Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms


Welcome to #FreshStartMonday!

“An ounce of mediation is worth a pound of arbitration and a ton of litigation!”
— Joseph Grynbaum

According to statistics from the Judicial Systemby 2017 there were 6 judges and 30 judicial assistants for every 100,000 citizens. The workload is also representative, in 2021, 356,820 new lawsuits were filed. In addition to the complexity of the cases, the way in which the parties approach the processes and appeal procedures impact greatly on the length of proceedings and the overall quality of the resolutions.

This situation represents an obstacle to accessing a prompt resolution, which implies weighing other Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms (ADR). ADR are alternative processes to the courts that seek a solution to conflicts between parties, either directly between them (such as negotiation and transaction) or through a third party that helps to find or facilitate a resolution of the conflict (such as conciliation, mediation, and arbitration).

Mediation is a private process, where a neutral third party, called a mediator, assists the parties in conflict by promoting dialogue, so that they reach a valid solution on their own. The parties can describe the problems and discuss their interests, emotions and possible solutions.[1]

Conciliation is the procedure in which the neutral third-party acts as a conciliator and its task is to identify areas of common ground and make suggestions that are acceptable to both parties.[2]

The main difference between the two methods is that the conciliator proposes a solution to the conflict, which is not binding on the parties. Whereas the mediator works with the parties to encourage them to reach a transaction that resolves the dispute.[3]

In Guatemala, conciliation can be done out-of-court or through the courts and is regulated by the Civil and Commercial Procedure Code, the Labor Code, and the Arbitration Law.

Conciliation or mediation may be carried out freely between parties, through the Mediation Centers of the Judiciary,or even using the services of specialized institutions to substantiate these procedures, such as the Conflict Resolution Commission of the Chamber of Industry of Guatemala - CRECIG - and the Arbitration and Conciliation Center of the Chamber of Commerce of Guatemala -CENAC-.-.

MARCs can contribute to reducing court system workload, accelerating the resolution of disputes, and improving access to justice in Guatemala. 

Next week we will continue to explore the topic of arbitration.

We hope you enjoy your coffee!


[1] Manual de Mediación Civil. Colección: Sistema Adversarial Civil. Global  Affairs Canadá. Autores: Helena Soleto y Marco Fandiño. 2017. Centro de Estudios de Justicia de las Americas, CEJA. Pág. 42

[2] Francisco González Cossío. Nociones Básicas.  Pág. 38

[3] Francisco González Cossío. La Teoría de la Naturaleza Inversa de las Controversias. Pág. 15.