were agreed upon by the parties or if there exists a reason for challenge in accordance with the arbitration procedure agreed by the parties, or if the existing circumstances give rise to justifiable doubts as to his or her impartiality or independence.
What are the options when choosing an arbitrator or arbitrators?
Under Turkish law, arbitrators must be a natural person and in the event that the number of appointed arbitrators is more than one, at least one of them must be a lawyer with at least five years’ experience in a relevant field.
Does the domestic law contain substantive requirements for the procedure to be followed?
According to article 424 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the parties may freely decide on the rules, save for the mandatory provisions by the Code, for the proceedings to be applied by the arbitrator or the arbitral tribunal, or they may simply refer to specific arbitration rules. If there is no such agreement between the parties, the arbitrator or the tribunal shall carry out the arbitral proceedings in most appropriate way considering the Arbitration Law. Under the Arbitration Law, basic principles of international arbitration are accepted such as the equal treatment of parties and the equal right to submit evidence.
On what grounds can the court intervene during an arbitration?
Appointment of the arbitrators may be executed by the court upon a request by one of the parties. Recourse to a court against an arbitral award may be made only by an application for setting aside the award. Such recourse must be made before the civil court of first instance. The regulation highlights that the application for recourse must be given priority and will be handled expeditiously.
Do arbitrators have powers to grant interim relief?
Pursuant to article 414 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the parties have the right to apply to the arbitral tribunal with a request for interim relief or recording of evidence relating to the matter in dispute before or during the arbitral proceedings. However, interim measures granted by the arbitrators are enforceable neither by courts nor by other authorities. Moreover, such measures have no effect on third parties. However, the court may decide on enforceability of the measure granted by the arbitrator or tribunal upon the request of the parties if there is a valid arbitration agreement.
If the arbitrator or arbitral tribunal or another person to be appointed by the party cannot act on time or effectively, one of the parties may apply to the court for interim relief or recording of evidence. The interim relief awarded by the court may be changed or removed by the arbitrator or arbitral tribunal.
When and in what form must the award be delivered?
Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, the arbitral tribunal may decide by majority vote. Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, an award shall be rendered within one year, in the case of a sole arbitrator, from the date of his or her appointment or, in where there is an arbitral tribunal, from the date when the minutes of the tribunal’s first meeting are made.
The arbitral award must contain:
- the names and surnames of the arbitrator or the arbitral tribunal members;
- the names and surnames of the parties and their representatives’ (if any) names, titles and addresses;
- the legal grounds on which the decision is based;
- the rights and obligations imposed on the parties in a clear and definite manner;
- the costs of proceedings;
- the place of arbitration; and
- the date of the award.
The name, signature and a dissenting opinion, if any, of the arbitral tribunal and an indication that an action for setting aside the award could be brought must be added to content of the award.
On what grounds can an award be appealed to the court?
Awards may be filed to the court for an annulment action within one month. This period commences from the date on which the arbitral award or adjudication, correction or completion decision is communicated to the parties. Claims that may be raised to the court are restricted by law. Pursuant to the Turkish Arbitration Law, article 15, an arbitration award may be set aside:
- where the party reveals sufficient evidence that:
- a party to the arbitration agreement was under some incapacity, or the said agreement is not valid under the law to which the parties have subjected it or, failing any indication thereon, under Turkish law;
- the composition of arbitral tribunal is not in accordance with the parties’ agreement, or, failing such agreement with the Law;
- the arbitral award is not rendered within the term of arbitration;
- the arbitral tribunal unlawfully found itself competent or incompetent;
- the award deals with a dispute not contemplated by or not falling within the terms of the submission to arbitration, or contains decisions on matters beyond the scope of the submission to arbitration;
- the arbitral proceedings are not in compliance with the parties’ agreement (as to the procedure), or, failing such agreement, with the Law provided that such non-compliance affected the substance of the award; or
- the parties are not treated equally; or
- where the court decides that:
- the subject matter of the dispute is not capable of settlement by arbitration under Turkish law; or
- the award is in conflict with Turkish public policy.
What procedures exist for enforcement of foreign and domestic awards?
Foreign arbitral decisions must be recognised in Turkey in order to constitute a definite provision and to have an executive effect.
Turkey became a party to the 1958 New York Convention on the Recognition and Recruitment of Foreign Judgments. Thus relevant provisions of the Convention are being followed for the enforcement of foreign awards as a first option. The provisions of the Turkish International Civil and Procedure Law are applied in areas not covered by the New York Convention.
Can a successful party recover its costs?
Unless the parties agree otherwise, the defeated party shall bear the costs of the arbitration procedure. In cases where both parties are partially justified, all costs of arbitration, including the fees and costs of the arbitrators and the experts, including attorneys’ fees, witnesses’ travel expenses and the other costs incurred by the witnesses, are shared among the parties according to their justification status.
Alternative dispute resolution
Types of ADR
What types of ADR process are commonly used? Is a particular ADR process popular?
As an alternative dispute resolution method, mediation has been recognised by the Turkish legal system with the announcement of the Turkish Mediation Act on Civil Disputes dated 22 June 2012 (the Mediation Law), which entered into force on 23 June 2013. The scope of the long-awaited Law has been limited to civil disputes including those with a foreign element except as regards matters that are not at the parties’ disposal. Within scope of the Law mediation is defined as voluntary dispute resolution, thus parties are entitled to apply for mediation before and during the proceedings.
According to the Mediation Law, the mediator must be independent and impartial in dealing with the parties. Further, the Law does not permit mediators to directly influence the parties’ intentions during the mediation process; their role during the process is to facilitate negotiations between the parties and encourage them to reach a mutually satisfactory settlement.
Pursuant to the Law only a natural person of Turkish nationality with a degree in law and a minimum of five years’ legal practice may practise as a mediator. In addition, completion of the relevant mediation education programme and success in the exams to be held by the Ministry of Justice is a requirement.
If the parties come to an agreement, they may request an annotation from the relevant court on the enforceability of this agreement. Such annotation gives the agreement the power of a court judgment. The examination for enforceability will be limited to enforceability and suitability for mediation.
Requirements for ADR
Is there a requirement for the parties to litigation or arbitration to consider ADR before or during proceedings? Can the court or tribunal compel the parties to participate in an ADR process?
Within the scope of the current articles of the Mediation Law, the mediation process is completely voluntary. However, within the scope of articles 137, 140 and 320 of the Code of Civil Procedure, it has been determined that the judge may encourage the parties to mediation or reconciliation at any time during proceedings at its sole discretion.
Additionally, the Draft Law on Labour Courts was published in March 2016 and entered into force on 1 January 2018. The law defines the mandatory mediation institution for reinstatement (re-engagement) and receivable claims of employees. In accordance with this new law, employees will be obliged to make use of the mediation process for cases involving reinstatement (re-engagement) and receivable claims before proceeding to litigation. This obligation has been accepted as a cause of action.
Are there any particularly interesting features of the dispute resolution system not addressed in any of the previous questions?