In May 2010, the Government submitted to the Parliament a proposal for an amendment of the Federal Law on Public Procurement (Message to the Parliament of 19 May 2010, 10.051, http://www.admin.ch/ch/d/ff/2010/4051.pdf). The amendment would, in respect of Federal procurement processes for certain types of projects, preclude unsuccessful bidders from seeking a stay of the entire process when challenging a decision of the adjudicatory authority. According to the Government, the current public procurement regulations do not achieve one of their stated main goals, namely the efficient use of public funds.

In comparison to the Western world, business culture in Russia is more often than not one of confrontation and of mutual tests of strength, especially in the construction sector. Hence the important volumes of court decisions carrying the authority of res judicata to settle a dispute, while alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods such as mediation relying on the parties’ bona fide have been much less used so far.

In this regard, the recent adoption on July 27, 2010 of Federal Laws 193-FZ and 194-FZ improving the legal regime of Mediation (the Mediation Laws) can be seen as a bold and satisfying legislative move to complete the legal framework of ADR in Russia and stimulate the use of these methods (the arbitration legal regime has indeed been settled for long already by Federal Laws of July 7, 1993 and July 24, 2002). These Mediation Laws will come into force on January 1, 2011. […]

Disputes in the construction industry have historically lent themselves to the utilisation of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) processes. During the boom times of the late nineties and early noughties, parties to construction contracts focussed less on hard dollar contracts and strict legal claims, and more on relationship based contracting and dispute avoidance, such that reliance on more formal ADR fell away.