Article 1. Application
1. The Mediation Rules of the Southern Trade Arbitration Center (hereinafter referred to as the Rules) apply to the mediation of disputes arising from or relevant to the legal relationships in trade activities which The Party shall decide on its dispute mediation process through the Southern Trade Arbitration Center (hereinafter referred to as STAC, in abbreviation).
2. The parties may agree not to apply or change one or more provisions of these Rules at any time if such failure or change is inconsistent with the fundamental principles of the Vietnamese law at the time of mediation.
3. In case any provision of these Rules is inconsistent with obligatory provisions of the law applicable to the dispute resolution, the obligatory provision of the law shall prevail for the mediation.
Article 2. Commencement of mediation process
1.Any party that wishes to commence mediation, shall send to the STAC a Request containing the content of the dispute; pay in advance meditation expenses in accordance with the provisions of Article 18 and the Schedule of Mediation cost issued under the Decision No. 02/2020/QD-STAC dated February 1, 2020 of the STAC President.
2.Within 05 working days from the date of receipt of the Request for mediation and mediation expenses paid in advance, STAC shall notify the other party of the contents of the mediation and request the advance payment in accordance with the provisions of Article 18 and the Schedule of Costs of mediation. Within 15 days of receiving the notice, the party receiving the request for mediation must notify STAC of its acceptance or refusal of the mediation.
3.In case STAC receives a response of the non-agreement of mediation, or if the above 15-day time limit expires, but STAC does not receive a reply, the request for mediation shall be deemed to suspend and STAC shall notify the party sending the request for mediation.
4. The mediation process commences when the STAC receives a written notice of acceptance of mediation and an advance of the mediation cost from the party receiving the request for mediation. Any acceptance of mediation shall be made in writing or in other forms of equivalent validity, including telegram, telex, fax, data message and other forms as prescribed by law.
5. In case the parties mutually send the request for mediation to STAC, the mediation process commences from the time of the date STAC receipt of the request and the advance mediation cost.
Article 3. Number of Mediators
The meditation for the dispute shall be conducted by a sole mediator unless otherwise the parties agree that there are two or three mediators.
Article 4. Appointment of mediator
1. The appointment of mediators shall be made according to the following principles:
- (a) In the case of a sole mediator, the parties shall agree on the name of that sole mediator;
- (b) In the case of two mediators, the parties shall appoint one mediator each;
- (c) In the case of three mediators, the parties shall appoint one mediator each. They shall agree on the name of the third mediator.
- (Hereinafter one or more mediators are collectively referred to as mediators).
2. The parties may:
- (a) Appoint a mediator from a list of mediators provided by STAC or mediator is not included in the List, provided that such mediator accepts this Principle;
- (b) Request the STAC President to recommend a mediator; or
- (c) Request the STAC President to appoint him or her a mediator. The STAC President appoints a mediator within 15 days from the date of receipt of the parties' request to appoint a mediator.
- (d) The time limit for appointing a mediator or requesting the STAC President to recommend or appoint a mediator is 15 days from the date of commencement of the mediation process referred to in paragraphs 4 and 5 of Article 2 of these Rules.
Article 5. Submission of a statement to the mediator
1. The mediator, upon appointment, requires each party to present its opinion on the matters in dispute. Each party shall also send such a statement to the other party.
2. At any time of the mediation process, the mediator may request that one or the parties submit to him/her a statement and additional grounds on the issues with respect to the dispute, or any other any documents deemed necessary for mediation.
Article 6. Representation and assistance
The parties may appoint representatives or assistants in mediation by their own choice. The names and addresses of such representatives and assistants must be communicated in writing to the mediator and another party. Such notification shall specify the capacity of each person as representative or assistant of a party in the mediation process.
Article 7. Roles of mediator
1. By its own efforts, the mediator shall act independently, impartially and objectively to help the parties reach a dispute solution;
2. The mediator shall base on the agreement of the parties, trade usages, business practices between the parties, and the contexts relevant to the dispute as a basic ground for mediation;
3. The mediator shall conduct the mediation in such a manner as he or she considers appropriate with the nature, contents of the dispute, the wishes of the parties.
4. The mediator may, at any stage of the mediation, make proposals for solutions to settle the dispute but must not impose a settlement on parties. Such proposals need not to be in written form and not to be accompanied by a statement of the reasons thereof.
Article 8. Administrative assistance
At the request of the parties and the mediator, STAC creates favorable conditions for the mediation process in arranging the time and place for the mediation; administrative assistance, appointing an assistance to the mediator and the parties throughout the mediation process.
Article 9. Transactions and exchanges between the mediator and the parties
1. The mediator may directly meet each party or parties and can also transaction and exchange with them in any form.
2. Unless otherwise the parties have agreed on a meeting place with the mediator, the arrangement of the meeting place will be decided by the mediator, taking into account the circumstances of the mediation process.
3. Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, all transactions and exchanges will be conducted in Vietnamese. In case the parties request to conduct a transaction or exchange in another language, the parties shall be responsible for the translation and the precision of such interpretation.
The mediator, one or the parties may request STAC to arrange interpretation for him or her, the cost of the interpretation shall be paid by the party requesting the interpretation. In case the interpretation is requested by both parties, the cost of interpretation shall be equally allocated to the disputing parties.
Article 10. Disclosure of information
1. All documents exchanged between the mediator and each party, all other information that the mediator receives from a party, the mediator shall send (if the aforementioned contents are made in written form) or notify the party the other party to give the other party a chance to express his or her opinion.
2. Where one party discloses certain information to the mediator with the requirement that such information be kept confidential, the mediator may not disclose that information to the other party.
3. All documents and information mentioned in paragraph 1 of this Article shall be sent by the mediator (if in written form) or notified to STAC.
Article 11. Cooperation of the parties with the mediator
The parties have responsibilities for cooperating with the mediator, including responding to mediator ‘s requests relevant to the submission of statement and related documents and attendance at meetings.
Article 12. Proposal of the parties on dispute resolution
Each party can take the initiative or at the request of the mediator, send the mediator a proposal on a dispute resolution plan.
Article 13. Mediation process
1. When probabilities for mutually acceptable dispute resolution emerge, the mediator draws up or assists the parties in drafting a mediation agreement.
2. By signing a written mediation agreement, the parties resolve the dispute and are bound by such mediation agreement in accordance with the provisions of Civil code.
Article 14. Confidentiality
Mediators, STAC and the parties shall keep confidential relevant to mediation process, including mediation agreement.
Article 15. Termination of mediation process
1. The mediation process shall be terminated as follows:
a) On the date on which the parties sign the mediation agreement;
b) On the date of announcement of the mediator's written statement that the dispute may not be resolved by mediation after the mediator's efforts to assist but the parties are not able to reach a mediation agreement;
c) On the date of a written notice sent by one party or the parties to the mediator stating that such party or the parties wish to terminate the ongoing mediation process;
d) On the date of expiration of the time limit for an appointment and or a request a mediator;
e) On the date of the expiration of sending statement and related documents requested by the mediator; the expired date for paying the costs of mediation as required by the STAC;
f) On the date one party or the parties take legal proceedings of the dispute that the subject of the mediation process to arbitration or court in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 2 of Article 16.
2. Where there is any termination of the mediation process aforementioned in paragraph 1 of this Article, STAC makes an official written notice to the parties and the mediator of the termination of the mediation.
Article 16. Recourse to an arbitral or a court proceeding against mediation process
1. In the course of the mediation process, the parties undertake not to conduct any arbitration or court proceedings for the dispute being the subject of the mediation process.
2. In the course of the mediation process, if one party or parties bring a dispute that is the subject of the mediation process to an arbitration or a court, such mediation shall implicitly be deemed to terminate.
Article 17. Mediation costs
1. Mediation costs include:
a) Administrative expenses are prescribed in Article 8 of these Rules.
b) A reasonable remuneration for the mediator;
c) Travel and other expenses of the mediator;
d) Travel and other expenses of the witness at the request of the mediator with the consent of the parties;
e) Expenses for expert advice and interpretation at the request of the parties or the mediator with the consent of the parties;
2. The aforementioned expenses shall be equally paid by both parties, unless otherwise agreed upon by the parties. All other costs arising from a request of a party shall be paid by such party.
Article 18. Procedures for payment of mediation costs
1. Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, each party shall pay an equal advance for the expenses referred to in paragraph 1 of Article 17 of these Rules. The method of payment is as follows:
a) The party sending a request for mediation shall pay an advance of 50% of the conciliation cost.
b) In case of accepting mediation, the party receiving the mediation request shall pay an advance of 50% of the conciliation cost.
c) In case that the parties mutually send a request for conciliation to STAC, each party shall pay 50% of the conciliation cost.
2. In the course of the mediation process, STAC may require each party to pay an equal additional amount, clearly stating the reason for the additional payment. In case such amount is not paid in full by both parties within 30 days from the date of receipt of the STAC's notice, the mediation process shall be terminated in accordance with paragraph 5 of Article 15 of these Rules.
3. Upon termination of the mediation process, STAC will calculate the advance cost and reimburse the parties for any unused fees.
Article 19. Duties of mediators in arbitration or court proceedings
Unless otherwise agreed in written form by the parties, the mediator shall not act as an arbitrator, or as the representative, witness or attorney of any party in an arbitration or court proceedings having subject matters of the dispute is the subject in the mediation process in which the party has participated.
Article 20. Admission of proof in arbitration or court proceedings
The parties undertake, in any forms, not to use the proof as a basic ground or an evidence in any arbitration or court proceedings in which the subject matter of the case relevant to the dispute is the subject of the dispute in the mediation process.
- Audio recordings, video recordings, photographs, records of content of contacts in the course of the mediation process;
- The aspects or proposals made by the other party on the dispute resolution;
- The acceptance that the other party gives in the mediation process;
- Proposals made by the mediator;
- Acceptance of one party to the dispute settlement proposal made by the mediator.