Supreme Court's Order No. 13/2020: Extension of the Extraordinary Judicial Recess. Resolution No. 2020-121-APN-MJ: Mediation: Remote Hearings. 

April, 2020 - Eduardo Güemes, Martín Gastaldi, Gonzalo García Delatour, Federico Sosa

Supreme Court's Order No. 13/2020: Extension of the extraordinary judicial recess.

Within the state of sanitary emergency declared regarding COVID-19 and the mandatory social, preventive isolation measure duly decreed, the Supreme Court has adopted different measures within the National Judicial Branch, consistent with the National Executive Branch provisions and the recommendations of the national sanitary authority. In order to align with Decree No. 408/20, through which the National Executive Branch enacted the extension of Decree No. 297/20 (later extended by Decrees 325/20, 355/20, and their complementary regulations), on 04.27.2020, the Supreme Court issued the Order No. 13/2020.

Through Order No. 13/2020, the Supreme Court ordered: (i) the extension of the extraordinary judicial recess issued by Order No. 6/2020, from April 27th through May 10th, 2020, both dates included, (ii) the appointment of Dr. Carlos Fernando Rosenkrantz as a judge on duty of the Supreme Court and Dr. Marcelo Julio Navarro as secretary on duty of the same Court, (iii) to maintain the public opening hours of courts on duty from Monday to Friday from 9.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m., (iv) to entrust the different national and federal courts which are in charge of the superintendence of each jurisdiction: (a) the appointment of authorities on duty within their jurisdiction for attending issues which do not admit a delay and (b) the power to extend the subjects to be dealt with by such courts during this extraordinary judicial recess.

Resolution No. 2020-121-APN-MJ: Mediation: remote hearings.

Due to the public health emergency that Argentina is going through, caused by the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and, the process of improvement of the provision of justice service, on April 23, the Federal Ministry of Justice and Human Resources issued Resolution 121-2020-APN-MJ (the “Resolution No. 121/2020”). Through this Resolution, the Ministry of Justice ordered (i) that during the term of enforcement of the circulatory restrictions and social distancing, the mediators have the power to hold prejudicial mediation hearings through electronic means, video conference or similar means, provided that the identity of the parties is certified and the proceeding rules of the Law No. 26,859 (Mediation Law) are respected; (ii) that it will be responsibility of the mediator to summon the parties and their attorneys to certify their identity; (iii) prior to the first hearing the parties and their attorneys will have to send to the mediator their cellphone numbers and images of their ID, and also the parties and the attorneys will declare that every notice shall be valid through such means to the contact data provided; (iv) the possibility of performing videoconferences in individual way with each party or jointly, with the chance to complement them via e-mail and/or phone conversation if all the parties have the technical means and when agreed to celebrate the hearing by this remote mean; (v) that if the potential reached agreement imposes payment of obligations, such obligations will be accomplish through wire transfers to the accounts that, in due course the parties inform; (vi) that the agreement reached in the terms of the Resolution No.121/2020, will have the same effects that those held in presential hearings; and (vii) the deferral of the of the payment of the mandatory mediation fee until the mechanisms to implement them by electronic means are established.

Likewise, Resolution No. 121/2020 ordered that the mediation forms must be registered through the system MEPRE and that in the section “observations” of such forms it must be added “carried out remotely”, mentioning the Resolution at stake.

Regarding the signature of the agreements, Resolution No. 121/2020 covers two possible scenarios: (i) the digital signature in accordance with the Section 288 of Civil and Commercial Code and the Law 25.506 of digital signature and, (ii) in case of not being possible the signing of the agreement through digital signature, the parties shall be comprehended within the exception to circulate in the streets established by the Administrative Decision 446-2020-APN-JGM of April 1st, 2020, and, in such scenario, the Mediator shall send a summon through e-mail indicating the day and hours in which the party will be allowed to circulate. Such summon will be performed in accordance with the Resolution 2020-48-APN-MI, issued on March 28th, 2020.

Finally, it is important to highlight again that Resolution No. 121/2020 set forth that the hearings shall be celebrated in this way only if all the parties have the technical means needed and that previously have agreed to celebrate the hearing in the terms of this Resolution by written way through any mean.


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