HOW WE WORK
1. Methods of dispute resolution
We practice different methods of dispute resolution at CEDIRES, depending on the nature of the dispute and the wishes of the parties.
We focus on arbitration, the most traditional method of ADR, which offers the advantage of a decision being rendered much quicker than through court proceedings, and at the same time, the parties have the certainty that a decision shall actually be rendered (even if they finally do not find a solution agreeable to all of them).
There are considerable similarities between arbitration and court proceedings, except that the person deciding the matter is not a judge appointed by the government. Depending on the nature of the case, it is sometimes possible to opt for arbitration proceedings without assistance (and without the cost) of legal counsel, or with the assistance of technical advisors only (click here for more information on arbitration).
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution which does have important advantages: a solution agreeable to both parties is more often a solution which is respected by the parties afterwards and which sometimes also enables the parties to continue to do business with each other after the termination of the dispute (click here for more information on mediation). However, there’s a serious potential disadvantage: if the parties do not come to a solution agreeable to both of them, the mediation process has failed and has been a mere waste of time.
Hence, we at CEDIRES often opt for the method of “mediation-arbitration”. This entails the certainty that, after a mediation attempt, the dispute shall be ended, if necessary by arbitration. Even in that case, the parties still have the possibility to deviate, if they both agree to that, from the arbitral award. That reduces to zero the chance that the alternative dispute resolution effort would be a mere waste of time. The parties know for a fact that a solution shall be obtained, either because they agree to it, or because it shall be contained in an arbitral award.
Further details can be found in our Procedural Rules. An additional guarantee that no time can be wasted with discussions regarding the question which formula would be acceptable for both parties, is that we have only one set of Procedural Rules. We do not work with separate rules for arbitration, mediation, mediation-arbitration, mini-trials: our Rules of Procedure apply to all methods of dispute resolution. If, under the circumstances of the matter, mediation or a mini-trial does not stand a chance, or would be unsuccessful, we shall switch to arbitration. Even if the parties fail to agree on anything whatsoever after the dispute has arisen (not even on which method of dispute resolution is to be applied), the dispute shall still be resolved. Using our dispute resolution clause in the contract suffizes. Click here for more information on our services.
In order to create an atmosphere favorable to reconciliation, framing can be important. At the seat of CEDIRES, the parties can talk with each other in a comfortable and peaceful environment. At the same time, there are enough rooms and salons available to enable the parties to retreat for consulting and debating in the absence of the opposing party, if wanted with the mediator or mediators (i.e. the so-called “caucus”).
The headquarters of CEDIRES is established at Château du Bois d’Angre, a charming castle about 45 minutes by car south of Brussels (at the border between the towns of Merbes-Sainte-Marie and Buvrinnes).
Away from all traffic jams, parking problems, hassle and noise from the city, the entire environment transpires bucolic peace and quiet.
If the parties find this more convenient, we also organize proceedings in Brussels or any other location.
3. Flexibility - anything is open to discussion: the venue, the time, the pace, the method
Since flexibility is obviously an important notion for each form of alternative dispute resolution, our activities do not necessarily take place at the headquarters of CEDIRES, especially when it is more convenient for both parties to have the dispute resolution process organized elsewhere. We work anywhere in the world.
For certain conflicts, it is not even required to bring all the parties in one and the same location. Sometimes the use of modern technology can avoid pointless travelling (online dispute resolution).
Flexibility is not only important to us in terms of venue and physical presence of the parties: we’re flexible also in terms of time. When speed is of the essence to both parties, we are able to provide an ultra-fast dispute resolution process.
Sometimes it is preferable to organize talks during the week-ends, in order to avoid the stress and fast pace typical for weekdays. We even encourage mediation sessions during the weekends, because many times the parties find it easier to focus on the settlement of their dispute, without interference with the busy schedules of weekdays.
The method of dispute resolution can be our standard method (in order to exclude any possible discussions of a procedural nature), or can be made to measure according to the requirements of the dispute and the wishes of the parties.
In addition to flexibility in terms of space and time, we’re also flexible in terms of personnel: depending on the nature of the conflict, we examine which (local or international) specialist or team of specialists is most suitable as arbitrator, mediator or mediator-arbitrator.
4. Neutrality (independence and impartiality)
Within CEDIRES, we only work with experienced and highly qualified lawyers, each and every one of them specialists in their respective areas.
The input of non-lawyers can be very valuable. However, when we involve non-lawyers in arbitration proceedings, the arbitral tribunal shall in any case be presided by a lawyer.
Our only concern is to contribute to a swift and correct resolution of disputes.
When the conflicting parties are established in different countries, the possibility exists for the parties, if they so wish, to have the dispute resolution process organized by a team consisting of members of different nationalities.
Center for Dispute Resolution
Some of our conference rooms in Brussels (Avenue Louise)