The Historical Roots of Mediation in Mexico.

AuthorMoctezuma, Manuel

IN today's business environment, with increasing cross-border disputes, corporations with global operations must know how mediation works in foreign jurisdictions with a civil tradition like Mexico. Global corporations expect a certain level of legal certainty and clear rules when they decide to conduct mediation proceedings in foreign jurisdictions. They also expect mediation centers and mediators to respond with professionalism.

This article provides a review of the historical roots of mediation in Mexico. In doing so, I will also refer to the legal framework that underlies mediation and how parties conduct the mediation process. This includes the significance of the role of the Mexican notary public and the importance of registration of public instruments derived from a mediation proceeding before the Public Registry of Commerce.

This article emphasizes the importance of a notarized settlement agreement, including a special mention about how authority and powers of attorney are granted within a Mexican corporation to sign agreements like a mediation agreement or a settlement agreement. Finally, this article concludes the topic of mediation by considering enforceability, addressing the recognition and enforcement of foreign awards and judicial resolutions of settlement agreements in Mexico.

  1. Mediation in Mexico

    Local and foreign scholars and leaders influenced the development of ADR, including mediation, in Mexico. Discussions focused on the efficiency and fairness of the court systems and the challenges that the judicial branch face in connection with the administration of justice.

    The development of mediation in Mexico began in the 1990s. The North American Free Trade Agreement included specific provisions regarding mediation. (1) The Mexico City National Chamber of Commerce also promoted mediation through its Mediation and Arbitration Center. Another effort to support mediation happened through the Mexican Mediation Institute, where, by the way, I had the opportunity to participate as part of the legal group who drafted the code of ethics for mediators.

    Today, at the local level, Mexican courts in most states have created ADR centers. For example, Mexico City in 2003 created the Alternative Justice Center (Centro de Justicia Alternativa) as an autonomous entity of the Mexico City court system in charge of administrating alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, particularly mediation, on civil, commercial, family and criminal matters.

    Although mediation in Mexico has recent historical roots, it is evolving. Federal and state legislation has passed, and mediation centers have been created to promote the use of mediation. This article...

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