ADR in Brazil is a hot issue. The number of courses, events, discussions and debates over the present and future status of mediation is already significant and growing at high rates. For the people who are involved in the field, it looks like mediation booming.
There are reasons for this enthusiasm. The Brazilian Court System may have become an economic bottleneck. Given the slowness of the Brazilian Court System, in theory, there is a demand for quicker, more agile and informal ways of resolving disputes.
The adversarial process built into the Brazilian court system can no longer be the sole or even the preferred way to address disputes. It is expensive, slow and unpredictable. This situation calls (or screams) for the application of ADR. Mediation would seem to be the natural solution to be adopted in most cases.
Additionally, Brazil has already produced a significant number of well-trained mediators, a Code of Ethics following international standards and judges and court staff adequately trained and prepared to identify cases which could be referred to mediation. Despite the theoretically favorable environment, in practice, mediation is still not the preferred way to resolve disputes in Brazil. In fact, mediation in Brazil is adopted in a very small number of cases. Brazil has the need and the means to adopt mediation as a main stream form of dispute resolution, but somehow it has not happened so far.