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Santiago,  June 17, 2019

To the Editor:

The government has announced that it will return to the discussion of civil procedure reform. President Piñera mentioned this as part of his Public Account, and the press have reported on several key aspects of the proposal such as the inclusion of mediation.

We believe that the Executive’s decision to move towards the incorporation of this collaborative mechanism in the civil sphere is a major step forward. This reveals a comprehensive perspective on the ways in which civil disputes can be managed and resolved, and it addresses one of the main objectives of the reform: to provide access to justice to protect the rights of and resolve disputes for all people.

We are, however, concerned that this effort has been limited to mediation and does not include other collaborative mechanisms. We believe that civil justice must be built on the basis of a broad offering of dispute resolution mechanisms such as arbitration and negotiation in addition to the strengthening of judicial conciliation. We are also concerned that mediation is regulated by a special law, as this gives the people an ambiguous message about the importance of these mechanisms. If they are vital to improving access to justice, why not include them in the New Civil Procedure Code bill?

We must leave behind the paradigm of collaborative mechanisms as “abnormal modes” of terminating a dispute and see them as complementary routes that do not fall outside of the judicial process. This requires an approach based on their integration into and coordination with the process, which would be better achieved if they were included in the New Civil Procedure Code bill.

Marco Fandiño, Justice Studies Center of the Americas (JSCA)
Rosa María Olave,Universidad Alberto Hurtado
Macarena Vargas, Universidad Diego Portales

Letter to the editor published in the newspaper La Tercera on June 16, 2019.



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