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On 4 June 2021, Brazil signed the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements resulting from Mediation, also known as the “Singapore Convention on Mediation” (the “Singapore Convention”).
Brazil is the 54th signatory of the Singapore Convention, together with great trading countries such as the United States, South Korea and India.
In order to become part of the Brazilian legal framework, the Convention will still need to be approved by the Brazilian Congress and be ratified by the President. However, the signing of the Convention is a step towards the adoption of a more effective method of resolving trade disputes.
Currently, mediation in Brazil is governed by a specific Federal law (n.13.140/15), being also contemplated in the New Brazilian Procedures Civil Code.
The Convention applies to international settlement agreements (concluded in writing) arising from mediation, in the context of international trade disputes.
It is an international instrument which aims to promote certainty and stability to disputes resulting from international commerce.
The Convention enables the contracting parties to enforce international settlement agreements arising from mediation, by applying directly to the Courts of the relevant signatory countries.
The following matters are excluded from the Convention’s scope: settlement agreements concluded by consumer, family or household purposes, or relating to family, inheritance or employment law. Also, settlement agreements which are enforceable as judgments or as arbitral awards are also excluded from the scope of the Convention.
The future enactment of the Singapore Convention into the Brazilian legal framework is expected to bring positive effects in fostering mediation as an alternative method to resolve disputes in the international trade sector. The enactment of the New York Convention (1958) in Brazil had a similar effect in the context of arbitration. Given Brazil’s role as a major commodity exporter, the adoption of the new rules shall bring more certainty to commercial relations between Brazil and parties in signatory nations.
For further guidance on the Brazilian rules on mediation, please do not hesitate to contact the authors below.