Ecuador’s obligations under the Singapore Convention are reflected in its General Organic Code of Processes (“GOCP”). The Code explicitly provides for foreign settlements to have in Ecuador the force granted to them by the relevant international treaties (Art. 103 GOCP), and permits courts to order the execution of international mediated settlement agreements (Art. 363 GOCP).
Procedure for Enforcing International Mediated Settlement Agreements
The form requirements for the recognition and homologation of settlement agreements are laid out in the GOCP. The homologation requirements include (art. 104 GOCP):
- The form requirements as stipulated under article 4 of the Singapore Convention;
- That the international award complies with the formalities required for it to be considered authentic in the state where it was issued;
- A translation of the settlement agreement, if it is not in Spanish; and
- Specification of the domicile of the party against whom the settlement agreement is being enforced against.
Other National Mediation Laws
The new Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador (“Ecuador Constitution”) recognises mediation as an alternative procedure for dispute resolution. It states that it ‘shall be applied subject to the law in those areas where, because of their nature, compromises can be reached’ (Art 190 Ecuador Constitution).
The Arbitration and Mediation Law (“AML”) was enacted in 1997 and codified in 2006, marking the beginning of the practice of mediation in Ecuador. The piece of legislation relates to domestic proceedings, and key features include:
- Mandatory mediation prior to arbitration (art. 15 AML)
- Mediation procedure (art. 43-51 AML). This includes provisions on initiating and concluding mediation, and confidentiality.
- Mediated settlement agreements can be automatically enforced in courts (art. 47 AML)
- Regulating the establishment of mediation centres (art. 52-54 AML)
- Provisions relating to community mediation for indigenous groups (art. 58-64 AML).
Many pieces of Ecuadorian legislation promote the use of mediation in resolving disputes relating to various issues. For example, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Law of Humanitarian Support to Combat the Health Crisis Derived from COVID-19 (“Humanitarian Act”) was implemented to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic. This piece of legislation provisions for debtors to restructure the conditions of due credit by entering into mediation with creditors (s. 27 Humanitarian Act).