The approval of the new Code of Civil Procedure (CPC), which will take effect in March 2016, brings many challenges to be met by those involved in the process. Marked by an emphasis on rapid solution for disputes, the new legislation includes a number of provisions to achieve this purpose, as the express references to the reasonable duration of the proceedings (by the way, as provided for in the Federal Constitution), the reduced arsenal of remedies available to the parties and the need for processing cases in chronological order, which is not the case in forensic practice today.
Among the measures introduced by the legislator to accelerate adjudication, one that draws great attention is the emphasis on ´amicable conflict resolution´ (Article 3, Paragraph 2). According to the new procedural law, the plaintiff shall, in the complaint, indicate whether or not he is interested in a conciliation or mediation hearing (Article 319, VII), with the defense being filed only after this initial attempt for a solution. Apparently, the goal of the legislator is to give litigants a new opportunity, in the judicial sphere, to resolve their conflicts amicably, avoiding any lengthy and costly unfolding of the dispute.
The intention, at least at a glance, is commendable, whether because the litigious environment, in fact, produces inefficiency, or because the acceptance of a homologation decision is much higher than judicially imposed ruling. The fact is that the amicable settlement of the dispute prevents financial, time and emotional losses for the parties, and makes them better accept the provision contained in the enforceable instrument (homologated decision), which also minimizes the drawbacks of the enforcement phase of the decision.
Even if the procedural environment is litigious by definition, the intention in the new Code of Civil Procedure is to minimize the effects involved in litigation, responsible in many cases for the loss of efficiency in adjudication. Such a stance is already quite adopted in the United States, whose statistics point to a very high percentage of amicable dispute settlements.
The legislator's goal will only be achieved, however, through a cultural change from all those involved in the dispute. It is worth mentioning that instruments for conciliation are already available to the parties, so that the changes introduced by the Code of Civil Procedure will only be mere legal provisions if the parties do not assimilate that conciliation can be a good alternative if the lawyers do not perform their duty of advising more actively and if the judicial body fails to take, in fact, a mediator role.
In any event, the first step has been taken by changing the Code of Civil Procedure. From now on, a deep reflection is necessary by all those who work in court about the advantages of fast and amicable dispute resolution, so that the search for a settlement to be desired on a larger scale.
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