Building a Mediation Structure in Brazil

Prepared by Alexsandre P. Simões & Paul E. Mason

To help resolve a wider spectrum of disputes, Brazil enacted its first Mediation Law on June 26, to take effect in 180 days.

The law was the product of deliberation in the Brazilian Senate and lower Chamber of Deputies since 2013, when the Senate created a special commission to amend the Brazilian arbitration law.

That commission also proposed the Mediation Law, something that had been debated in the Congress in the 1990s, but was not passed at the time because of differences over whether mediation should be mandatory, as it has been in neighboring Argentina.

The law does not make all mediation efforts mandatory, but it does make an attempt at mediation mandatory if there is a mediation clause in the parties’ contract.

The law authorizes both in-court and out-of-court mediation. Perhaps most important, the law authorizes Brazilian government bodies at all levels to engage in mediation and consensus-based forms of dispute resolution (autocomposição). This is especially important for commercial disputes because of the large role played by governmental bodies in the Brazilian economy.

Under the law, almost any type of dispute may be mediated. It focuses specifically on those disputes involving so-called disposable rights, which can be negotiated. Mediation of labor disputes is the main exception, where the Mediation Law calls for such cases to be governed by specific law—for example, handled by the separate labor court system.

The new Mediation Law appears below. It has been prepared by Brazilian mediator Alexandre Simões, with assistance from attorney, mediator, and arbitrator Paul E. Mason.

Law No. 13140, of June 26, 2015

Provides for mediation between private parties as a means to settle disputes and the self-resolution of disputes in the scope of public administration; amends Law No. 9469, of July 10, 1997, and Decree No. 70235, of March 6, 1972; and revokes paragraph 2 of art. 6 of Law No. 469, of July 10, 1997.

Chapter I Mediation

  • Section I Miscellaneous
  • Section II The Mediators
    • Subsection I Common Provisions
    • Subsection II Out-of-Court Mediators
    • Subsection III Judicial Mediators
  • Section III The Mediation Proceeding
    • Subsection I Common Provisions
    • Subsection II Out-of-Court Mediation
    • Subsection III Judicial Mediation
  • Section IV Confidentiality and its Exceptions

Chapter II Self-Resolution of the Dispute When One Party is a Legal Entity Governed by Public Law

  • Section I Common Provisions
  • Section II Disputes Involving the Direct Federal Public Administration, Their Agencies and Foundations

Chapter III Final Provisions

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