Pakistan is not a signatory on any international treaties pertaining to mediation and mediation law in Pakistan is not based on any of these treaties either. Mediation is Pakistan is derived through Civil Procedure Code 1908 with the relevant provisions at Section 89-A and Rule 1A of Order 10. Some special laws also enshrine provisions with regard to mediation such as Small Claims and Minor Offences Courts Ordinance, 2002, the Industrial Relations Act, 2012, the Income Tax Ordinance, the Customs Act, and the Federal Excise Act.
Effect of Mediation, Obligations and mandatory provisions
In Pakistan Mediation is not obligatory. A court in Pakistan can refer a civil dispute to mediation as long as both parties consent to the same but party cannot be forced to take course of mediation. However, once consented to by both parties, at the time of referring the dispute to mediation Courts stipulate time frame for mediation to be completed within and directs placing the same before the Court for enforcement of the same.
Alternate Dispute Resolution
Mediation is another mode of alternate dispute resolution and can take place side by side with Arbitration. Any dispute of civil nature can be resolved by applying both process of mediation and arbitration to pacify controversies between the parties.
Mediation confidentiality in Pakistan
- Mediation within Pakistan is recognized as a process which must be confidential. The courts of Pakistan won’t entertain any action filed when the basis of this in information which parties have shared during mediation. Courts consider these proceedings to be strictly confidential and therefore such actions would be a breach of that confidentiality.
- In the same context, a mediator will never be called to give evidence before a court. Mediation agreements that were signed before the parties commenced mediation contain standard clauses whereby parties must agree that their mediator won’t be called on to give evidence in court.
- In court referred mediation cases, and on conclusion of that mediation, the court won’t call for any kind of detailed report regarding what was said within that mediation. Should it fail, the mediator will release a simple statement to the court stating that there was no result and this is sufficient for the courts.
- When a settlement has been reached that settlement is duly recorded and the court will pass judgment on it to make this settlement enforceable. In such a case, the contents of that judgment are no longer confidential for purposes of the court order.
Mediation Settlements in Pakistan
Decision of Mediation is in form of Contract executed by parties at dispute referred to as settlement agreement reached within mediation, irrespective of whether it was arrived at through court referred mediation or pretrial mediation, is enforceable by by placing the same before court and a judgment being obtained under the Code of Civil Procedure (CPC).
Once all parties have signed the settlement agreement it’s not possible to challenge, revise or withdraw the same except when the opposing party can show fraud, coercion, undue influence or misrepresentation.
The structure of the mediation process in Pakistan
The typical steps a mediator will take in preparing for a proceeding include the initial contact, the signing off of the mediation agreement, briefing and assisting the parties in their preparation and scheduling the time and the date for the mediation session. The structure of a mediation proceeding is as follows;
- The preparatory stage
- The joint meeting at the opening stage
- A private or group meeting during the examination phase
- A joint meeting during the bargaining phase
- The joint meeting during the concluding phase
A typical day of mediation will last between 8-9 hours including breaks for prayers, may well involve more than one sitting and could take up to 3 or 4 days of sittings in order to reach the conclusion.
In case you wish to resolve a dispute through mediation or have any queries feel free to contact us. Let us resolve your civil or commercial dispute through Mediation which is often a quicker, and more cost effective, way to reach an accord than going through the court system.