Georgia has made two reservations upon ratification of the Singapore Convention on Mediation:
“The following reservations shall be taken into consideration upon ratification of the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation
a) Georgia declares that this Convention shall not apply to settlement agreements to which it is a party, or to which any governmental agencies or any person acting on behalf of governmental agency is a party;
b) Georgia hereby declares that this Convention shall apply only to the extent that the parties to the settlement agreement have agreed to the application of the Convention.”
The Law of Georgia on Mediation and the Civil Procedural Code of Georgia implement the provisions of the Singapore Convention on Mediation in Georgia.
Procedure for Enforcing International Mediated Settlement Agreements
In line with the conditions and requirements of the Singapore Convention on Mediation and within the scope of the reservations made by Georgia, Article 131(1) of the Law of Georgia on Mediation allows the enforcement and recognition of international mediated settlement agreements. The same Article designates the Supreme Court of Georgia as the competent authority in charge of enforcing and recognizing international mediated settlement agreements. According to Article 36343(3) of the Civil Procedural Code of Georgia, which corresponds to Article 4 of the Singapore Convention on Mediation, a party wishing to enforce and recognize an international mediated settlement agreement has to submit the following documents:
- The original international mediated settlement agreement or a certified copy, as well as a certified translation in the Georgian language;
- Evidence that the settlement agreement is the result of mediation, which can be in the form of the mediator’s signature on the settlement agreement or an attestation issued by the mediator or the administering institution or any other evidence.
Article 36344 of the Civil Procedural Code of Georgia prescribes a timeline and procedure for the enforcement and recognition of international mediated settlement agreements:
- The competent authority reviews the completeness of the application documents within 5 days of submitting an application for the enforcement and recognition of an international mediated settlement agreement. If the application documents are not submitted in accordance with the prescribed requirements, the competent authority will give a reasonable period of time to the applicant to rectify the application. If the applicant fails to rectify the application, the competent authority shall dismiss the application.
- The application will be transferred to the other party to the international mediated settlement agreement within 5 days of accepting the application. The other party to the settlement agreement may oppose the enforcement and recognition of the settlement agreement within 5 days of receiving the application.
- The competent authority shall review the application and render its decision within 30 days of receiving comments from the other party to the settlement agreement or of the expiry of 5 days within which the other party failed to submit comments on the enforcement or recognition of the settlement agreement. The competent authority reviews the application without an oral hearing. However, the competent authority has the discretion to conduct an oral hearing. The competent authority’s decision is final and shall not be subject to appeal.
The Parliament of Georgia adopted the Law of Georgia on Mediation on 18 September 2019, which regulates private and judicial mediation in Georgia. The main provisions include:
- The Law of Georgia on Mediation applies to private and judicial mediation. Private mediation is triggered based on an agreement to mediate between the parties. Judicial mediation is triggered based on a referral by a court;
- An agreement to mediate is enforceable and a court or an arbitral tribunal shall not review the dispute until the fulfillment of the obligations prescribed in the agreement to mediate;
- The same person cannot wear the hats of an arbitrator and mediator in the same dispute unless parties expressly agree in writing.
- The period of limitation of a claim shall be considered suspended until the completion of private mediation, but until not more than two years after the initiation of private mediation;
- In case of agreement between the parties, domestic and international mediated settlement agreements are enforceable;
- The Law of Georgia on Mediation establishes the Mediators Association of Georgia, which maintains a list of accredited mediators.