Download the Mediation Rules

The Rules are in force as from the 1st of January 2018.

The numbers of the legal provisions referred to in these Rules, are the provisions in force when the Rules were approved.

STANDARD MEDIATION CLAUSE

“The Parties hereby undertake to apply the CEPANI Mediation Rules to all disputes arising out of or in connection with this agreement.”

The following provisions may be added to this clause:

“The place of the mediation shall be [          ]”.

The proceedings shall be conducted in the [            ] language”.

“Should the mediation fail, the dispute shall be finally settled under the CEPANI Rules of Arbitration by one or more Arbitrators appointed in accordance with the said Rules. The place of the arbitration shall be [            ], the arbitration shall be conducted in the [ ] language”.

INTRODUCTION

These Rules shall apply if one or more Parties wish to settle their dispute through mediation organized by CEPANI. It is not required that the Parties have concluded a mediation agreement prior to the dispute nor that a mediation clause be inserted in an agreement between Parties concerning which the dispute has arisen.

These Rules shall also apply to disputes arising out of contracts referring to CEPANI’s Mediation Rules for Information and Communications Technology, which are abrogated and replaced by these Rules.

Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution method whereby Parties Request a Third Person (the Mediator) to assist them in their attempt to reach an amicable settlement of their dispute arising out of, or relating to, a contractual or other legal relationship of whatsoever nature.

When the nature of the dispute requires complementary specializations (e.g. legal and technical), several Mediators may be appointed. In this case, the word ”Mediator” shall be read as Mediators.

When more than two Parties are involved in the dispute, the word “Requesting Party”, or “other Party” shall be read and understood as involving several Parties.

Article 1. Unilateral or joint Request for mediation

1.1 A Party wishing to have recourse to mediation under the CEPANI Rules shall submit its Request for Mediation to the Secretariat, in person or via its authorized Representative or Counsel. The Request must be submitted in electronic form and in one hard copy and must be signed in both cases by the Party wishing to have recourse to mediation or by its authorized Representative  or Counsel.

Upon receipt of the Request, CEPANI shall send a copy of the Request by e-mail to the other Party or Parties involved.

If no valid e-mail address is known for the other Party(ies) involved, the unilateral Request submitted shall be supplied in a number of original and signed copies sufficient to provide one copy for the other Party(ies) and one copy for the Secretariat.

1.2 The Request for Mediation may also be submitted jointly by all Parties involved in the dispute.

The Request and the documents annexed thereto must be submitted in electronic form and in one hard copy. In both cases, it must be signed by all Parties or by their authorized Representative or Counsel.

1.3 The Request shall contain, inter alia, the following information:

  1. name, address, registered office, telephone and fax number, valid e-mail address, and company registration number, if any, of the Requesting Party and the identity of any Representative or Counsel having the capacity to act on behalf of the Requesting Party;
  2. a unique electronic communication method chosen for the exchange of all communications during the proceedings (including the name of the contact person and a valid e-mail adress);
  3. in case of a unilateral Request for Mediation in accordance with Article 1.1 : the name of the other Parties, along with all the information the Requesting Party has for contacting the other Parties or their authorized Representatives or Counsel, such as a postal or valid e-mail address, telephone and fax numbers, company registration number and any information obtained from previous contacts;
  4. a brief recital of the dispute;
  5. the proof of payment of the registration costs as fixed under Article 4 of Schedule I.A of these Rules.

1.4 In the case of a unilateral Request for Mediation, as mentioned in Article 1.1 of these Rules, and if the Request contains a claim to a right, the Requesting Party who introduced the Request shall comply with the formalities set out in Article 1730 of the Belgian Judicial Code in order for the Request to suspend the limitation period and to have the effect of a formal notice.

In the case of a joint Request as mentioned in Article 1.2 of these Rules, the Parties accept that, if their joint Request contains a claim to a right, it shall suspend the limitation period of the claim related to the said right during one month and shall have the effect of a formal notice.

Article 2. Answer to the Request for Mediation

Within two weeks after the Request has been sent as mentioned in Article 1.1, the other Party shall inform the CEPANI Secretariat whether or not it wishes to participate in the mediation. This deadline may be extended with Parties’ consent.

If no positive answer is given within the said time limit, the Request for Mediation shall be deemed to have been rejected by the said other Party.

A disagreement on the conditions set out by the Requesting Party is also considered as a refusal to take part in the mediation, unless the Requesting Party accepts in writing the conditions proposed by the other Party or if both Parties inform CEPANI of the conditions they have both agreed on.

Article 3. Effect of the mediation agreement

When the Parties agree to resort to CEPANI for mediation, they thereby submit to these Rules, including the Schedules, in effect on the date of the receipt by the CEPANI Secretariat of the Request for Mediation.

THE MEDIATIOR

Article 4. Appointment of the Mediator(s)

4.1 The CEPANI Appointments Committee or the President of CEPANI shall appoint a Mediator within two weeks following receipt of the positive response as mentioned in Article 2. In doing so, the Mediator(‘) s(‘) availability, qualifications and ability to carry out the mediation in accordance with these Rules shall be taken into account.

The Parties may also propose by mutual consent the name of a Mediator to the Appointments Committee or to the President of CEPANI

4.2  When it notifies the identity of the Mediator the CEPANI Secretariat shall also communicate simultaneously to the Parties:

  • the administrative expenses of CEPANI;
  • the amount of the advance for mediation costs;
  • the conditions for the payment of these costs;
  • the date and the place of the mediation.

4.3 Provided that the advance for mediation costs has been fully paid, the CEPANI Secretariat shall transmit the file to the Mediator as soon as the latter has been appointed.

4.4 When several Mediators are appointed, they will act as a body.

Article 5. Independence of the Mediator

The Mediator shall be independent. Prior to his/her appointment, the Mediator shall sign a statement of acceptance, availability and independence and shall undertake to comply with the Rules of Good Conduct set out in Schedule II.

The Mediator shall disclose in writing to the Secretariat any facts or circumstances which might be of such a nature so as to call into question his/her independence in the eyes of the Parties. The Secretariat shall provide such information to the Parties in writing and fix a time limit for the receipt of their comments.

The Mediator and/or the Parties shall immediately disclose to CEPANI any facts or circumstances which might be of such a nature as to call into question the Mediator’s independence and which may occur during the mediation. In such event, CEPANI may, if the Parties or one of them so Requests, replace the Mediator.

Article 6. Mediation Protocol

6.1 The Mediator is free to organize the mediation as he/she sees fit in accordance with these Rules.

Before starting the mediation, in accordance with Article 1731 of the Belgian Judicial Code, the Mediator shall sign a Mediation Protocol with the Parties which shall state inter alia:

  • the scale of fees or the method of determining the fees of the Mediator;
  • the way in which the mediation costs will be divided among the Parties and the amount of the advance foreseen to cover these costs, as determined in accordance with Article 12 of these Rules;
  • the method(s) of communication, if any, agreed by the Parties and the Mediator.

An original copy of the Mediation Protocol, duly signed by the Mediator and by the Parties or their authorized Representative or Counsel, shall be transmitted to the CEPANI Secretariat.

Article 7. Powers of the Mediator

7.1 The Mediator shall ensure that the proceedings are properly conducted. He/She shall create a favourable climate in which Parties themselves can find a solution to their dispute.

7.2 The Mediator shall ensure that the Parties are always treated on a balanced basis.

7.3 If Parties agree during a mediation that it would be useful for the Mediator to be made aware of the documentary evidence or of certain documents, or if the Mediator himself/herself finds it useful, they will be communicated accompanied with a list of the documents. This communication must not necessarily be made to the other Party(ies).

7.4 The Mediator shall not have the power to impose a solution on the Parties.

7.5 If nothing else is foreseen before or during the mediation, the Mediator’s approach will mainly consist in facilitating the search for a settlement between the Parties. On Parties’ Request the Mediator may however, insofar he/she judges it appropriate and being exclusively guided by the effectiveness of the procedure, give an opinion and express views regarding the Parties’ positions, both from a legal and a factual point of view. This opinion shall not bind the Parties or the Mediator. The opinion shall be construed as exclusively designed to give the Parties an informed analysis provided by a neutral and independent Third Party with the aim of helping them to find a solution to their dispute.

7.6 In the context of, and for the benefits of, his/her mission, the Mediator may, with the consent of the Parties, hear third Parties if they accept to be heard or, when it appears useful in the search for a solution, consult an Expert in one or more specific fields with a view to aiding the Parties.

7.7 After having consulted the Parties, the Mediator may decide to hold meetings at any location that he/she considers appropriate.

Article 8. Replacement of the Mediator

8.1 In the event of the Mediator’s death, resignation, if there is a cause preventing him/her from fulfilling his/her duties, or upon Request of all Parties, the Mediator shall be replaced.

8.2 The Mediator shall also be replaced when the Appointments Committee or the President decides that the Mediator is prevented de jure or de facto from fulfilling his/her duties in accordance with these Rules or within the allotted time limits.

Article 9. Secrecy obligation of the Mediator, the Parties, their authorized Representatives and  Counsel.

The Mediator, the Parties, their authorized Representatives and Counsel, as well as the Experts or third Parties that have been involved in the proceedings, have a duty of secrecy in accordance with Article 1728 of the Belgian Judicial Code.

Save with the approval of the Mediator and the Parties, the meetings held within the context of mediation are not open to persons not involved in the mediation. However, if all Parties agree, other Parties may participate in the mediation.

Parties shall appear in person, as the case may be via one or more Representatives, with or without Counsel. Their Representatives must have a good knowledge of the dispute and the necessary decision-making power to settle it.

Article 10. Confidentiality of communications

All communications between the Parties and/or the Mediator as from his/ her appointment or by the latter for the purposes of the mediation, are confidential. The Parties undertake to refrain from making any reference whatsoever to the mediation outside the context of the mediation.

Unless otherwise agreed by the Parties, this shall however not apply to the Mediation Protocol, or to the notification of the end of the mediation as mentioned in Article 11 herein, nor to any settlement reached by the Parties at the end of the mediation.

Pre-existing documents or documents obtained by a Party outside of the context of the mediation and which are communicated in the context and for the purposes of the mediation between the Parties, to the Mediator or by the Mediator to the Parties or to one of the Parties are not covered by this confidentiality rule. As the case may be, said documents may subsequently be used by the Parties for other purposes than the mediation, unless they were specifically communicated as confidential documents as part of the mediation.

However, unless otherwise agreed by all Parties to the mediation, the Parties undertake to refrain from in any way referring to the fact that the documents have been communicated as a part of the mediation.

Article 11. Settlement / Non-settlement and end of the mediation

Settlement / Non-settlement

11.1 Should the mediation lead to a settlement between the Parties, the agreement shall be set forth in writing, dated and signed by the Parties and, when Requested by the Parties, by the Mediator. This document shall set out the precise undertakings of each Party as well as the allocation of the mediation costs, if this differs from what was agreed in the Mediation Protocol.

The Mediator shall send an original copy of the settlement to CEPANI.

11.2 In the event that the mediation fails to produce a settlement, or if the Mediator considers that the mediation should not be pursued, he/she shall inform the CEPANI Secretariat and the Parties thereof.

End of the mediation

11.3 When an agreement is reached, the mediation shall end when a copy of the settlement, signed by the Parties and, if needed, by the Mediator, is sent to the CEPANI Secretariat. Parties may however agree, by so indicating in their settlement that the mediation will end only later, for example to allow the Mediator to remain in office until the settlement is carried out.

11.4 At any time, either Party may refuse to continue the mediation. If no agreement is reached, the Parties and the Mediator acknowledge the lack of agreement and the Mediator or one of the Parties notifies the CEPANI Secretariat that no settlement has been reached, with a copy of the said notification to the Parties.

11.5 In the event that the mediation fails, the Mediator shall not act as an arbitrator, Representative or Counsel of a Party in arbitral or judicial proceedings relating to the dispute which was the subject of mediation, unless otherwise agreed by the Parties.

Article 12. Mediation costs

12.1 The mediation costs shall include the fees and expenses of the Mediator, as well as the CEPANI administrative expenses and all costs related to the mediation as have been agreed by the Parties. The advance required to cover the mediation costs shall be paid to CEPANI prior to the appointment of the Mediator by the Appointments Committee or the President. The said advance shall be fixed by the Secretariat on the basis of the total value of the sum of the principal claims and counterclaims, in accordance with the scale of fees in force at the time of the commencement of the mediation.

12.2 Other costs and expenses relating to the mediation, such as the expenses incurred by a Party, are not included in the mediation costs and are borne by the said Party, unless otherwise agreed by Parties, such agreement to be in writing.

12.3 If CEPANI decides in the course of the mediation, after having consulted the Mediator, that the initial advance for mediation costs must be adjusted, the Parties shall be Requested to make a further advance payment.

Unless otherwise agreed by the Parties, the initial advance on mediation costs, as well as any additional advance(s) on mediation costs, shall be payable in equal shares by the Parties.

When a Request for an additional advance on mediation costs has not been complied with, and after consultation with the Mediator, the Secretariat may direct the Mediator to suspend his/her work until the advance is fully paid.

12.4 At the end of the mediation, the mediation costs are deducted from the advance on mediation costs received. The outstanding balance, if any, is reimbursed to the Parties, as may be agreed between them.

FINAL PROVISION

Article 13. Limitation of liability

For any act or omission in the course of a mediation, the Mediator, CEPANI and its members and personnel shall not incur any liability except in the case of fraud or gross negligence.

SCHEDULE I: Scale of Fees for Mediation 

SCHEDULE II: Rules of Good Conduct

SCHEDULE III: Parties’ Costs

SCHEDULE IV: Bepalingen van het Belgisch gerechtelijk wetboek (zoals gewijzigd op 18 juni 2018) /  Dispositions du Code judiciaire belge relatives à la médiation  (Telles qu’amendées par la loi du 18 juin 2018)

Download the Mini-Trial Rules

The Rules are in force as from Januray 1st, 2018

STANDARD MINI-TRIAL CLAUSE

The Parties who wish to refer to the CEPANI mini-trial Rules are advised to insert the following clause in their contracts:

“The Parties hereby undertake to apply the CEPANI mini-trial Rules for all disputes arising out of or in relation with this agreement.”

The following provisions may be added to this clause:

“The seat of the mini-trial shall be [           ]”.

“The proceedings shall be conducted in the [            ] language”.

“Should the mini-trial fail, the dispute shall be finally settled under the CEPANI Rules of Arbitration by one or more Arbitrators appointed in accordance with those Rules”.

PRELIMINARY   PROVISIONS

Article 1. Belgian Centre for Mediation and Arbitration

The Belgian Centre for Arbitration and Mediation (“CEPANI”) is an independent body which administers mini-trial proceedings in accordance with its Rules. It does not itself resolve disputes and it does not act as President of the Mini-trial Committee.

GENERAL  PROVISIONS

Article 2. Scope

A mini-trial agreement may be set forth in a clause of the contract or entered into after the dispute has arisen.

COMMENCEMENT OF THE PROCEEDINGS

Article 3. Request for Mini-trial

  1. A Party wishing to have recourse to Mini-trial under the CEPANI Rules shall submit its Request for Mini-trial to the Secretariat.

The Request for Mini-trial shall include, inter alia, the following information:

  1. name, first name and the name in full, function, address, telephone and fax numbers, valid e-mail addresses and VAT-number, if any, of each of the Parties;
  2. a succinct recital of the nature and circumstances of the dispute giving rise to the claim;
  3. a statement to the relief sought, a summary of the grounds for the claim, and, if possible, a financial estimate of the amount of the claim;
  4. name, first name and the name in full, function, address and valid e-mail address, telephone and fax numbers of the assessor appointed by Claimant to sit on the Mini-trial Committee;
  5. any comments as to the place of the Mini-trial, the language of the Mini-trial and the applicable Rules of law.

Together with the Request, Claimant shall provide copies of all agreements, in particular the Mini-trial agreement, the correspondence between the Parties and other relevant documents.

The Request for Mini-trial and the documents annexed thereto must be submitted in electronic form and in one hard copy.

  1. Claimant shall also attach to the Request for Mini-trial proof of the dispatch to Respondent of the Request and the documents annexed thereto.
  2. The date on which the Secretariat receives the Request for Mini-trial and the annexes thereto and the payment of the registration costs such as determined under Article 4 of the annex I.B shall be deemed to be the date of commencement of the Mini-trial proceedings. The Secretariat shall confirm this date to the Parties.

Article 4. Answer to the Request for Mini-trial and filing of a counterclaim

  1. Within twenty-one days from the date of the commencement of the mini-trial proceedings, Respondent shall send its Answer to the Request for Mini-trial to the Secretariat.

The Answer shall include, inter alia, the following information:

  1. name, first name and the name in full, function, address, telephone and fax number, valid e-mail address and VAT-number, if any, of Respondent;
  2. its comment on to the nature and circumstances of the dispute that gives rise to the claim;
  3. its response to the relief sought;
  4. name, first name, function, address and valid e-mail address, telephone and fax number of the assessor nominated by the Respondent to sit in the Mini-trial Committee;
  5. any comments as to the place of the Mini-trial, the language of the Mini-trial and the applicable Rules of law.

​Together with the Answer, a general or specific grant of authority of the assessor and any other relevant document must be filed.

The Answer and the documents annexed thereto must be submitted in electronic form and in one hard copy.

  1. Respondent shall also attach to the Answer proof of the dispatch, within the same time limit of twenty-one days, to Claimant of the Answer and the documents annexed thereto.
  2. Any counterclaim made by Respondent shall be filed with its Answer and shall include:
  1. a recital of the nature and circumstances of the dispute that gives rise to the counterclaim;
  2. an indication of the object of the counterclaim and, if possible, a financial estimate of the amount of the counterclaim;
  1. This time limit may be extended pursuant to a reasoned Request of Respondent, or on its own motion, by the Secretariat.

Article 5. Lack of a prima facie Mini-trial agreement

In the event that there is no prima facie Mini-trial agreement, the Mini- trial may not proceed should Respondent not answer within the period of twenty-one days mentioned in Article 4, or should Respondent refuse Mini-trial in accordance with the CEPANI Rules.

Article 6. Effect of the Mini-trial agreement

  1. When the Parties agree to resort to CEPANI for a Mini-trial, they thereby submit to the Rules, including the annexes which are in effect on the date of the commencement of the mini-trial proceedings, unless they have agreed to submit to the Rules in effect on the date of their Mini-trial agreement.
  2. Unless otherwise agreed by the Parties, the Mini-trial shall proceed in accordance with the provisions of these Rules.
  3. If necessary, and after having consulted with his/her Assessors, the President of the Mini-trial Committee may depart from the Rules set forth herein.

Article 7. Written notifications or communications and time limits

  1. The Request for Mini-trial, the Answer to the Request for Mini-trial, all pleadings and the appointment of the Mini-trial Committee shall be valid if it the notification or communication is made in electronic form to a valid e-mail address, which allows proof of the sending. If no valid e-mail address is known for a Party, the notification or communication shall be validly made if it is remitted by courier service against receipt, sent by registered mail or by fax.
  2. If a Party is represented by Counsel, all notifications or communications shall be made to the latter, unless that Party Requests otherwise.

All notifications or communications shall be valid if dispatched to the last address of the Party to whom they are addressed, as notified either by the Party in question or by the other Party.

  1. A notification or communication, made in accordance with paragraph 1, shall be deemed to have been made when it is received or should have been received by the Party itself, by its Representative or its Counsel.
  2. Periods of time fixed under the present Rules shall start to run on the day following the date a notification or communication is deemed to have been made in accordance with paragraph 1. If the last day of the relevant period of time granted is an official holiday or a non-business day in the country where the notification or communication has to be made, the period of time shall expire at the end of the first following business day.

A notice or communication shall be treated as having been sent timely if it is dispatched in accordance with paragraph 1 prior to, or on the date of, the expiry of the time limit.

Article 8. Judicial or arbitral proceedings

  1. During the Mini-trial, the Parties undertake not to initiate or continue any judicial or arbitral proceedings relating to the same dispute or part of it, except as a conservatory measure.
  2. Notwithstanding paragraph 1 hereinabove, the Parties may present to the Court or to the Arbitral Tribunal a Request for conservatory or provisional measures. Such a Request shall not entail a waiver of the right to continue with the Mini-trial.

THE MINI-TRIAL COMMITTEE

Article 9. General provisions

  1. Only those persons who are independent of the Parties and of their Counsel and who comply with the Rules of good conduct for proceedings organized by CEPANI, may serve as President of the Mini-trial Committee in Mini-trials organized by CEPANI.
  2. The Appointments Committee or the Chairman shall appoint the President of the Mini-trial Committee. The Parties may nominate the President of the Mini-trial Committee by mutual consent, subject to the approval of the Appointments Committee or the Chairman.
  3. Prior to his/her appointment or confirmation, the President of the Mini-trial Committee whose appointment is being proposed shall sign a statement of availability, acceptance and independence. He/she shall disclose in writing to the Secretariat any facts or circumstances which might be of such a nature to call into question the President of the Mini- trial Committee’s independence in the eyes of the Parties. The Secretariat shall provide such information to the Parties in writing and fix a time limit for any comments from them.
  4. The President of the Mini-trial Committee shall immediately disclose in writing to the Secretariat and to the Parties any facts or circumstances of a similar nature as those mentioned in paragraph 2 which may arise during the Mini-trial.
  5. The decisions of the Appointments Committee or the President as to the appointment or replacement of the President of the Mini-trial Committee shall be final. The reasons for the decision shall not be communicated.
  6. By accepting to serve, every President of the Mini-trial Committee undertakes to carry out his/her responsibilities until the end in accordance with these Rules.
  7. Unless otherwise agreed by the Parties, the President of the Mini-trial Committee shall not act as an arbitrator, Representative or Counsel of a Party in arbitral or judicial proceedings relating to the dispute which was the subject of a Mini-trial.

Article 10. Composition and Task of the Mini-trial Committee

  1. The Mini-trail Committee shall be composed of a President of the Mini- trial Committee and two Assessors appointed by and empowered to bind each Party on the basis of a general or specific grant of authority.
  2. Should more than two Parties be involved in the mini-trial, then each Party shall appoint one assessor to sit on the Mini-trial Committee, unless otherwise agreed.
  3. The Appointments Committee or the President appoints or confirms the President of the Mini-trial Committee after the payment by the Parties, or by one of them, of the advance on Mini-trial costs in accordance with the provisions of Article 21. It will thereby take into account more particularly the availability, the qualifications and the ability of the President of the Mini-trial Committee to conduct the Mini-trial in accordance with these Rules.
  4. The President of the Mini-trial Committee is empowered to assist the Parties in their attempt to reach an amicable settlement of their dispute. He/she shall attempt to reach this agreement by consulting with his/her Assessors.
  5. The Assessors are senior officials nominated by each Party and whose task is to attempt to reach an amicable settlement on the dispute in the name and on behalf of the Parties who nominated them and under the guidance of the President of the Mini-trial Committee. The assessor may be the chief executive of the company or a senior executive, or he/she may be a Third Party, such as a lawyer or any other person of trust authorized by the Party concerned to enter into commitments on its behalf.

Article 11. Replacement of the President of the Mini-trial Committee

  1. In the event of the President of the Mini-trial Committee’s death, challenge, accepted withdrawal, or if there is a cause preventing him/her from fulfilling his/her duties, or upon Request of all Parties, the President of the Mini-trial Committee shall be replaced.

2.The President of the Mini-trial Committee shall also be replaced when the Appointments Committee or the President finds that the President of the Mini-trial Committee is prevented de jure or de facto from fulfilling his/her duties in accordance with these Rules or within the allotted time limits.

In such event, the Appointments Committee or the President shall decide on the matter after having invited the President of the Mini-trial Committee, the Assessors and the Parties to comment in writing to the Secretariat within the time limit allotted by the latter. Such comments shall be communicated to the Parties and to the Mini-trial Committee.

THE MINI-TRIAL PROCEEDINGS

Article 12. Transmission of the file to the Mini-trial Committee

Provided that the advance on Mini-trial costs set out in Article 21 has been fully paid, the Secretariat shall transmit the file to the Mini-trial Committee as soon as the latter has been appointed.

Article 13. Language of the Mini-trial

  1. The language of the Mini-trial shall be determined by mutual agreement between the Parties. Failing such an agreement, the language or languages of the Mini-trial shall be determined by the President of the Mini-trial Committee, due regard being given to the circumstances of the case and, in particular, to the language of the contract.
  2. The President of the Mini-trial Committee, having consulted with his/ her Assessors, shall have full authority to decide which of the Parties shall bear the translation costs, if any, and to what extent.

Article 14. Place of the Mini-trial

  1. The Appointments Committee or the President shall determine the place of the Mini-trial, unless the Parties have agreed this.
  2. Unless otherwise agreed by the Parties and after having consulted with them, the Mini-trial Committee may decide to hold its hearings and meetings at any other location that it considers appropriate.
  3. The Mini-trial Committee may deliberate at any place that it considers appropriate.

Article 15. Examination of the case

1.The President of the Mini-trial Committee, having consulted with his/her Assessors, may ask the Parties to provide additional information and exhibits.

  1. fter consultation with his/her Assessors, the President of the Mini- trial Committee shall determine the day, time and place of a meeting with the Parties.
  2. The President of the Mini-trial Committee shall chair the meeting and offer the Parties an opportunity to put forth their views.
  3. The hearings shall not be public. Save with the approval of the Mini-trial Committee and the Parties, persons not involved in the proceedings shall not be admitted.
  4. The Parties shall appear in person or through duly authorized Representatives or Counsel.
  5. After the meeting, the President of the Mini-trial Committee shall consult with his/her Assessors and attempt to reach a consensus. In this respect, the President of the Mini-trial Committee shall have the broadest powers to undertake whatever, in his/her opinion, may reasonably bring about a settlement. To this end, he/she may consult, inter alia, with each of his/her Assessors separately.

Article 16. Confidentiality of the Mini-trial Proceedings

Unless it has been agreed otherwise by the Parties or there is a legal obligation to disclose, the mini-trial proceedings shall be confidential.

Article 17. Confidentiality of communications

All communications between the Parties and/or the President of the Mini-trial Committee as from his/her appointment or by the latter for the purposes of the Mini-trial, are confidential. The Parties undertake to refrain from making any reference whatsoever to the Mini-trial outside the context of the Mini-trial. Unless otherwise agreed by the Parties, this shall however not apply to the notification of the end of the Mini-trial as mentioned in Article 19 herein, nor to any settlement reached by the Parties at the end of the Mini-trial.

Pre-existing documents or documents obtained by a Party outside of the context of the Mini-trial and which are communicated in the context and for the purposes of the Mini-trial between the Parties, to the President of the Mini-trial Committee or by the President of the Mini- trial Committee to the Parties or to one of the Parties are not covered by this confidentiality rule. As the case may be, said documents may subsequently be used by the Parties for other purposes than the Mini-trial, unless they were specifically communicated as confidential documents as part of the Mini-trial.

SETTLEMENT AND END OF THE MINI-TRIAL

Article 18. Settlement

  1. Should these consultations lead to a settlement, the agreement shall be set forth in writing and signed by the Assessors in the name and on behalf of the Parties. This document sets out the precise undertakings of each of the Parties.

Subsequently, the President of the Mini-trial Committee shall record in a set of minutes the fact that the Parties have reached an agreement. The said minutes shall be signed by the President of the Mini-trial Committee and the Assessors, in the name and on behalf of the Parties. A copy of the minutes is sent to the Secretariat.

  1. In the event that the consultations fail to bring about a settlement, the President of the Mini-trial Committee shall record this fact in the minutes, which he/she shall sign and immediately notify to the Secretariat.

Article 19. End of the Mini-trial

  1. When an agreement is reached, the Mini-trial shall end when the Assessors, in the name and on behalf of the Parties and the President of the Mini-trial Committee, the minutes stating that an agreement has been reached.
  2. If no agreement is reached, the Mini-trial shall end as soon as the President of the Mini-trial Committee notifies to the Secretariat the minutes stating that no agreement has been reached.
  3. Should one of the Parties fail to appear in the proceedings after having been duly summoned, the Mini-trial shall end as soon as the President of the Mini-trial Committee informs the Secretariat in writing of this fact.
  4. At any time, either Party may refuse to continue the Mini-trial. In such event, the Mini-trial ends when written notification of that Party’s refusal is sent to the President of the Mini-trial Committee, if already constituted, and to the Secretariat.
  5. The President of the Mini-trial Committee may also decide, after consultation with his/her Assessors, that there is no further justification for continuing with the Mini-trial. In such event, the Mini-trial ends as soon as the President of the Mini-trial Committee informs the Secretariat in writing of this fact.

COSTS OF MINI-TRIAL

Article 20. Nature and amount of the Mini-trial costs

  1. The Mini-trial costs shall include the fees and expenses of the President of the Mini-trial Committee, as well as the administrative expenses of the Secretariat. They shall be fixed by the Secretariat on the basis of the amount of the claims, according to the Scale of Mini-trial costs in effect on the date of the commencement of the mini-trial proceedings.

2.The costs of the assessor nominated by a Party shall be borne by this Party. Other costs and expenses relating to the Mini-trial, such as the expenses incurred by a Party for their defence and the expenses relating to the presentation of evidence by Experts or witnesses, are not included in the Mini-trial costs and are borne by this Party.

  1. The Secretariat may fix the Mini-trial costs at a higher or lower figure than that which would result from the application of the Scale of Mini- trial Costs, should this be deemed necessary due to the exceptional circumstances of the case.
  2. If the amount in dispute is not specified, totally or partially, the Secretariat, may determine, taking into account all available information, the amount in dispute on the basis of which the Mini-trial costs will be calculated.
  3. The Secretariat may adjust the amount of the Mini-trial costs at any time during the proceedings if the circumstances of the case or if new claims reveal that the scope of the dispute is greater than originally considered.

Article 21. Advance on Mini-trial costs

  1. The advance required to cover the Mini-trial costs as determined in accordance with Article 20, paragraph 1 shall be paid to CEPANI prior to the appointment of the President of the Mini-trial Committee by the Appointments Committee or the President.
  2. Further advance payments may be required if and when any adjust- ments are made to the Mini-trial costs in the course of the proceedings.
  3. The advance on Mini-trial costs, as well as the additional advance on Mini-trial costs, shall be payable in equal shares by the Parties. However, any Party shall be free to pay the whole of the advance on Mini-trial costs should the other Party fail to pay its share.
  4. When the advance on Mini-trial costs exceeds € 50.000,00 a bank guarantee may be posted to cover such payment.
  5. When a Request for an additional advance on Mini-trial costs has not been complied with, and after consultation with the Mini-trial Committee, the Secretariat may direct the Mini-trial Committee to suspend its work and set a time limit, which must be not less than fifteen days, on the expiry of which the relevant claims or counterclaims on the basis of which the additional advance was calculated shall be considered as withdrawn. A Party shall not be prevented on the ground of such a withdrawal from reintroducing the same claim or counterclaim at a later date in another proceeding.

Article 22. Decision on Mini-trial costs

  1. The Mini-trial costs shall be finally fixed by the Secretariat.
  2. Unless otherwise agreed, the Parties shall each bear one half of the costs of the Mini-trial.
  3. The minutes that state that the Parties have reached an agreement, set forth the Mini-trial costs, as determined by the Secretariat, and set out the agreement between the Parties, if any, on the allocation of the Mini-trial costs.

FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 23. Limitation of liability

For any act or omission in the course of mini-trial proceedings, the President of the Mini-trial Committee, CEPANI and its members and personnel shall not incur any liability except in the case of fraud or gross negligence.

SCHEDULE I: Scale of Fees for Mini-Trial

SCHEDULE II: Rules of Good Conduct

SCHEDULE III: Parties’ Costs

Download the Rules for technical expertise

The Rules are in force as from Januray 1st, 2018

STANDARD CLAUSE FOR TECHNICAL EXPERTISE

The Parties who wish to refer to the CEPANI Rules for technical Expertise are advised to insert the following clause in their contracts:

“The Parties hereby undertake to apply the CEPANI Rules of Technical Expertise for all disputes arising out of or in relation with this Agreement”.

The following provisions may be added to this clause:

“The seat of the technical Expertise shall be [            ]”.

“The proceedings shall be conducted in the [            ] language”.

“The technical Expertise shall be carried out by [one] or [three] Experts”. “The findings andconclusions of the Expert(s) shall [not] be binding on the Parties”.

PRELIMINARY   PROVISIONS

Article 1. Belgian Centre for Mediation and Arbitration

The Belgian Centre for Arbitration and Mediation (“CEPANI”) is an independent body which administers technical Expertise proceedings in accordance with its Rules. It does not itself resolve disputes and it does not act as technical Expert.

COMMENCEMENT OF THE PROCEEDINGS

Article 2. Request for Technical Expertise

1. A Party wishing to have recourse to technical Expertise under the CEPANI Rules shall submit its Request for Technical Expertise to the Secretariat.

The Request for Technical Expertise shall include, inter alia, the following information:

  1. name, first name and the name in full, function, address, telephone and fax numbers, valid e-mail addresses and VAT-number, if any, of each of the Parties;
  2. a succinct recital of the nature and circumstances of the dispute giving rise to the claim;
  3. the purpose and the nature of the technical Expertise;
  4. any comments as to the place of the technical Expertise and the language of the technical Expertise.

Together with the Request, Claimant shall provide copies of all agreements, in particular the technical Expertise agreement and other relevant documents.

The Request for Technical Expertise and the documents annexed thereto must be submitted in electronic form and in one hard copy.

2. Claimant shall also attach to the Request for Technical Expertise proof of the dispatch to Respondent of the Request and the documents annexed thereto.

3. The date on which the Secretariat receives the Request for Technical Expertise and the annexes thereto and the payment of the registration costs shall be deemed to be the date of commencement of the technical Expertise. Each Request for technical Expertise must be accompanied by an advance payment of € 750,00 excl. VAT on administrative costs.

Such payment is non-refundable, and shall be credited to the Claimant’s portion of the advance on costs for technical Expertise. The Secretariat shall confirm this date to the Parties.

Article 3. Answer to the Request for Technical Expertise

1. Within fifteen days from the date of commencement of the for technical Expertise proceedings, Respondent shall send its Answer to the Request for Technical Expertise to the Secretariat.

The Answer shall include, inter alia, the following information:

  1. name, first name and the name in full, function, address, telephone and fax numbers, valid e-mail address and VAT-number, if any, of Respondent;
  2. its comments on the nature and circumstances of the dispute that gives rise to the claim;
  3. its response to the Expert’s mission as defined by Claimant;
  4. any comments as to the place of the technical Expertise and the language of the technical Expertise.

The Answer and the documents annexed thereto must be submitted in electronic form and in one hard copy.

2. Respondent shall also attach to the Answer proof of the dispatch, within the same time limit of fifteen days, to Claimant of the Answer and the documents annexed thereto.

3. This time limit may be extended pursuant to a reasoned Request of Respondent, or on its own motion, by the Secretariat.

Article 4. Lack of a prima facie technical Expertise agreement

In the event that there is no prima facie technical Expertise agreement, the technical Expertise may not proceed should Respondent not answer within the period of fifteen days mentioned in Article 3, or should Respondent refuse technical Expertise in accordance with the CEPANI Rules.

Article 5. Effect of the technical Expertise agreement

1. When the Parties agree to resort to CEPANI for technical Expertise, they thereby submit to the Rules, including the annexes, in effect on the date of the commencement of the technical Expertise proceedings, unless they have agreed to submit to the Rules in effect on the date of their technical Expertise  agreement.

2. If, notwithstanding a prima facie technical Expertise agreement, one of the Parties refuses to submit to technical Expertise, or fails to take part in the technical Expertise, the technical Expertise shall nevertheless proceed.

Article 6. Written notifications or communications and time limits

1. The Request for Technical Expertise, the Answer to the Request for Technical Expertise, all pleadings and, the appointment of the Experts, subject to Article 15, paragraph 2 shall be valid if the notification or communicated is made in electronic form to a valid e-mail address, which allows proof of the sending. If no valid e-mail address is known for a Party, the notification or communication shall be validly made if it is remitted by courier service against receipt, sent by registered mail, or by fax.

2. If a Party is represented by Counsel, all notifications or communications shall be made to the latter, unless that Party Requests otherwise.

All notifications or communications shall be valid if dispatched to the last address of the Party to whom they are addressed, as notified either by the Party in question or by the other Party.

3. A notification or communication, made in accordance with paragraph 1, shall be deemed to have been made when it was received or should has been received by the Party itself, by its Representative or its Counsel.

4. Periods of time specified in the present Rules, shall start to run on the day following the date a notification or communication is deemed to have been made in accordance with paragraph 2. If the last day of the relevant period of time granted is an official holiday or a non-business day in the country where the notification or communication has to be made, the period of time shall expire at the end of the first following business day.

A notice or communication shall be treated as having been sent timely if it is dispatched in accordance with paragraph 1 prior to, or on the date of, the expiry of the time limit.

THE EXPERT(S)

Article 7. General provisions

1. Only those persons who are independent of the Parties and of their Counsel and who comply with the Rules of good conduct for proceedings organized by CEPANI, may serve as Experts in technical Expertise proceedings organized by CEPANI.

2. The Appointments Committee or the Chairman shall appoint the Expert(s). The Parties may nominate the Expert(s) by mutual consent, subject to the Appointments Committee or the Chairman.

3. Prior to his appointment or confirmation, the Expert whose appointment is being proposed, shall sign a statement of availability, acceptance and independence. He shall disclose in writing to the Secretariat any facts or circumstances which might be of such a nature so as to call into question the Expert’s independence in the eyes of the Parties. The Secretariat shall provide such information to the Parties in writing and fix a time limit for any comments from them.

4. An Expert shall immediately disclose in writing to the Secretariat and to the Parties any facts or circumstances of a similar nature as those mentioned in paragraph 3 which may arise during the technical Expertise.

5. The decisions of the Appointments Committee or the Chairman as to the appointment, approval or replacement of an Expert shall be final. The reasons for the decision shall not be communicated.

6. By accepting to serve, every Expert undertakes to carry out his responsibilities until the end in accordance with these Rules.

7. Unless otherwise agreed by the Parties, the Expert shall not act as an arbitrator, Representative or Counsel of a Party in arbitral or judicial proceedings relating to the dispute which was the subject of the technical Expertise proceedings.

Article 8. Appointment of the Expert

1. The Appointments Committee or the Chairman shall appoint, or confirms the nomination of, the Expert(s) in accordance with the Rules set out hereafter.

2. The Parties shall define the Expert’s mission. If the Expert is appointed in the course of an arbitration procedure, the Arbitral Tribunal shall define the mission of the Expert after having consulted the Parties. If the Expert is appointed in the course of a mediation, the Mediator shall define the mission of the Expert after having consulted the Parties.

3. The Appointments Committee or the Chairman appoints or approves the nomination of the Expert(s) after the payment by the Parties, or by one of them, of the advance on technical Expertise costs in accordance with the provisions of Article 17. It thereby takes into account more particularly the availability, the qualifications and the ability of the Expert(s) to conduct the technical Expertise in accordance with these Rules.

Article 9. Replacement of the Expert

1. In the event of an Expert’s death, challenge, accepted withdrawal, or if there is a cause preventing him from fulfilling his duties, or upon Request of all Parties, the Expert shall be replaced.

2. An Expert shall also be replaced when the Appointments Committee or the Chairman finds that the Expert is prevented de jure or de facto from fulfilling his duties in accordance with these Rules or within the allotted time limits.

In such event, the Appointments Committee or the Chairman shall decide on the matter after having invited the Expert concerned, the other Experts, if any, and the Parties to comment in writing to the Secretariat within the time limit allotted by the latter. Such comments shall be communicated to the Parties and to the Expert(s).

THE TECHNICAL EXPERTISE

Article 10. Transmission of the file to the Expert

Provided that the advance on technical Expertise costs set out in Article 17 has been fully paid, the Secretariat shall transmit the file to the Expert(s) as soon as the latter has been appointed or his nomination approved.

Article 11. Language of the technical Expertise

1. The language of the technical Expertise shall be determined by mutual agreement between the Parties. Failing such an agreement, the language or languages of the technical Expertise shall be determined by the Expert(s), due regard being given to the circumstances of the case and, in particular, to the language of the contract.

2. The Expert(s) shall have full authority to decide which of the Parties shall bear the translation costs, if any, and to what extent.

Article 12. Place of the technical Expertise

1. The Appointments Committee or the Chairman shall determine the place of the technical Expertise, unless the Parties have agreed this.

2. Unless otherwise agreed by the Parties and after having consulted with them, the Expert(s) may decide to hold his(their) hearings and meetings at any other location that he(they) consider(s) appropriate.

Article 13. Examination of the case

1. After having duly heard the Parties, the Expert(s) shall proceed with his(their) appraisal in accordance with his(their) mission.

2. The Parties shall appear in person or through duly authorized Representatives  or Counsel.

3. The Parties shall assist the Expert(s) in every way in carrying out his(their) mission, namely by providing him(them) with the necessary documents and giving access to the sites where he(they) may require verifications and investigations to be carried out.

4. Unless otherwise agreed, the findings and conclusions of the Expert(s) shall be binding on the Parties in the same manner as the terms of their contract.

5. The hearings shall not be public. Save with the approval of the Expert(s) and the Parties, persons not involved in the proceedings shall not be admitted.

6. The Expertise proceedings shall be confidential only if Parties Request so.

THE TECHNICAL REPORT

Article 14. The Technical report

The mission of the Expert(s) shall end when he(they) render(s) his(their) final Technical report describing his(their) findings and conclusions.

Article 15. Notification of the Technical report

1. Once the Technical report has been drawn up, the Expert(s) shall transmit it to the Secretariat in as many original versions as there are Parties involved, plus one original version for the Secretariat.

2. The Secretariat shall notify an original of the signed Technical report to the Parties by registered mail or by courier service against receipt and a copy shall be sent by mail, provided that the technical Expertise costs have been fully paid to the CEPANI by the Parties or by one of them.

TECHNICAL EXPERTISE COSTS

Article 16. Nature and amount of the technical Expertise costs

1. The technical Expertise costs shall include the fees and expenses of the Expert(s), as well as the administrative expenses of the Secretariat. They shall be fixed by the Secretariat due regard being given to the nature and scope of his (their) mission.

2. The Parties’ costs include the expenses of the Parties such as the expenses incurred for their defence and the expenses relating to the presentation of evidence. They are not included in the technical Expertise costs and are borne by this Party.

3. The Secretariat may adjust the amount of the technical Expertise costs at any time during the proceedings if the circumstances of the case or if new missions reveal that the scope of the case is greater than originally considered.

Article 17. Advance on technical Expertise costs

1. The advance required to cover the technical Expertise costs, as determined in accordance with Article 16, paragraph 1 shall be paid to CEPANI prior to the appointment or the approval of the nomination of the Expert(s) by the Appointments Committee or the Chairman.

2. At the time of appointment of the Expert or the determination of his or her mission, the advance on cost of is established in consultation with the Expert.

3. Further advance payments may be required if and when any adjust- ments are made to the technical Expertise costs in the course of the proceedings.

4. The advance on technical Expertise costs, as well as the additional advance on technical Expertise costs, shall be payable in equal shares by Claimant and Respondent. However, any Party shall be free to pay the whole of the advance on technical Expertise costs should the other Party fail to pay its share.

5. When the advance on technical Expertise costs exceed € 50.000,00, an irrevocable first demand bank guarantee may be posted to cover such payment.

6. When a Request for an additional advance on technical Expertise costs has not been complied with, and after consultation with the Expert(s), the Secretariat may direct the Expert(s) to suspend his(their) work and set a time limit, which must be not less than fifteen days, on the expiry of which the extension of the mission on the basis of which the additional advance was calculated shall be considered as withdrawn. A Party shall not be prevented on the ground of such a withdrawal from reintroducing the same claim or counterclaim at a later date in another proceeding.

Article 18. Decisions on technical Expertise costs

1. The technical Expertise costs shall be finally fixed by the Secretariat.

2. Unless otherwise agreed, the Parties shall each bear one half of the costs of the technical Expertise.

3. The Technical report shall mention the technical Expertise costs, as determined by the Secretariat, and set out the agreement between the Parties, if any, on the allocation of the technical Expertise costs.

FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 19. Limitation of liability

For any act or omission in the course of technical Expertise proceedings, the Expert, CEPANI and its members and personnel shall not incur any liability except in the case of fraud or gross negligence.

SCHEDULE II: Rules of Good Conduct

SCHEDULE III: Parties’ Costs

Download the Rules for adaptation of contrats

The Rules are in force as from Januray 1st, 2018

STANDARD ADAPTATION OF CONTRACTS CLAUSE

The Parties who wish to refer to the CEPANI Rules of Adaptation of Contracts are advised to insert the following clause in their contracts:

“The Parties hereby undertake to apply the CEPANI Rules of Adaptation of Contracts, should either one of them so Request.

The opinion of the Third Person appointed in accordance with these Rules shall have the authority of a [recommendation] or [decision]”1.

The following provisions may be added to this clause:

“The seat of the proceedings shall be [          ]”.

“The proceedings shall be conducted in the [            ] language”.

“The adaptation of contracts proceedings shall be followed by arbitration proceedings under the Rules of CEPANI, if so Requested by one of the Parties”.

PRELIMINARY   PROVISIONS

Article 1. Belgian Centre for Mediation and Arbitration

The Belgian Centre for Arbitration and Mediation (“CEPANI”) is an independent body which administers adaptation of contracts proceedings in accordance with its Rules. It does not itself resolve disputes and it does not act as a Third Person.

GENERAL  PROVISIONS

Article 2. Scope

1. Section VI shall apply if one or more Parties wish to have recourse to a Third Person whose mission shall be to complete the contract on items unforeseen by them, or to adapt their common intent to new situations.

2. Only Parties who have so agreed with a specific clause may have recourse to Section VI. Depending on its scope as determined by the Parties, the mission shall lead to a recommendation or a decision.

COMMENCEMENT OF THE PROCEEDINGS

Article 3. Request for Adaptation of Contracts

1. A Party wishing to have recourse to the adaptation of contracts proceedings under the CEPANI Rules shall submit its Request for Adaptation of Contracts to the Secretariat.

The Request for Adaptation of Contracts shall include, inter alia, the following information:

  1. name, first name and the name in full, function, address, telephone and fax numbers, valid e-mail addresses and VAT-number, if any, of each of the Parties;
  2. Claimant’s position;
  3. any comments as to the place and the language of the adaptation of contracts proceedings and the applicable Rules of law.
  4. Proof of payment of the registration costs.

Together with the Request, Claimant shall provide copies of all agreements, in particular the agreement for the adaptation of contracts, the correspondence between the Parties and other relevant documents.

2. Each Request for adaptation of contracts must be accompanied by an advance payment of € 750,00 excl. VAT on administrative costs.

Such payment is non-refundable, and shall be credited to the Claimant’s portion of the advance on costs for adaptation of contracts.

3. The Request for Adaptation of Contracts and the documents annexed thereto must be submitted in electronic form and in one hard copy.

Upon receipt of the unilateral Request, CEPANI shall send a copy of the Request and the documents annexed thereto by e-mail to the other Party or Parties involved.

If no valid e-mail address is known for the other part(ies), the Request submitted shall be supplied in a number of original and signed copies sufficient to provide one copy for the other Party(ies) and one for the Secretariat.

Article 4. Answer to the Request for Adaptation of Contracts

1. Within fifteen days after the Request for Adaptation of Contracts has been sent as mentioned in Article 3, the other Party shall submit to the CEPANI Secretariat its comments with respect to the Request.

If no answer is given within the said time limit, the Request for Adaptation of Contracts shall be deemed to have been rejected by the said other Party.

2. If the Request is submitted by one Party only, the date on which the Secretariat informs the other Party of the Request for Adaptation of Contracts and of the annexes thereto shall be deemed to be the date of commencement of the adaptation of contracts proceedings.

If the Request is submitted by all the Parties, the date on which the Secretariat receives the Request for Adaptation of Contracts and the annexes thereto and the payment for registration costs mentioned in Article 3.1 d) shall be deemed to be the date of commencement of the adaptation of contract proceedings.

The Secretariat shall confirm the date of commencement of the adaptation of contracts proceedings to the Parties.

3. The time limit mentioned in paragraph 1 may be extended pursuant to a reasoned Request of Respondent, or on its own motion, by the Secretariat.

Article 5. Lack of a prima facie adaptation of contracts agreement

In the event that there is no prima facie adaptation of contracts agreement, the adaptation of contracts proceedings may not proceed should the absent Party not answer within the period of fifteen days mentioned in Article 4, or should it refuse the adaptation of contracts proceedings in accordance with the CEPANI Rules.

Article 6. Effect of the adaptation of contracts agreement

When the Parties agree to resort to CEPANI for the adaptation of contracts proceedings, they thereby submit to the CEPANI Rules, including the annexes, in effect on the date of the commencement of the adaptation of contracts proceedings, unless they have agreed to submit to the Rules in effect on the date of their adaptation of contracts agreement.

Article 7. Written notifications or communications and time limits

1. The Request for Adaptation of Contracts, the Answer to the Request for Adaptation of Contracts, all pleadings, and the appointment of the Third Person, subject to Article 17, paragraph 2 shall be valid if it is notified or communicated in electronic form to a valid e-mail address, which allows proof of the sending. If no valid e-mail address is known for a Party, the notification or communication shall be validly made if remitted by courier service against receipt, sent by registered mail or by fax.

2. If a Party is represented by Counsel, all notifications or communications shall be made to the latter, unless that Party Requests otherwise.

All notifications or communications shall be valid if dispatched to the last address of the Party to whom they are addressed or its Counsel who is the addressee, as notified.

3. A notification or communication, made in accordance with paragraph 1, shall be deemed to have been made when it was received or should have been received by the Party itself, by its Representative or its Counsel.

4. Periods of time specified in the present Rules, shall start to run on the day following the date a notification or communication is deemed to have been made in accordance with paragraph 2. If the last day of the relevant period of time granted is an official holiday or a non-business day in the country where the notification or communication has to be made, the period of time shall expire at the end of the first following business day.

A notice or communication shall be treated as having been sent timely if it is dispatched in accordance with paragraph 1 prior to, or on the date of, the expiry of the time limit.

THE THIRD PERSON

Article 8. General provisions

1. Only those persons who are independent of the Parties and of their Counsel and who comply with the Rules of good conduct for proceedings organized by CEPANI, may serve as Third Persons in adaptation of contracts proceedings organized by CEPANI.

2. The Appointments Committee or the Chairman shall appoint the Third Person. The Parties may nominate the Third Person by mutual consent, subject to the approval of the Appointments Committee or the Chairman.

3. Prior to his appointment or confirmation, the Third Person who was appointment is being proposed shall sign a statement of availability, acceptance and independence. He shall disclose in writing to the Secretariat any facts or circumstances which might be of such a nature as to call into question the Third Person’s independence in the eyes of the Parties. The Secretariat shall provide such information to the Parties in writing and fix a time limit for any comments from them.

4. The Third Person shall immediately disclose in writing to the Secretariat and to the Parties any facts or circumstances of a similar nature as those mentioned in paragraph 3 which may arise during the adaptation of contracts proceedings.

5. The decisions of the Appointments Committee or the Chairman as to the appointment, approval of the nomination or replacement of the Third Person shall be final. The reasons for the decision shall not be communicated.

6. By accepting to serve, every Third Person undertakes to carry out his responsibilities until the end in accordance with these Rules.

7. Unless otherwise agreed by the Parties, the Third Person shall not act as an arbitrator, Representative or Counsel of a Party in arbitral or judicial proceedings relating to the dispute which was the subject of the adaptation of contracts proceedings.

Article 9. Appointment of the Third Person

1. The Parties may nominate the Third Person by mutual consent, subject to the approval of the Appointments Committee or the Chairman. Should the Parties fail to agree on his nomination within fifteen days from the notification of the Request for Adaptation of Contracts to the other Party, or within such additional time as may be allowed by the Secretariat, the Third Person shall be automatically appointed by the Appointments Committee or the Chairman. Where the Appointments Committee or the Chairman refuses to approve the nomination of the Third Person, it or he shall proceed with the replacement within a period of fifteen days of the notification of this refusal to the Parties.

2. The Appointments Committee or the Chairman appoints or approves the nomination of the Third Person after the payment by the Parties, or by one of them, of the advance on Adaptation of Contracts costs in accordance with the provisions of Article 19. It thereby takes into account more particularly the availability, the qualifications and the ability of the Third Person to conduct the adaptation of contracts proceedings in accordance with these Rules.

Article 10. Replacement of the Third Person

1. In the event of a Third Person’s death, challenge, accepted withdrawal, or if there is a cause preventing him from fulfilling his duties, or upon Request of all Parties, the Third Person shall be replaced.

2. A Third Person shall also be replaced when the Appointments Committee or the Chairman finds that the Third Person is prevented de jure or de facto from fulfilling his duties in accordance with these Rules or within the allotted time limits.In such event, the Appointments Committee or the Chairman shall decide on the matter after having invited the Third Person and the Parties to comment in writing to the Secretariat within the time limit allotted by the latter. Such comments shall be communicated to the Parties and to the Third Person.

THE ADAPTATION OF CONTRACTS PROCEEDINGS

Article 11. Transmission of the file to the Third Person

Provided that the advance on adaptation of contracts costs set out in Article 19 has been fully paid, the Secretariat shall transmit the file to the Third Person as soon as the latter has been appointed or his nomination approved.

Article 12. Language of the adaptation of contracts proceedings

1. The language of the adaptation of contracts proceedings shall be determined by mutual agreement between the Parties. Failing such an agreement, the language or languages of the adaptation of contracts proceedings shall be determined by the Third Person, due regard being given to the circumstances of the case and, in particular, to the language of the contract.

2. The Third Person shall have full authority to decide which of the Parties shall bear the translation costs, if any, and to what extent.

Article 13. Place of the adaptation of contracts proceedings

1. The Appointments Committee or the Chairman shall determine the place of the adaptation of contracts proceedings, unless the Parties have agreed this.

2. Unless otherwise agreed by the Parties and after having consulted with them, the Third Person may decide to hold his hearings and meetings at any other location that he considers appropriate.

Article 14. Examination of the case

The Third Person is free to organize the proceedings as he/she sees fit.

Article 15. Confidentiality of the Adaptation of Contracts Proceedings

Unless it has been agreed otherwise by the Parties or there is a legal obligation to disclose, the adaptation of contracts proceedings shall be confidential.

DECISION OR RECOMMENDATION AND END OF THE ADAPTATION OF CONTRACTS PROCEEDINGS

Article 16. Decision or recommendation of the Third Person

The mission of the Third Person shall end when he/she draws up his conclusions in a written decision or recommendation.

Article 17. Notification of the decision of recommendation

1. Once the decision or recommendation has been made, the Third Person shall transmit it to the Secretariat in as many original versions as there are Parties involved, plus one original version for the Secretariat

2. The Secretariat shall notify the original signed decision or recommendation to the Parties, by registered mail or by courier service against receipt and a copy shall be sent by mail, provided that the adaptations of contracts costs have been fully paid to the CEPANI by the Parties or by one of them.

ADAPTATION OF CONTRACTS COSTS

Article 18. Nature and amount of the costs of the adaptation of contracts proceedings

1. The costs of the adaptation of contracts proceedings shall include the fees and expenses of the Third Person, as well as the administrative expenses of CEPANI. They shall be fixed by the Secretariat in consultation with the appointed Third Person and due regard being given to the nature and scope of his mission.

2. The Parties’ costs include the expenses of the Parties such as the expenses incurred for their defence and the expenses relating to the presentation of evidence. They are not included in the costs relating to the adaptation of contracts proceedings and are borne by this Party.

Article 19. Advance on the costs of the Adaptation of Contracts  proceedings

1. The advance required to cover the costs of the adaptation of contracts proceedings, as determined in accordance with Article 18, paragraph 1 shall be paid to the CEPANI prior to the appointment or the approval of the nomination of the Third Person by the Appointments Committee or the Chairman.

2. Further advance payments may be required if and when any adjustments are made to the costs of the adaptation of contracts proceedings in the course of the proceedings.

3. The advance on adaptation of contracts costs, as well as the additional advance on adaptation of contracts costs, shall be payable in equal shares by the Parties. However, any Party shall be free to pay the whole of the advance on adaptation of contracts costs should the other Party fail to pay its share.

4. When the advance on adaptation of contracts costs exceeds € 50.000,00 a bank guarantee may be posted to cover such payment.

5. When a Request for an additional advance on adaptation of contracts costs has not been complied with, and after consultation with the Third Person, the Secretariat may direct the Third Person to suspend his work and set a time limit, which must be not less than fifteen days, on the expiry of which the procedure shall be considered as withdrawn. This shall not prevent the Party in question from reintroducing the same procedure at a later date.

Article 20. Decision on the Adaptation of Contracts costs

1. The adaptation of contracts costs shall be finally fixed by the Secretariat.

2. Unless otherwise agreed, the Parties shall each bear one half of the costs of the adaptation of contracts proceedings.

3. The decision or the recommendation of the Third Person set forth the adaptation of contracts costs, as determined by the Secretariat, and set out the agreement between the Parties, if any, on the allocation of the adaptation of contracts costs.

FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 21. Limitation of liability

For any act or omission in the course of the adaptation of contract proceedings, the Third Person, CEPANI and its members and personnel shall not incur any liability except in the case of fraud or gross negligence.

SCHEDULE II: Rules of Good Conduct

SCHEDULE III: Parties’ Costs

Download the Rules for domaine names disputes resolution

The Rules are in force as from January 1st, 2018

ARTICLE 1. – BELGIAN CENTRE FOR ARBITRATION AND MEDIATION 

The Belgian Centre for Arbitration and Mediation (“CEPANI”) is an independent body which administers domain name proceedings in accordance with its Rules. It does not itself resolve disputes. It does not act as Third-Party Decider.

ARTICLE 2. – DEFINITIONS

In these Rules:

Complaint Manager: CEPANI, which is responsible for all administrative actions in connection with the dispute and communications between the Parties, on the one hand, and between CEPANI and/or the Third-Party Decider, on the other hand. The Complaint Manager’s contact details are given on the CEPANI website www.cepani.be.
Complainant: the Party initiating a Complaint in connection with the registration of a domain name registered by the Registrar.
Domain name holder: the person having obtained or having applied for the registration of a particular name in the .be domain.
Third-Party Decider: a person appointed by CEPANI to decide on the Complaint concerning a registered domain name .be.
Party: the Complainant or the Domain name holder.
Registrar: the entity which is responsible for registering domain names with the «.be» extension, i.e. the VZW/ASBL DNS Belgium (DNS.be), 3001 LEUVEN, Ubicenter, Philipssite 5, registered as an undertaking under number BE 0466.158.640.
Registration Agreement: the agreement between the Domain name holder and the Registrar or its authorized Representative.
Policy of DNS.be: the dispute resolution policy for domain names with the .be extension, as published by the Registrar on its website www.dns.be. The dispute resolution policy arises from an article of the general terms and conditions of .be domain names operated by DNS.be.
CEPANI: the non-profit organisation VZW/ASBL Belgian Centre for Mediation and Arbitration, the dispute resolution entity recognised by the Registrar, with offices at 1000 BRUSSELS, Rue des Sols/Stuiverstraat 8, registered as an undertaking under number BE 0413.975.115.

Complaint: a claim against a Domain name holder to be decided by a Third-Party Decider pursuant to terms of these Rules and the dispute resolution policy of DNS.be.

ARTICLE 3. – THE COMPLAINT 

3.1. Complaints must be submitted by a natural person or corporate body to the Complaint Manager in accordance with these Rules.
3.2. The Complaint shall be considered complete only if it is submitted by e-mail (for heavy files either via www.wetransfer.com, or any equivalent transfer system, or by means of a USB stick) and in one original signed hard copy to the seat of the Complaint Manager (CEPANI, 1000 BRUSSELS, Rue des Sols/Stuiversstraat 8), if it is established as the model form found in schedule IV of these Rules, and if it contains at least:
3.2.1. a request that the Complaint be submitted for decision in accordance with these Rules for domain name dispute resolution and the dispute resolution policy of DNS.be;
3.2.2. the name, postal and valid e-mail addresses, telephone and fax numbers of the Complainant and of any Representative authorized to act for the Complainant. Representatives, including Attorneys at law, must have a special proxy.
3.2.3. the name of the Domain name holder, as mentioned in the WHOIS database of the Registrar available on the website www.dns.be, and all information (such as postal and valid e-mail addresses and telephone and fax numbers) known to the Complainant regarding how to contact the Domain name holder or any Representative of the Domain name holder, including contact information based on pre-complaint dealings, in sufficient detail to allow the Complaint Manager to send the Complaint to the Domain name holder as described in Article 5.1;
3.2.4. the .be domain name(s) that is/are the subject of the Complaint;
3.2.5. a description of the grounds on which, in accordance with the policy of DNS.be, the Complaint is made; The description must include all the particulars set out in the dispute resolution policy of DNS.be.
3.2.6. a specification, in accordance with the dispute resolution policy of DNS.be, of the relief sought, i.e. the transfer or cancellation of the .be domain name(s);
3.2.7. the identification of all other legal proceedings if any, commenced or terminated, which relate to any of the domain name(s) that are the subject of the Complaint and of which the Complainant is aware; and provide a copy of any decisions taken thereon;
3.2.8. the choice of the Complainant to do either of the following:
– offer the Domain name holder the possibility to voluntarily proceed with the execution of the relief sought. If the Com­plainant chooses to do this, the Complaint Manager will then notify this offer to the Domain name holder and will inform the Domain name holder that if the requested measure is not executed within a term of 7 calendar days, the proceedings will be continued and that, if the Third-Party Decider decides that the domain name(s) must be transferred or cancelled, the Domain name holder will be required to pay the costs of the proceedings, referring to the exact amount, to DNS.be, accord­ing to the dispute resolution policy of DNS.be.
– or not to offer the Domain name holder the possibility to proceed voluntarily with the execution of the requested measure, in which case the proceedings continue without the notification in this regard to the Domain name holder.
3.2.9. the proof of payment of the costs detailed in Article 21;
3.2.10. the following statement at the end of the Complaint followed by the valid signature of the Complainant or its Representative (which can, depending on the circumstances, be in electronic form or in hard copy).
“The Complainant agrees that its claims and remedies concerning the registration of the domain name, the dispute or the dispute’s resolution shall be directed solely against the Domain name holder and expressly waives all such claims against (a) CEPANI and its Directors or Employees and (b) the Third-Party Decider, except in the case of deliberate wrongdoing.
The Complainant certifies that the information contained in this Complaint is to the best of his knowledge complete and accurate.”
3.2.11. an electronic version and one hard copy of all documents and other evidence, together with a schedule indexing such documents and evidence, upon which the Complaint relies.
3.3. The Complaint may relate to more than one domain name, taking into account the schedule of costs.

ARTICLE 4. – SUBMISSION OF COMPLAINT

4.1. Within 7 calendar days following receipt of the Complaint, the Complaint Manager shall review the Complaint for completeness following Article 3.2 of these Rules. Once the Complaint Manager considers that the Complaint is complete, it shall forward the Complaint to the Domain name holder, in the manner prescribed by Article 5.1 and notify the Complainant thereof, providing as the case may be, the possibility to voluntarily execute the requested measure.
4.2. If the Complaint Manager finds the Complaint to be administratively deficient following Article 3.2 of these Rules, it shall notify the Complainant of the deficiencies identified, within 7 calendar days following receipt of the Complaint. The Complainant shall have 14 calendar days within which to correct any such deficiencies and return the Complaint to the Complaint Manager. Failure to correct such deficiencies within the aforementioned period shall lead to the proceedings being deemed withdrawn without prejudice to submission of a new Complaint by the Complainant. Any sums already paid shall be retained by CEPANI.
4.3. If the requested measure was voluntarily executed within the term of 7 calendar days, the proceedings end and CEPANI will refund to the Complainant the costs paid according to Article 21, with a deduction for the compensation of the CEPANI’s administrative costs.
4.4. The date of commencement of the proceeding shall be the date on which the Complaint Manager forwards the Complaint to the Domain name holder in accordance with Article 5.1.
4.5. The Complaint Manager shall immediately notify the Complainant, the Domain name holder and the Registrar of this date of commencement.

ARTICLE 5. – NOTIFICATIONS

5.1. The Complaint Manager shall inform the Domain name holder of the existence and contents of the Complaint by e-mail. Upon receipt of a notification that the communication was not successfully received, the Complaint Manager shall inform the Domain name holder of the existence and contents of the Complaint by registered letter at the address mentioned under Article 3.2.3. To this end the Complaint Manager shall use the data as mentioned in the WHOIS database of the Registrar and/or given by the Complainant available on the website www.dns.be.
5.2. All communications to the Complaint Manager shall be sent:
5.2.1. by e-mail to CEPANI’s e-mail address: info@cepani.be
5.2.2. by letter to CEPANI’s address: 1000 BRUSSELS, Rue des Sols/Stuiversstraat 8
5.3. All electronic documents are stored by CEPANI up until 10 years after the notification of the decision to the Parties. All original documents are stored by CEPANI up until 30 days after the notification of the decision to the Parties. Once these deadlines have expired, the documents will be destroyed, unless a Party asks within the deadline that the documents be sent back to her.
5.4. Except where stipulated otherwise in these Rules, all notifications in execution of these Rules shall be validly made by e-mail, by delivery in exchange for a receipt, by registered letter, by courier or by any other means of communication for which evidence of dispatch is provided.
5.5. Communications shall be effected in the language described in Article 12. Electronic communications shall be made in accordance with the provisions found in schedule VII.
5.6. Any Party may, during the dispute resolution proceeding, change its contact details by notifying the Complaint Manager. Such change shall only take effect 5 calendar days following the date on which the Complaint Manager was notified.
5.7. Unless otherwise decided by the Third-Party Decider, all communications provided for under these Rules shall be deemed received:
5.7.1. by e-mail: on the date on which the communication was received, provided this date can be verified;
5.7.2. by registered letter, by delivery or by courier, on the date mentioned on the receipt;
5.8. All time periods which begin as from the receipt of a given communication shall commence on the day following the day when such communication is deemed received pursuant to Article 5.7, the first day being the beginning of the time period.
5.9. As from the date of the beginning of the proceedings, all communications:
5.9.1. between the Third-Party Decider and a Party and vice versa shall be effected via the Complaint Manager in accordance with the provisions of Article 9;
5.9.2. by the Complaint Manager to one Party shall be sent to the other Party and to the Third-Party Decider if he/she has already been appointed;
5.9.3. by one Party to the Complaint Manager shall be sent to the other Party.
5.10 If the last day of the relevant period of time granted is an official holiday or a non-business day in the country where the notification or communication has to be made, the period of time shall expire at the end of the first following business day.
5.11. If a Party sending a communication receives a notification that the communication was not successfully received, it shall immediately inform the Complaint Manager. The Complaint Manager directly informs the Third-Party Decider thereof if he/she has already been appointed. Any further communications and responses thereto shall be effected in the manner determined by the Third-Party Decider or, in his absence, by the Complaint Manager.

 ARTICLE 6. – THE RESPONSE

6.1. Within 21 calendar days of the date of commencement of the proceeding the Domain name holder shall submit a Response to the Complaint Manager.
6.2. The Response shall only be complete if it is submitted by e-mail (for heavy files either via www.wetransfer.com, or any equivalent transfer system, or by means of a USB stick), and if it conforms to the Response form found in schedule V of these Rules. The Response shall contain at least:
6.2.1. the statements and allegations contained in the Complaint and include any and all bases on which the Domain name holder may retain registration and use of the disputed domain name(s).
6.2.2. the name, postal and valid e-mail addresses, and the telephone and fax numbers of the Domain name holder, as well as the details of a Representative acting on behalf of the Domain name holder. Representatives, including Attorneys at law, must have a special proxy;
6.2.3. any other legal proceedings that have been commenced or terminated relating to any of the domain name(s) that is/are the subject of the Complaint of which the Domain name holder has been informed, together with a copy of any decisions in so far as these were not submitted with the Complaint;
6.2.4. the confirmation that a copy of the Response and the annexes thereto has been sent by e-mail to the Complainant at the e-mail address mentioned under Article 3.2.2;
6.2.5. the following statement followed by the valid signature of the Domain name holder  or its authorized Representative:
The Domain name holder agrees that its claims and remedies concerning the registration of the domain name, the dispute or the dispute’s resolution shall be directed solely against the Complainant and expressly waives all such claims against (a) CEPANI and its Directors or Employees, and (b) the Third-Party Decider, except in the case of deliberate wrongdoing.
The Domain name holder certifies that the information contained in this Response is to the best of his knowledge complete and accurate.
6.2.6. an electronic version of all documents and other evidence, together with a schedule indexing such documents and evidence, upon which the Domain name holder relies.
6.3. At the request of the Domain name holder, the Complaint Man­ager may extend the period of time for the filing of the Response. The period may also be extended between the Parties, provided the stipulation is put in writing and approved by the Complaint Man­ager. The Complaint Manager may also extend the period of time ex officio if there are valid reasons for such an extension.
6.4. If the Domain name holder does not submit a Response, the proceeding shall nevertheless continue and the Third-Party Decider shall decide the dispute on the basis of the Complaint.
6.5. The Complaint Manager can notify the Domain name holder if an error has been made, within 7 calendar days following receipt of the Response.

ARTICLE 7. – APPOINTMENT OF THE THIRD-PARTY DECIDER 

7.1. CEPANI shall maintain a publicly available list of registered Third-Party Deciders and their qualifications. This list is published on the CEPANI website and updated two times a year.
7.2. The Appointments Committee or the Chairman of CEPANI shall appoint, within 7 calendar days following receipt of the Response or the lapse of the time period for the submission thereof, a registered Third-Party Decider from the CEPANI list of Third-Party Deciders.
7.3. Once the Third-Party Decider has been appointed, the Com­plaint Manager shall notify the Parties of the Third-Party Decider appointed and the date by which the Third-Party Decider shall forward its decision on the Complaint to the Complaint Manager.

ARTICLE 8. – INDEPENDENCE OF THE THIRD-PARTY DECIDER

Only the persons independent of the Parties and their Counsel can be appointed as Third-Party Deciders.
Before accepting his/her appointment, the Third-Party Decider fills in and signs a statement of availability, acceptance and independence (schedule II) and discloses to the Complaint Manager of any circumstances giving rise to any doubt as to his independence.
The Third-Party Decider immediately notifies the Complaint Manager in writing if new circumstances arise during the procedure that could give rise to justifiable doubt as to the independence of the Third-Party Decider.
In such event, the Complaint Manager has the capacity to request from the Appointments’ Committee or from the Chairman that they replace the Third-Party Decider.
By accepting his/her mission, the Third-Party Decider commits himself/herself to accomplish his/her mission until the end of the procedure in the sense of the present Rules.

ARTICLE 9. COMMUNICATION BETWEEN THE PARTIES AND THE THIRD-PARTY DECIDER

No Party or anyone acting on its behalf may have any direct or indirect communication whatsoever with the Third-Party Decider. All communications between a Party and the Third-Party Decider shall be made via the Complaint Manager.

ARTICLE 10. – COMPOSITION AND TRANSMISSION OF THE FILE TO THE THIRD-PARTY DECIDER

The Complaint Manager shall forward the file to the Third-Party Decider as soon as the Third-Party Decider is appointed.
A Third-Party Decider may at any time demand to consult the original documents. The Third-Party Decider shall consult these documents at the seat of CEPANI.

ARTICLE 11. – GENERAL POWERS OF THE THIRD-PARTY DECIDER

11.1. The Third-Party Decider shall, in accordance with these Rules and with the dispute resolution policy of DNS.be, conduct the proceeding in such a manner as it considers appropriate.
11.2. The Third-Party Decider shall ensure at all times that the Parties are treated equally and that each Party can exercise its rights.

11.3. The Third-Party Decider shall ensure that the proceeding takes place with due expedition. It may, at the request of a Party or on its own motion, extend, in exceptional cases, a deadline fixed by these Rules, or reopen the debates.
11.4. The Third-Party Decider shall determine the admissibility, relevance and weight of the evidence.
11.5. The Appointments Committee or the Chairman of CEPANI decides on own motion or at the request of a Party on the joinder of several Complaints, taking into account that the disputes are closely related or indivisible. Its decision is irrevocable.

ARTICLE 12. – LANGUAGE AND VENUE OF PROCEEDINGS 

12.1. Unless otherwise agreed by the Parties, the language of the proceeding for the domain name in dispute shall be the language mentioned in the WHOIS database available on the DNS website www.dns.be. The Third-Party Decider may select a different language in exceptional cases.
12.2. The Third-Party Decider may order that any documents submitted in languages other than the language of the proceeding be accompanied by a translation in whole or in part into the language of the proceeding. In the event that the requested translation is not submitted, the Third-Party Decider shall be entitled to exclude it from the debates.
12.3. The venue for the proceeding shall be the seat of CEPANI.

ARTICLE 13. – FURTHER STATEMENTS – CONCLUSION OF DEBATES 

The debates shall be deemed to be closed 7 calendar days following the appointment of the Third-Party Decider. During this period, the Complainant may request permission from the Third-Party Decider for an additional extension of the deadline in order to submit retort. This request is, if the case arises accompanied by further documents, addressed to the Complaint Manager who following Article 9 directly transmits it to the Third-Party Decider. In such an event, the Third-Party Decider shall decide irrevocably whether or not to accede to this request and shall, if necessary, make arrangements to pursue the proceeding.
If the Third Party Decider considers the file incomplete, he/she can invite, within the deadline, the Parties or one of the Parties to give further information. By all times the principle of contradictory debate must be respected.

ARTICLE 14. – IN-PERSON HEARINGS

The Parties shall be heard only if the Third-Party Decider so orders.

ARTICLE 15. – DEFAULT BY ONE OF THE PARTIES

In the event that a Party does not comply with any of the time periods established by these Rules or the Third-Party Decider, the Third-Party Decider may proceed to a decision on the Complaint.

ARTICLE 16. – THIRD-PARTY DECIDER DECISIONS 

16.1. The Third-Party Decider shall decide following the Parties views and in accordance with the dispute resolution policy of DNS.be, the registration agreement and following the provisions of the present Rules.
16.2. In the absence of exceptional circumstances, the Third-Party Decider shall forward its decision on the Complaint to the Complaint Manager within 14 calendar days of the conclusion of the debates pursuant to Article 13, in three original signed hard copies.
16.3. The Third-Party Decider’s decision shall be in writing and signed, provide the reasons on which it is based, indicate the date on which it was rendered and identify the name of the Third-Party Decider.
16.4. If after considering the submissions the Third-Party Decider finds that the Complaint was brought in bad faith, the Third-Party Decider shall declare in his decision that the Complaint constitutes an abuse of the proceeding.

ARTICLE 17. – COMMUNICATION OF THE DECISION TO THE PARTIES 

17.1. Within 7 calendar days after receiving the decision from the Third-Party Decider, the Complaint Manager shall notify the full text of the decision to each Party and the Registrar. The Registrar shall immediately communicate to the Complaint Manager the date for the implementation of the decision in accordance with the dispute resolution policy of DNS.be. The Complaint Manager shall immediately notify the Parties of this.
17.2. If the Third Party Decider decides that the Complaint is well founded and if he/she orders the transfer or the cancellation of the domain name, the Registrar will execute this decision 15 calendar days after the notification of the decision to the Parties, unless the Domain name holder introduces an appeal following Article 18. In this case the domain name in dispute remains « on hold » until the final decision on appeal.
17.3. Except if the Third-Party Decider determines otherwise, CEPANI shall publish the full text of the decision and the date of its implementation on the CEPANI website accessible to the public.

ARTICLE 18. – APPEAL AGAINST THE DECISION OF A THIRD-PARTY DECIDER

18.1. Each Party has the right to lodge an appeal against the decision of a Third-Party Decider within 15 calendar days of the notification of the Third-Party Decider’s decision. The appeal is introduced by the filing of the Request for appeal and the payment of the costs related to the appeal (Article 21), failing which the appeal shall not be valid.
18.2. The Request for appeal shall be considered complete only if it is submitted by e-mail (for heavy files either via www.wetransfer.com, or any equivalent transfer system, or by means of a USB stick) and in one original signed hard copy to the seat of the Complaint Manager (CEPANI, 1000 BRUSSELS, Rue des Sols/Stuiversstraat 8), and if it is established as the model form found in schedule VI of these Rules.
18.3. The Request for appeal contains the identity of the Parties, the number of the decision against which the appeal is made, the identity of the Third-Party Decider and a description of the means invoked.
18.4. Within 7 calendar day after reception of the Request for appeal and the costs for appeal, the Complaint Manager notifies the Request for appeal by e-mail to the other Party. Upon receipt of a notification that the communication was not successfully received, the Complaint Manager shall inform the Domain name holder of the existence and contents of the Complaint by registered letter.
18.5. The Party against whom the appeal is lodged has 14 calendar days as from the reception of the notification of the Request for appeal to hand in its Response. This Response contains a description of the means invoked to reject the appeal.
18.6. The Appointments Committee or the Chairman of CEPANI, within 7 calendar days following the reception of the Response or the lapse of time period for the submission thereof, shall appoint a panel of three Third-Party Deciders (the Appeal Committee) from the list of Third-Party Deciders. Each Third-Party Decider must meet the conditions of independence as mentioned under Article 8.
18.7. The provisions of Articles 13, 14, 15 and 16 of these Rules are in use for the Appeal Committee, except that:
– the Appeal Committee must render its decision within 30 calendar days of the notification of the file;
– the decisions of the Appeal Committee are not subject to appeal

ARTICLE 19. – SETTLEMENT OR OTHER GROUNDS FOR TERMINATION – OBSTRUCTION OF THE THIRD-PARTY DECIDER

19.1. If the Parties agree on a settlement before the Third-Party Decider has rendered a decision, the Parties immediately inform the Complaint Manager. The Complaint Manager informs the Registrar and the Third-Party Decider. If the settlement is approved by the Registrar, the Third-Party Decider shall terminate the proceeding.
19.2. If, before the Third-Party Decider’s decision is made, it becomes unnecessary or impossible to continue the proceeding for any reason, the Third-Party Decider shall communicate his intention to terminate the proceeding and shall declare it terminated within a reasonable period of time, unless a Party raises justifiable grounds for objection within a period of time to be determined by the Third-Party Decider.
19.3. In the event of obstruction by the Third-Party Decider for any reason whatsoever, the Appointments Committee or the Chairman of CEPANI may replace him/her and shall notify the Parties of any such replacement. In this case the Complaint Manager adapts the deadlines granted.
19.4 In all the aforementioned cases the relevant costs, as set out in Article 21.1, shall be retained by CEPANI.

ARTICLE 20.  – EFFECT OF COURT PROCEEDINGS 

20.1. In the event of any legal proceedings initiated in court prior to or during a proceeding in respect of a domain name dispute that is the subject of the Complaint, the Third-Party Decider shall decide whether to suspend the proceeding in whole or in part.
20.2. In the event that a Party initiates legal proceedings in court during the proceeding, it shall promptly notify the Complaint Manager. It shall also forward a copy of the document initiating the legal proceedings.

ARTICLE 21. – COSTS

21.1. The costs for the proceedings are determined in accordance with the scale for domain name dispute resolution costs (schedule I) which is fully part of these Rules. The costs are entirely paid by the Complainant. They include the fees and costs of the Third-Party Decider as well as CEPANI’s administrative expenses. They must be paid to CEPANI simultaneously with the introduction of the Complaint or/and the appeal.
21.2. No action shall be taken by CEPANI on a Complaint or/and an appeal until it has received from the Complainant the full amount of the costs.
21.3. If CEPANI has not received the full amount of the costs, or has received only part of the costs, within 10 calendar days of receiving the Complaint, the Complaint shall be deemed withdrawn and the proceeding terminated.
21.4. If the pursuit of the proceeding requires exceptional services, the costs of which cannot be reasonably covered by the requested costs, such services shall only be performed upon payment by the instigating Party of the additional costs as determined by CEPANI.
21.5 In any case, any costs already paid shall be retained by CEPANI without prejudice to the provision of Article 4.3.

ARTICLE 22. – EXCLUSION OF LIABILITY 

Except in the case of deliberate wrongdoing, neither CEPANI nor the Third-Party Decider shall be liable to a Party or the Registrar for any act or omission in connection with any proceeding under these Rules.

ARTICLE 23. – GENERAL PROVISIONS 

CEPANI may amend these Rules. The Rules in effect at the time of the submission of the Complaint continue to apply to the proceeding commenced thereby.
The most recent version of these Rules is available on the Registrar’s website www.dns.be and on CEPANI’s website www.cepani.be.

SCHEDULES

SCHEDULE I:       Schedule of costs
SCHEDULE II:     Statement of availability, acceptance and independence
SCHEDULE III:    List of recognized Third-Party Deciders
SCHEDULE IV:   Complaint form
SCHEDULE V:     Response form
SCHEDULE VI:    Request for appeal
SCHEDULE VII:   Technical specifications