The Arbitration, Mediation and Conciliation Centre of the Benin Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CAMeC/CCI Benin), is a body of the Benin Chamber of Commerce and Industry made available to businesswomen and men to facilitate the settlement of disputes arising from their business relationships. In this interview, Coovi Alain AMOUSSOUKPEVI, President of CAMeC/CCI Benin presents the benefits of the body for economic operators.
The Economist of Benin: What is the CAMeC and what are these tools?
Coovi Alain AMOUSSOUKPEVI: The CAMeC is a body of the Consular Institution made available to heads of companies to facilitate the settlement of disputes arising from their commercial relations. CAMeC is an institution, which organizes and facilitates recourse to alternative justice through arbitration and mediation in accordance with the provisions of the AUM and OHADA.
This is about arbitration. It is a private justice system, a mechanism through which companies in the same country settle their disputes. It is used internationally in international trade. It results in an arbitral award, rendered by an arbitral tribunal appointed by the disputing parties with the assistance of an arbitration centre.
– mediation, according to Article 1 of the MUA, means any process, whatever its name, in which the parties ask a third party to help them reach an amicable settlement of a dispute, a conflictual relationship or a disagreement, arising from a legal, contractual or other relationship or related to such a relationship, involving natural or legal persons, including public state entities or states.
It is understood that this term applies to any process (mediation, conciliation or any other) in which the parties wish a third party to assist them in reaching an amicable settlement).
What are the benefits for the economic operator of using these modes?
Many benefits are attached to the use of these modes, especially when compared to the mode of dispute resolution before our state courts: Time saving (45 days and 6 months at most); Sustainability of contractual relations; Benefits related to the confidential nature of the modes, Cost control; (mediation at zero cost); Respect for the adversarial; Friendly atmosphere, relaxed without anxiety… ; Rapid execution of decisions (mediation agreement and sentence; Decongestion of the courts: (thanks to a partnership with the Cotonou Commercial Court); The list is not exhaustive.
What are the conditions to be met by the merchant to benefit from these modes?
The sufficient and necessary condition is the will of the parties.
This will is expressed on two levels:
-Before the dispute arises;
-By insertion in the main contract of an arbitration clause.
The arbitration clause is that clause which provides that any dispute that arises will be settled by arbitration or mediation.
This clause may be inserted in the contract or also constitute a separate document. The essential thing is that it should be drawn up before the dispute arises.
What is the legal effect of the arbitration clause?
The advantage of having it before the dispute arises is that once the dispute arises, the parties and even the courts are bound by this clause.
What is the risk to the parties when such a clause is included in a contract?
A compromise is an agreement that the parties agree to settle their dispute through arbitration or mediation for the conflict arising out of their contract. The risk associated with this method is that once the dispute has arisen, a party may withdraw from this invitation and will prefer to resort to state justice.
What is the referral procedure?
Once this will of the parties is displayed, then to benefit from the support of CAMeC, it is necessary to refer to the Permanent Secretary by a simple request.
Depending on the amount of the dispute, the payment of a provision will be necessary.
The CAMeC organises the procedure (it prepares the file for examination by the arbitrator or mediator) and ensures the proper application of the rules of procedure.
It is not the CAMeC that judges, but makes available to the parties a list from which the parties freely choose the mediator or arbitrator. This is why it is said that the CAMeC does not settle disputes on its own.
What is the purpose of mediation and arbitration processes?
At the end of the process, the parties obtain the mediation agreement and the arbitral award.
What is the legal scope of the mediation agreement?
Article 16 of the UMA provides that this agreement is binding and binding on the parties. He is liable to forced execution.
It may be filed in the minutes of a notary with recognition of handwritings and signatures.
At the joint request of the parties or failing that, at the request of the most diligent party, it may also be subject to approval or enforcement.
What about the arbitral award ?
Article 23 of the AAU provides that the arbitral award shall, as soon as it is rendered, have the force of res judicata. It is exactly like a judgment in court.
It is binding on the parties who must execute it in good faith.
However, in the event of non-performance by one of the parties, the diligent party has the possibility to request the exequatur which gives binding force to the award.
Can a party exercise its right of appeal against an arbitral award?
Article 25 of the AAU provides that the arbitral award is not subject to opposition, appeal or cassation complaint.
Article 30 of the AAU specifies that the arbitral award is enforceable only by virtue of an enforcement order issued by the competent court.
Where is CAMeC in Cotonou?
The CAMeC is located at Haie vive, 4th street after air France and coming from the Place des Martyrs (Cotonou)
Tel: 68 63 70 70 or 69 33 70 70 /21 31 69 69
Adapted and Translated from French into English by:
CEO at LMS (www.lmsgroupafrica.com)
American Translators Association (ATA) Associate Member