Legal Updates for January 2024

Court-led Mediation in Myanmar: Practical Tips for Favourable Outcomes

As part of its ongoing efforts to effectively manage the increasing caseloads of the Myanmar Courts, the Supreme Court of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (USC) introduced a court-led mediation programme ("Mediation Programme") in March 2019 with the assistance of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The Mediation Programme aims to provide an alternative time- and cost-saving means for litigants to resolve their disputes. The pilot Mediation Programme was first implemented at eight Township Courts and two District Courts, and subsequently at all state and regional High Courts.

On 11 October 2021, the Myanmar Civil Procedure Code ("CPC") was amended to formally introduce court-led mediation by law as one of the avenues for the resolution of civil disputes. The CPC now provides that the following types of cases should be first referred to court-led mediation to see if a settlement can be reached:

  1. monetary claims, family disputes, and commercial disputes; and/or
  2. cases which are referred to mediation either voluntarily by mutual consent of the parties or by any law or notification of the USC after the defendant has entered his appearance in the case.

In this article, we share our observations on how court-led mediation is currently being conducted, together with practical tips on how to maximise your chances for a successful outcome.