07 Oct: Mediation in Iran: Status and Future Challenges

Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanism that is gaining momentum in different jurisdictions. In Iran, the current domestic legal framework lacks comprehensive legislation but contains several articles providing for ADR mechanisms that apply in specific circumstances. Although these mechanisms do not amount to mediation construed stricto sensu, they bear some similarities thereto. Despite the current state of the legislative framework in Iran, a pro-mediation trend can be observed in the country, as Iranian arbitration centres have started to offer mediation services and to issue institutional mediation rules. In recent years, concerns voiced by practitioners regarding the efficiency of arbitration in terms of time and cost, have accelerated the rising success of mediation. Moreover, Iran's signature of the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation (the Singapore Convention on Mediation or the Singapore Convention) is an encouraging step towards the promotion of mediation in the country. This article addresses the uncertainties that remain, together with a few guidelines for promoting the use of mediation in Iran as an effective tool to resolve disputes.