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Mediation in European and Russian legal and cultural traditions

Since early human history favorising amicable dispute settlement and adjudication avoidance has been a fundamental value of mankind. It has become a legal and cultural tradition in many societies. For instance,

  • Ancient Greeks considered that the goddess of Peace was the mother of god of Wealth and the daughter of Themis, goddess of Justice;
  • In ancient times mediation and arbitration formed a single dispute resolution procedure consisting of a ‘dialogue’ (negotiations) and, where necessary, a ‘crisis’ (an award). Also, reaching a settlement agreement after the arbitral awards was a common practice;
  • Greek philosopher Socratus authored many question-posing techniques mediators have in their toolkit nowadays;
  • Roman law penalized abusive, frivolous and vexatious claims;
  • Since Middle Ages many European courts consistently practiced special ‘conciliation days’ (‘dies amori’), completely reserved for conciliation of the parties;
  • First French Constitution in late XVIII century prescribed compulsory mediation and conciliation as prerequisites for hearing of the disputes by the state courts.

The ability to amicably settle disputes and differences once discerned humans from the natural world.

Speech of Dmitry Davydenko at the

International Symposium

on Mediation in Our Culture & Traditions


a step-by-step review of amicable dispute resolution institutions in various periods of Russian history;
how mediation is embedded in modern Russian legal system;
how direct enforceability of the mediated settlements may affect international disputes involving Russian parties.

Watch the video

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About the Author:

Dr Davydenko is a co-editor of the CIS Arbitration Forum. He is an associate professor at Belarusian State University), Departments of International law and Civil Law. Dmitry Davydenko has experience as an arbitrator in the ICC and other arbitral proceedings and is listed as a recommended arbitrator of DIAC, HKIAC as well as of other reputed arbitral institutions. Included in the list of best practitioners in arbitration in Russia as of the years 2017 through 2021 (a Global leader for 2022) by Who’s Who Legal and Global Arbitration Review (GAR). He also acts as a Russian law expert on various matters related to international commerce.

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