Public and business perceptions of mediation and arbitration in Georgia. 2019-2021

Public and business perceptions of mediation and arbitration in Georgia. 2019-2021

September 28, 2020

A series of studies, conducted in 2019- 2021, examines what Georgian citizens and the private sector know about the alternative ways of dispute resolution – mediation and arbitration and how satisfied they are with the provided services.

The study of public perceptions is based on face-to-face interviews with 1,500 people in nine cities of Georgia and online interviews with representatives of 1,255 private companies in different business segments.

The user satisfaction research is based on telephone interviews with 220 mediation and arbitration users across the country.

Both studies were commissioned by the EU and UNDP as part of their wider support to promoting access to justice in Georgia and conducted by “Institute of Social Studies and Analysis” (ISSA), a Georgian research company.

Key findings:

  • 80 percent of Georgian citizens and businesses never heard of mediation.
  • 70 percent of citizens and 54 percent of businesses have little or no awareness of arbitration.
  • After receiving some additional information, more than half of both companies and citizens say they would rather choose mediation and arbitration over court if they had a dispute to resolve.
  • Those who already had experience with the alternative ways of resolving disputes, tend to be contented with the process and service.
  • 90 percent of arbitration and 56 percent of mediation users assess them positively. 
  • Low fees and faster resolution are viewed as the advantages of both mediation and arbitration.
  • The time spent on mediation if parties fail to settle is viewed as a shortcoming.
  • The fact that an arbitral decision cannot be appealed is considered a disadvantage of arbitration.
  • Overall users were most satisfied with the process and services of mediation (56 percent) and arbitration (90 percent) in 2020.
  • 92 percent of arbitration users were satisfied with the services in 2021.
  • 87 percent of mediation users were satisfied with mediation proceedings in 2021.