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On June 2, 2015, the Brazilian Senate approved on  a statute on judicial and extrajudicial Mediation (“Mediation Act”). The text in Portuguese is available here.

The purpose of the Mediation Act is to regulate and foster a practice that for years has been used in several fields. The wording is in line with the new legislative culture focused on consensual dispute resolution between the parties, adopted especially by the New Brazilian Code of Civil Procedure (“NCPC”).

The project has just three chapters that can be divided into the following subjects: (i)  procedural aspects of mediation; (ii) mediation involving state entities, and (iv) final and transition provisions.

On the interaction of the Mediation Act with other pieces of legislation, it is possible to foresee two potential controversies. The first is the provision of article 23, which determines the suspension of the arbitration or judicial proceedings in cases where the parties undertook to refrain from starting any procedure until the fulfillment of certain conditions, such as, for instance, carrying out a mediation.

Another potential controversy is the omission of the Mediation Act as regards the legal impediment provided by article 167, paragraph 5 of the New Brazilian Civil Procedure Code, which shall come into force next year: that judicial mediators cannot act as lawyers in courts where they act as mediators. This impediment does not apply to out-of court mediators. In the opinion of some scholars, considering that the Mediation Act is a statute of a special nature, it should prevail over the NCPC, which contains general provisions.

The Mediation bill, voted on an emergency basis in the Senate, has yet to be enacted by the president before it may enter into force.


Joaquim de Paiva Muniz is a partner and head of the arbitration team in Trench Rossi Watanabe. Joaquim has an LL.M. from the University of Chicago and is the chair of the Arbitration Commission of the Rio de Janeiro Bar (OAB/RJ) and coordinator of arbitration courses of the Rio de Janeiro Bar, including a lato sensu graduate course. Joaquim is an officer of the Brazilian Arbitration and Mediation Center, which is the largest of its kind in Rio de Janeiro, as well as an author of many books, including the Arbitration Law of Brazil: Practice and Procedure (Juris Publishing, 2nd Edition 2015) and Curso Básico de Direito Arbitral (Juruá, 4rd Edition 2017). Joaquim can be reached at


Luis Peretti is a senior associate in the arbitration and ADR practice group of Trench Rossi e Watanabe Advogados in cooperation with Baker & McKenzie. He assists Brazilian and foreign clients in domestic and International arbitration proceedings in connection with a wide range of legal areas, such as agribusiness, construction, infrastructure, intellectual property and corporate transactions. His practice areas include pre-arbitration consulting, as well as counseling in arbitration proceedings before the best-reputed arbitration institutions - Brazilian and foreign - and in lawsuits ancillary to arbitration proceedings. Luis Peretti became an associate in Trench Rossi e Watanabe Advogados in 2011. He practices in civil litigation since 2004 and has developed experience in domestic and international arbitrations involving commercial disputes as well as investment disputes conducted under the auspices of the ICSID. Luis Peretti can be reached at and + 55 11 3048 6800.


Giovanny Russo is a member of the arbitration practice group in the São Paulo office of Trench, Rossi Watanabe Advogados in cooperation with Baker & McKenzie. He joined the firm in 2012 and became an associate in 2014. His practice encompasses commercial litigation, domestic and international arbitration. This includes consulting in pre-arbitration issues and contractual matters. He assists Brazilian and foreign clients in areas such as agribusiness, construction, infrastructure and corporate transactions. Giovanny Russo can be reached at and + 55 11 3048 6551.