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Tijdschrift Nederlands-Vlaams tijdschrift voor mediation en conflictmanagement x Jaar 2017 x
Artikel

Dispute Boards voor grote bouwprojecten en langetermijncontracten

Tijdschrift Nederlands-Vlaams tijdschrift voor mediation en conflictmanagement, Aflevering 3 2017
Trefwoorden Geschillencommissies, Alternatief, Langetermijncontracten, Bouwsector
Auteurs William Buyse
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Dispute Boards are an alternative ‘real time’ method to avoid disputes. If no settlement can be reached the board will issue a decision which is contractually binding for all parties involved. This way costly arbitrations or court procedures, which generally only start at the end of projects with negative effects for both employer and contractor, are avoided. DBs are especially suited for construction sites and longterm contracts. They have a positive effect on the total cost of the project and avoid delays in the handing over at the end of the project. FIDIC, ICC are already using a special DB-article in their general contract conditions. The Worldbank, JICA, the EIB and MDBs are also using this method when financing international investment projects. Setting up a DB with three members right from the start of a project seldom costs more than 1% of the contract price of the project.


William Buyse
William Buyse is burgerlijk bouwkundig ingenieur, voorzitter van KRID en officieel vertegenwoordiger van de DRBF in België, en zaakvoerder adviesbureau C.E.M. Consulting.
Artikel

Enforceability of mediation clauses in Belgium and the Netherlands

Tijdschrift Nederlands-Vlaams tijdschrift voor mediation en conflictmanagement, Aflevering 3 2017
Trefwoorden Enforceability, Mediation clauses, contracts
Auteurs Ellen van Beukering-Rosmuller en Patrick Van Leynseele
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In this article authors discuss (possible) legal means and methods aimed at making mediation clauses effective and/or enforceable. In particular Belgian and Dutch law are examined. In part attention is also paid to English, French and Italian law. Against the background of recent EU-legislation the validity of mediation clauses is discussed as well, with a focus on consumer related disputes. By reviewing US case law with regard to the duty to participate in good faith in the mediation process, the authors also outline the limits of this concept for the effectiveness of mediation clauses. The central theme of the enforceability of mediation clauses has been looked at both from a procedural as from a financial angle. Substantial differences can be noted between the Belgian and the Dutch approach towards what courts should do when dealing with a dispute in which parties have previously agreed to mediation. Belgian law provides in art. 1725 § 2 Judicial Code that the court, if so requested by the defendant, is in principle obliged to suspend the examination of the case until the mediation has taken place. According to current case law, the situation in the Netherlands is that mediation clauses are in principle not enforceable (Supreme Court 2006). Following the most recent legislative proposal regarding mediation (July 2016) the court should examine whether mediation can still have an added value in case one party refuses to take part in a mediation as provided for in a clause invoked by the other party, prior to (possibly) proposing mediation. Based on the plans repeatedly announced by the Belgian Minister of Justice, it is likely that there will soon be an amendment to the mediation provisions in the Judicial Code that will allow courts to ‘force’ mediation upon the parties, even in the absence of a mediation clause. If this becomes the rule, judges would be well advised to exercise this power with due care. In the authors’ opinion the Dutch approach (as suggested in the most recent legislative proposal) in connection with mediation clauses, consisting in having the court examine whether mediation may (still) have an added value for the parties, could serve as a good guideline for the Belgian judges to use.


Ellen van Beukering-Rosmuller
Ellen J.M. van Beukering-Rosmuller is Universitair Docent Burgerlijk Procesrecht, Universiteit Leiden, Faculteit der Rechtsgeleerdheid.

Patrick Van Leynseele
Patrick H. Van Leynseele is lid van de balies van Brussel en New York en partner in het Brussels advocatenkantoor DALDEWOLF, een referentie inzake ADR. Met als achtergrond het ondernemingsrecht werkt hij als litigator en arbiter in internationale zaken. Hij schreef verschillende artikels inzake mediation en Med-Arb in vooraanstaande juridische tijdschriften.

    Care providers establish often long term relationships with their clients. It is of paramount importance that the threshold for a complaint or dispute resolution is preferably low. Ideally this is not a ‘mini-trial’ in which care provider and client are opposed against each other, but a constructive dialogue at a round table guided by a skillful complaints officer. This is what has been introduced by the Healthcare Quality, Complaints and Disputes Act (the Wkkgz).
    The new complaint system introduced with the Wkkgz applies to care covered by the Chronic Care Act (WLZ), the Healthcare Insurance Act (ZVW) and optionally can also apply to care based on the Social Support Act (WMO 2015).
    In my opinion it is a missed opportunity that the legislator has not introduced a similar complaint procedure in the Youth Act, but instead has chosen the ‘mini-trial’ option here. Moreover, it is also confusing for care providers and clients to follow different complaints systems next to each other.
    Finally, in psychiatric care where decisions of care providers can interfere with the right to self-determination there is a separate complaint procedure with a role for the Family Court. For all other run-of-the mill issues also in the psychiatric care the Wkkgz complaint procedure applies.


Simona Tiems
Simona Tiems is advocaat gezondheidsrecht bij Legaltree.

Boyd van Loon
Boyd van Loon is werkzaam bij Conway & Partners.
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