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Editorial

The Dispute Resolution Review Sixth Edition - Romania

Disputes in Romania are settled in court in the vast majority of cases, under procedures regulated mainly by the new Civil Procedure Code (CPC). The CPC entered into force on 15 February 2013, has carried out a systemic and extensive overhaul of the Romanian dispute resolution model. With a specific focus on acceleration of trial proceedings, the new regulation has reformed both the schedule and the content of proceedings taking place in various phases of the lawsuit, while attempting to clarify many of the controversies raised by interpretable provisions in the former regulation.

The system is designed to ensure a double-level jurisdiction, with local courts, tribunals or courts of appeal acting as first instances depending on the nature and value of the litigation, while the High Court of Cassation and Justice acts exclusively as a court of last resort, also settling requests for unification of practice.

With the number, range and complexity of disputes dramatically increasing in past years against the backdrop of economic growth and legislative changes, especially generated by Romania's accession to the EU on 1 January 2007, parties are increasingly resorting to ADR procedures, especially arbitration, even though the vast majority of disputes are still adjudicated in the courts. Mediation was only introduced in 2006 and its practice is still to be developed, helped by a July 2012 amendment to the mediation law that will require litigating parties to prove that they have taken part in an information meeting regarding the advantages of mediation.

The focus of the year was the entry into force of the new Civil Procedure Code, a substantial and structural reform of all aspects of procedural civil law. While an original enactment date had been set for 1 September 2012, a government emergency ordinance issued immediately prior to this deadline postponed the moment of entry to 15 February 2013, quoting ‘financial budgetary restrictions that have delayed measures of absolute necessity for the preparation of the judicial system in view of the new Civil Procedure Code'. Furthermore, in view of the same rationale, the Romanian parliament has granted a three-year postponement of entry of the Code's provisions relating to trial administration of evidence in the judge's chambers.

"Reproduced with permission from Law Business Research Ltd. This article was first published in The Dispute Resolution Review Sixth Edition (published in February 2014; Editor: Jonathan Cotton). For further information please visit www.TheLawReviews.co.uk."

Levana Zigmund, Ţuca Zbârcea & Asociaţii

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