Article 1 : Agreement
1. The mini-trial Rules shall apply to disputes between parties that have agreed to them in writing.
2. That agreement may be set forth in a clause of the contract, or reached after the dispute has arisen.
Article 2 : Lack of a mini-trial clause
If it appears that there is no mini-trial clause, the mini-trial cannot take place should Respondent not answer within the twenty-one day period mentioned in Article 4, or should Respondent refuse the mini-trial through CEPANI.
Article 3 : Request for a mini-trial
1. The party that wishes to resort to a mini-trial shall send its Request to the Secretariat of CEPANI.
2. This Request shall contain, inter alia, the following particulars :
3. Together with the Request, Claimant shall provide copies of all agreements, of the general or specific mandate of its assessor, of the correspondence between the parties and, if any, other relevant documents.
4. Claimant shall submit the Request and its enclosures to the Secretariat of CEPANI, in four copies, and shall also provide proof of the dispatch to Respondent of the Request and the enclosures thereto.
5. The mini-trial shall be deemed to have begun on the day the Secretariat of CEPANI receives the Request and its enclosures.
Article 4 : Answer to the Request for a mini-trial
1. Within twenty-one days of the notification to Respondent of the Request for a mini-trial by the Secretariat of CEPANI, Respondent shall send its Answer to the Request for a mini-trial to the Secretariat of CEPANI. Respondent shall state its views on the nature and circumstances of the dispute that gives rise to the claim, state its counterclaim, if any, and submit as well all exhibits and information in support of its defence.
2. The Answer shall also mention the full name, capacity, address and telephone and fax numbers of the assessor appointed by Respondent to sit on the mini-trial committee.
3. Respondent shall submit its Answer and its enclosures to the Secretary of CEPANI in four copies and shall also provide proof of the dispatch of its Answer and enclosures thereto to Claimant.
Article 5 : Notifications and communications
All notifications and communications made in pursuance of these Rules shall be valid if they are made by delivery against receipt, by registered mail, by courier, fax or any other means of telecommunication that proves their dispatch. Such notifications shall be valid if dispatched to the address or last known address of the addressee.
Article 6 : The mini-trial committee
1. The mini-trail committee shall be composed of a mediator, who shall chair the committee, and the two assessors appointed by and empowered to bind each party by general or specific mandate.
2. Should more than two parties be involved in the mini-trial, then each party shall appoint one assessor to sit on the committee, unless otherwise agreed.
3. The mediator shall be appointed by the Appointments Committee or the Chairman of CEPANI after the parties, or one of them, will have paid the advance which the Secretariat of CEPANI may consider necessary to cover the costs of the mini-trial.
Article 7 : Proceedings
1. Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, the mini-trial shall proceed in accordance with the provisions of these Rules.
2. If necessary, and after having consulted with his assessors, the mediator may depart from the Rules set forth herein.
Article 8 : Language
The language of the mini-trial shall be agreed by the parties.
Failing such an agreement, the language or languages to be used shall be determined by the mediator, after having consulted with his assessors, due regard being given to the circumstances and, in particular, to the language of the contract.
Article 9 : Seat of the mini-trial
1. The Appointments Committee or the Chairman of CEPANI shall determine the seat of the mini-trial, unless the parties have agreed this between themselves.
2. Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, and after having consulted with them, the mini-trial committee may hold its hearings and meetings at any other place it considers appropriate.
3. The mini-trial committee may deliberate at any place that it considers appropriate.
Article 10 : Transmission of the file
1. Once the mini-trial committee has been appointed, the mediator and his assessors shall receive a copy of the Request and of the Answer.
2. The mediator may, after consultation with his assessors, ask the parties to provide additional information and exhibits.
Article 11 : Meetings
1. After consultation with his assessors and with the parties, the mediator shall determine the day, time and place of a meeting with the parties.
2. The mediator shall chair the meeting and offer the parties an opportunity to put forth their views.
Article 12 : Representation
The parties shall either appear in person or through a representative. They are entitled to be assisted or represented by counsel.
Article 13 : Consultation
1. After the meeting, the mediator shall consult with his assessors and attempt to reach a consensus.
2. In this respect, the mediator shall have the broadest powers to undertake whatever can, in his opinion, reasonably bring about a settlement.
To this end, he may, inter alia, consult with each of his assessors separately.
Article 14 : Settlement
1. Should these consultations lead to a settlement, the agreement shall be set forth in writing and signed by the assessors in the name and on behalf of the parties.
The mediator shall send the settlement agreement to the Secretariat of CEPANI, which shall notify it to the parties, provided they have, or one of them has, paid the full cost of the proceedings.
2. However, should the consultations fail to bring about a settlement, the mediator shall duly inform the Secretariat of CEPANI.
Article 15 : End of mini-trial
1. The mini-trial comes to an end when a settlement is reached.
2. If no settlement is reached, the mini-trial shall end as soon as the mediator informs the Secretariat of CEPANI of the failure in writing.
3. Should one of the parties fail to appear in the proceedings after having been duly summoned, the mini-trial shall end as soon as the mediator will have informed the Secretariat of CEPANI of this in writing.
4. Either party may, at any time, refuse to continue the mini-trial proceedings. In that case, the mini-trial ends when written notification of that party's refusal is sent to the mediator and the Secretariat of CEPANI.
5. The mediator may also decide, after consultation with his assessors, that there is no further justification for continuing the mini-trial.
In that case, the mini-trial ends as soon as the mediator will have informed the Secretariat of CEPANI of this in writing.
Article 16 : Judicial or arbitral proceedings
1. During the mini-trial, the parties undertake not to initiate or continue any judicial or arbitral proceedings relating to the same dispute, except as a conservatory measure.
2. Notwithstanding paragraph 1 here above, the parties may apply to the Court or to the arbitrator(s) a request for conservatory or provisional measures.
Such a request does not entail a renunciation to pursue the mini-trial.
Article 17 : The duties of the members of the mini-trial committee and of the parties and counsel
1. The members of the mini-trial committee, the parties and their counsel, shall be bound by strict confidentiality.
2. Under no circumstances may any mention be made in judicial or arbitral proceedings of anything which was done, said or written towards a settlement that eventually failed to be reached.
3. Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, the mediator is prevented from acting as an arbitrator, judge, representative or counsel of a party in judicial or arbitral proceedings relating to the dispute which was the subject of a mini-trial procedure.
Article 18 : Costs
1. The mini-trial costs shall include the costs and fees of the mediator, as well as CEPANI's administrative costs in accordance with the mini-trial Schedule of costs in force at the beginning of the mini-trial.
2. The Secretariat of CEPANI shall determine the amount of the advance deemed necessary to cover the cost of the mini-trial as soon as it shall have received the Request.
3. Unless otherwise agreed, the parties shall each bear one half of the final cost of the mini-trial as determined by the Secretariat of CEPANI.
4. The costs and fees of each assessor shall be borne by the party that has appointed him.
Article 19 : Rules of good conduct for mediators
Only those persons who are independent of the parties and of their counsel, and who comply with the rules of good conduct set out in Schedule II, may serve as mediators in mini-trials organised by CEPANI.
Cost of mini-trial and conciliation scale
1. The mini-trial and conciliation costs shall be determined by the Secretariat of CEPANI in relation with the amount in dispute and within the limits mentioned hereinafter:
2. These amounts include the administrative costs of CEPANI, which shall not exceed 10% of the total mini-trial or conciliation costs. The administrative costs are subject to VAT.
3. When the mediator or conciliator is subject to VAT, he shall inform the Secretariat of CEPANI accordingly, which shall thereupon charge the parties with the VAT owed on their fees.
4. Whenever the circumstances of the case so require, the aforementioned minimum and maximum amounts may be increased, after having heard the mini-trial committee or the conciliator and the parties, as the case may be.
5. The mini-trial committee and the conciliator shall only deal with those claims for which the advance has been paid.