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IN EXERCISE of the powers conferred on the Rules Committee by section 41 of the Judicature Act, these Rules are made this 1st day of February, 2013.
Judicature (Mediation) Rules, 2013
Statutory Instrument 10 of 2013
Published in Uganda Gazette no. 13 on 15 March 2013
Assented to on 1 February 2013
Commenced on 15 March 2013
[Up to date as at 15 March 2013]
These Rules may be cited as the Judicature (Mediation) Rules, 2013.
These Rules apply to all civil actions filed in or referred to the High Court and any subordinate to the High Court.
In these Rules, unless the context otherwise requires—"authorised court officer" means a person authorised to deal with mediation matters in any court subordinate to the High Court;"CADER" means the Center for Arbitration and Dispute Resolution established under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act;"civil action" means a civil proceeding commenced in any manner prescribed but does not include a civil action commenced under the Judicature (Small Claims Procedure) Rules, 2011;"committee" means the monitoring and evaluation committee constituted under rule 21;"court" means a court exercising civil jurisdiction;"currency point" means twenty thousand shillings;"mediation" means the process by which a neutral third person facilitates communication between parties to a dispute and assists them in reaching a mutually agreed resolution of the dispute;"mediator" is a person eligible to conduct mediation under these Rules;"registrar" includes a deputy registrar, assistant registrar or district registrar;"magistrate" includes a Chief magistrate, magistrate Grade I and a magistrate Grade II.
4. Reference to mediation
(1)The court shall refer every civil action for mediation before proceeding for trial.(2)Where a civil action has a question of law which may dispose of the civil action the registrar or authorised court officer shall refer the civil action to a Judge or Magistrate, whichever applies, for determination.
5. Case summary
(1)A party to a civil action shall file a case summary.(2)The case summary shall be filed with the court at the time of filing pleadings(3)A case summary shall include the following—(a)the names of the parties;(b)the address of the parties including postal, fax, telephone and email addresses;(c)the facts giving rise to the civil action and the defence to the facts;(d)the name and address of the advocate of the party, if any;(e)the person with full authority to sign a settlement;(f)the name of the person who will be the lead negotiator for the party;(g)the name of the proposed mediator, if any; and(h)the documents that the parties intend to rely on at the mediation.(4)The court shall ensure that all parties comply with subrule (3).
6. Mediator may request additional information
Where the mediator is of the opinion that any information in the possession of a party to the mediation may facilitate the reaching of a settlement the mediator may request that party to disclose that information in confidence to the mediator.
7. Notification to parties of mediation
(1)The court shall, within fourteen days after pleadings are complete, notify the parties of the commencement date of the mediation sessions.(2)The notice under subrule (1) shall be Form 1 set out in Schedule 1.
8. Time limits for conclusion of mediation
(1)A civil action referred to mediation under these Rules shall be concluded within sixty days after the mediator commences mediation.(2)Notwithstanding subrule (1) the parties may where there is a likelihood of settlement of the civil action agree to an extension of time not exceeding ten days.
(1)Mediation under these rules may only be conducted by—(a)a Judge;(b)a registrar;(c)a magistrate;(d)a person accredited as a mediator by the court;(e)a person certified as a mediator by CADER; or(f)a person with the relevant qualifications and experience in mediation and chosen by the parties.(2)Where a person is chosen as a mediator by the parties under subrule (1) (f), it shall be the responsibility of the parties to pay the fees of that mediator.
10. Failure of mediation conducted by Judge, registrar or magistrate
Where a judge, registrar or magistrate acts as a mediator under these Rules and the mediation is unsuccessful, the judge, magistrate or registrar shall immediately cease to take part in any further proceedings relating to that civil action.
11. Role of registrar or magistrate responsible for mediation
The registrar, magistrate or authorised court officer responsible for mediation in a court shall make arrangements necessary for mediation including—(a)setting dates for mediation hearings;(b)organising a suitable venue for mediation sessions;(c)organising exchange of the case summaries and documents by parties; and(d)assisting with the general administration of mediation.
12. Participation of children and other persons in mediation
(1)A child or any other person having an interest in mediation may, with the consent of the parties, participate in that mediation.(2)Where the parties do not consent to having the child or other party participate in mediation, the mediator may, where he or she considers it fit, meet with the child or other party.(3)The mediator may determine how mediation is to be conducted but where the mediation involves a child the mediator shall ensure that the mediation is conducted in a manner that considers the health, safety, welfare and the best interest of the child.(4)For the purposes of subrule (3) best interests of the child shall be ascertained in accordance with the principles set out in the First Schedule to the Children Act
13. Suspension of mediation
(1)Where an allegation of child abuse, child neglect, domestic violence or any kind of criminal conduct is made in mediation the mediator shall report the allegation to the court for appropriate action.(2)The mediator may, in addition to reporting the allegation of child abuse, child neglect or criminal conduct under subrule (1), suspend the mediation where he or she considers it fit.(3)A mediator shall not suspend mediation under subrule (2) if there are other issues for mediation other than the allegation of child abuse, child neglect or criminal conduct.
14. Failure of party to attend and costs
(1)Where it is not practicable to conduct a scheduled mediation session because a party fails to attend, the mediator may adjourn the mediation session to another date.(2)Where a party, without good cause, fails to attend a mediation session that party shall pay five currency points to the other party as adjournment costs.(3)A certificate of the mediator setting out the adjournment costs, in these Rules referred to as the Certificate of Non Attendance, shall be taken to be an order of the court and shall not be subject to appeal except as part of a general appeal at the conclusion of the civil action.(4)The Certificate of Non Attendance shall be in Form 2 set out in Schedule 1.
15. Report of mediator
(1)A mediator shall, within ten days after concluding mediation, submit to the registrar, magistrate or responsible officer a report of that mediation.(2)The Report of the mediator shall be in Form 3 in Schedule 1.
16. Agreement resolving part or all issues of dispute
(1)Where the parties resolve some or all the issues that are the subject of mediation, the parties shall enter an agreement setting out the issues on which they agree.(2)The agreement under subrule (1) shall be in writing and signed by the parties.(3)The agreement shall be filed with the registrar, magistrate or authorised court officer responsible for mediation in the court.(4)The agreement filed with the registrar, magistrate or authorised court officer responsible for mediation under subrule (3) shall be endorsed by the court as a consent judgment.(5)Where there is no agreement on all the issues subject to mediation, the mediator shall refer the matter to the court.
17. No appeal from orders under these Rules
There shall be no appeal to any order granted under these Rules except as part of a general appeal at the conclusion of the civil action in respect of that mediation.
(1)The mediator and the parties to mediation shall treat as confidential information obtained from or about the parties in mediation and shall not disclose that information unless required by law to disclose or the parties give consent in writing to the mediator to disclose.(2)Subrule (1) does not apply to any information, which would in any case be required to be disclosed in proceedings in the main suit or an application arising out of the suit.(3)A party to mediation under these rules shall not compel the mediator or employee, officer or representative of CADER to appear as a witness, consultant, or expert in any litigation or other proceedings related to the mediation.
19. Adherence to guidelines for mediators
A person who conducts mediation under these Rules shall adhere to the guidelines for mediators set out in Schedule 2.
(1)Each party to mediation shall bear its own costs of participation in the mediation under these Rules unless the parties agree otherwise.(2)For the avoidance of doubt adjournment costs provided for under rule 14 are not to be taken as costs of participation in mediation and the liability to pay adjournment costs is not affected by subrule (1).
21. Monitoring and evaluation committee
(1)There is constituted a committee to be known as the monitoring and evaluation committee.(2)The committee shall consist of the following—(a)the Principal Judge;(b)the head of the Civil Division of the High Court;(c)the head of the Family Division of the High Court;(d)the head of the Commercial Division of the High Court;(e)the head of the Land Division of the High Court;(f)the Chief Registrar or his or her representative;(g)the Solicitor General or his or her representative;(h)the President of the Uganda Law Society or his or her representative;(i)the Executive Director of CADER or his or her representative;(j)the registrar responsible for mediation;(k)a representative of court accredited mediators appointed by the mediators from among their number; and(l)four Chief Magistrates appointed by the Chief Registrar.(3)The chairperson of the committee shall be the Principal Judge and in the absence of the Principal Judge, the most senior Judge among the members of the committee shall be the chairperson.(4)The registrar shall be the secretary of the committee.(5)The registrar shall, in consultation with the chairperson, convene every meeting of the committee at times and places as the committee may determine, and the committee shall meet for the discharge of business at least once in every three months.(6)The registrar may, at any time, convene a special meeting of the committee and shall also call a meeting within fourteen days, if requested to do so in writing by at least five members of the committee.(7)Notice of a committee meeting shall be given in writing to each member at least fourteen working days before the day of the meeting.(8)The chairperson shall preside at all meetings of the committee, and in his or her absence the most senior judge acting as chairperson under subrule (3) shall preside.(9)At every meeting of the committee five members shall constitute a quorum but at least one member constituting the quorum must be a judge.(10)The committee shall regulate its own procedure for meetings or any other matter relating to its meetings.
22. Duties of committee
The committee shall have the following duties—(a)to monitor and evaluate the performance of mediation; and(b)make proposals to the Rules Committee for the better implementation of mediation under these Rules.
23. Revocation of SI No 55 of 2007
The Judicature (Commercial Court Division) (Mediation) Rules, 2007, SI No. 55 of 2007, are revoked.