On April 27, 2017 a consortium of organizations consisting of European Centre for Dispute Resolution (Slovenia), Partners for Democratic Change Serbia, ADR Center (Italy), ADR Group (UK), in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia (CCIS) and the Judicial Academy (JA), and with support of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and UK Investment Climate and Governance Fund (UKGGF), organized international commercial mediation conference Commercial Mediation as Dispute Prevention and Resolution Tool. The Conference was attended by over 140 participants, from the businesses community, mediators, lawyers, judges, professional associations, law faculties, international organizations, and the media.
The conference is a part of the Commercial Mediation in Serbia project, aiming to improve the use of mediation in commercial disputes in Serbia. The project aims to increase awareness of potential beneficiaries (companies, citizens) about the benefits and advantages of mediation in dispute resolution. During the Project the capacity of the Centre for Services and Mediation within the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia for providing mediation services will be increased and future mediation trainers within the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia and the Judicial Academy will be trained. In addition to that, support will be provided to law schools in Serbia to include mediation in their regular curricula.
At the conference the attendees were greeted by Blazo Nedic, Attorney-at-Law, World Bank Mediator and President of the Serbian National Association of Mediators, Ales Zalar, President of the European Centre for Dispute Resolution,Ljubljana (ECDR) and Commercial Mediation Project team leader. Introductory speeches were given by Miroslav Miletic, vice President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia, Mr. Jon Geedes, Representative of the UK Investment Climate and Good Governance Fund, Mr. Daniel Berg, Director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development for Serbia, and Ivana Nincic, expert consultant of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Serbia.
At the start of the conference, Blazo Nedic presented the results of the Analysis Mediation in Law Schools in Serbia, assessing the capacities of public and private law faculties in Serbia in delivering mediation related courses and mediation clinics to students.
Keynote speech was delivered by Katarina Kresal, President of the European Centre for Dispute Resolution, Ljubljana (ECDR), with the topic “Dispute resolution from nightmare to business opportunity”.
During the first panel, Milos Milanovic, Insurance Claims Managing Director at the Dunav Insurance Company and Mr. Michael McIlwrath, Global Chief Litigation Counsel for the GE Oil & Gas division, spoke about commercial mediation from the business perspective.
The second panel was dedicated to commercial mediation from the lawyer’s perspective. At this panel, the main speakers were Mr. Dragan Psodorov, Senior Partner at Joksovic, Stojanovic & Partners, Belgrade and Mr. Thierry Garby, World Bank Mediator and Honorary Attorney at the Paris Bar.
The last panel was dedicated to commercial mediation from the perspective of professional business associations. At this panel, the main speakers were Mila Korugic Milosevic, Representative of the British Chamber of Commerce and Mr.Aleš Zalar, President of European Centre for Dispute Resolution, Ljubljana (ECDR).
The conference was accredited by the Ministry of Justice of Serbia as a 4-hour continuing specialization event for mediators.