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 domain names disputes resolution

The Rules are in force as from January 1st, 2022

ARTICLE 1. – BELGIAN CENTRE FOR ARBITRATION AND MEDIATION.. 2

ARTICLE 2. – DEFINITIONS. 2

ARTICLE 3. – THE COMPLAINT. 3

ARTICLE 4. – SUBMISSION OF THE COMPLAINT. 5

ARTICLE 5. – NOTIFICATIONS. 6

ARTICLE 6. – THE RESPONSE. 8

ARTICLE 7. – APPOINTMENT OF THE THIRD-PARTY DECIDER. 10

ARTICLE 8. – INDEPENDENCE OF THE THIRD-PARTY-DECIDER. 10

ARTICLE 9. – COMMUNICATION BETWEEN THE PARTIES AND THE THIRD-PARTY DECIDER. 11

ARTICLE 10. – COMPOSITION AND TRANSMISSION OF THE FILE TO THE THIRD-PARTY DECIDER. 11

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

ARTICLE 12. – LANGUAGE AND PLACE OF THE PROCEEDINGS. 12

ARTICLE 13. ADDITIONAL SUBMISSIONS – CLOSURE OF DEBATES. 13

ARTICLE 14. – HEARING.. 13

ARTICLE 15. ABSENCE OF RESPONSE BY ONE OF THE PARTIES. 13

ARTICLE 16 – DECISION OF THE THIRD-PARTY DECIDER. 14

ARTICLE 17 – NOTIFICATION, PUBLICATION AND ENFORCEMENT OF THE DECISION.. 14

ARTICLE 18. – APPEAL AGAINST THE DECISION OF THE THIRD-PARTY-DECIDER. 15

ARTICLE 19. – AMICABLE SETTLEMENT OR OTHER MEANS OF TERMINATING THE DISPUTE – IMPEDIMENT OF THE THIRD-PARTY DECIDER. 17

ARTICLE 20. – EFFECT OF COURT PROCEEDINGS. 17

ARTICLE 21. – COSTS. 18

ARTICLE 22. – EXCLUSION OF LIABILITY. 19

ARTICLE 23. – GENERAL PROVISIONS. 19

ARTICLE 1. – BELGIAN CENTRE FOR ARBITRATION AND MEDIATION

The Belgian Centre for Arbitration and Mediation “CEPANI” is the independent body that administers the dispute resolution proceedings relating to .be domain names in accordance with these Rules.

CEPANI is a non-profit organisation (VZW/ASBL), with registered office at Stuiversstraat 8, 1000 Brussels, Belgium and registered as an undertaking under number BE 0413.975.115.

CEPANI is the Complaint Manager accredited by the Registration Authority. It does not resolve disputes itself and it does not act as a Third-Party Decider.

ARTICLE 2. – DEFINITIONS

In these Rules, the following terms have the meaning as specified in this article:

Response: A response to the Complaint.

Policy of DNS Belgium: the dispute resolution policy published on the website of the Registration Authority (www.dnsbelgium.be). The policy is included in the general terms and conditions for domain name registration within the .be domain.

Third-Party Decider(s): the person(s) appointed by CEPANI to settle the Complaint.

Domain Name: one or several domain names registered in the .be domain.

Domain Name Holder: the person who holds a domain name within the .be domain.

Complaint: a claim against a Domain Name Holder to be decided by a Third-Party Decider in accordance with these Rules and the Policy of DNS Belgium.

Complaint Manager: CEPANI, which is responsible for all administrative operations concerning the domain name proceedings and for communications between the Parties on the one hand, and the Third-Party Decider on the other hand.

Complainant: the party submitting a Complaint concerning a .be domain name registered by the Registration Authority.

Party: the Complainant or the Domain Name Holder.

Registration Authority: the non-profit organisation DNS Belgium (VZW/ASBL), with registered office at Ubicenter, Philipssite 5, 3001 Leuven, Belgium, and registered as an undertaking under number BE 0466.158.640, which is responsible for registering domain names with the “.be” extension.

Registration Agreement: the agreement between the Domain Name Holder and the Registration Authority or its agent.

ARTICLE 3. – THE COMPLAINT

3.1.      Complaints must be lodged with the Complaint Manager in accordance with these Rules.

3.2.      The Complaint shall be submitted in “portable document format” (pdf). If the Complainant wishes to use another transmission system or other formats, the Complainant shall first contact the Complaint Manager by e-mail at info@cepani.be to make sure that the Complaint Manager can receive and read the Complaint. To be complete, the Complaint must be submitted by e-mail to the address info@cepani.be (for larger files, the e-mail may refer to an Internet transmission system such as www.wetransfer.com, or any equivalent transmission system), must be drawn up in accordance with the Complaint form of Annex IV of these Rules, and must contain at least the following information:

3.2.1.   the request to submit the Complaint to obtain a decision in accordance with these Rules and the Policy of DNS Belgium;

3.2.2.   the correct name, postal and e-mail addresses and telephone numbers of the Complainant, as well as of any representative acting for the Complainant. Representatives, who are not lawyers and members of a bar association within the European Union, must have a special power of attorney;

3.2.3.   the name of the Domain Name Holder as listed in the Registration Authority’s WHOIS database, if available on the website www.dnsbelgium.be, as well as all information available to the Complainant to contact the Domain Name Holder or its representative (such as postal and e-mail addresses and telephone numbers), including information obtained from contacts prior to the Complaint. If the contact details of the Domain Name Holder are not available from the WHOIS database on www.dnsbelgium.be, a motivated request to obtain the contact details for the Complaint can be sent to the Registration Authority by e-mail to the address legal@dnsbelgium.be;

3.2.4.   the Domain Name that is the subject of the Complaint;

3.2.5.   a description of all the facts and grounds on which, in accordance with the Policy of DNS Belgium, the Complaint is based;

3.2.6.   the indication, in accordance with the Policy of DNS Belgium, of the requested measure, being the transfer or the cancellation of the Domain Name;

3.2.7.   the identification of all other legal proceedings of which the Complainant is aware relating to the Domain Name that is the subject of the Complaint and a copy of any decision rendered;

3.2.8.   the choice of the Complainant to:

–           either give the Domain Name Holder the opportunity to voluntarily implement the requested measure, whereupon the Complaint Manager shall inform the Domain Name Holder that if the requested measure is not implemented within a period of 7 calendar days, the proceedings shall continue and that, if the Third-Party Decider in the proceedings concludes that the Domain Name must be transferred or cancelled, the Domain Name Holder is obliged to reimburse the costs of the domain name proceedings, specifying the amount, to the Registration Authority in accordance with the Policy of DNS Belgium;

–           or not to give the possibility of voluntarily implementing the requested measure, in which case the proceedings shall continue without the notification of the Domain Name Holder;

3.2.9.   proof of payment of the costs specified in Article 21 of these Rules;

3.2.10. the following statement followed by the legally valid (electronic) signature of the Complainant or its representative: “The Complainant agrees that its claims and remedies regarding the registration of the Domain Name, the dispute or the resolution of the dispute are directed only against the Domain Name Holder and expressly waives, except in the case of willful misconduct, any claim against a) CEPANI, its directors and agents, and b) the Third-Party Decider.

The Complainant declares that the information contained in this Complaint is to the best of his knowledge complete and accurate.”

3.2.11. an electronic version of all documents and other evidence relied upon by the Complainant with a numbered inventory.

ARTICLE 4. – SUBMISSION OF THE COMPLAINT

4.1.      The Complaint Manager shall check the Complaint for completeness in accordance with Article 3.2 of the Rules within a period of 7 calendar days. If the Complaint is found to be complete, the Complaint Manager shall forward it to the Domain Name Holder with a copy to the Complainant. The Complaint Manager shall inform the Domain Name Holder of the possibility to voluntarily implement the requested measure.

4.2.      If the Complaint is found to be incomplete, the Complaint Manager shall inform the Complainant of the deficiencies. The Complainant shall have a period of 14 calendar days to correct the deficiencies and return the Complaint to the Complaint Manager. If the Complainant fails to correct the deficiencies and to return the Complaint within the aforementioned period, the proceedings are deemed to be terminated, without prejudice to the Complainant’s right to submit a new Complaint. Amounts already paid shall remain acquired by CEPANI.

4.3.      If, within a period of 7 calendar days, the Domain Name Holder has voluntarily implemented the requested measure, the procedure shall end and CEPANI shall refund to the Complainant the costs paid as provided in Article 21 of the Rules, less the administrative costs determined by CEPANI.

4.4.      The commencement date of the proceedings is the date on which the Complaint Manager transmits the Complaint to the Domain Name Holder in accordance with Article 5.1 of these Rules.

4.5.      The Complaint Manager shall immediately inform the Complainant, the Domain Name Holder and the Registration Authority of the date of commencement of the proceedings.

ARTICLE 5. – NOTIFICATIONS

5.1.      The Complaint Manager shall communicate the Complaint to the Domain Name Holder by e-mail. The Complaint Manager shall also send a notification of the Complaint by ordinary mail to the Domain Name Holder’s address as specified in the WHOIS database of the Registration Authority and to any additional addresses mentioned in the Complaint in accordance with Article 3.2.3 of these Rules. Any attachments shall only be sent by e-mail.

5.2.      All communications to the Complaint Manager shall be made by e-mail to the e-mail address of CEPANI: info@cepani.be.

5.3.      All electronic documents shall be retained by CEPANI until 10 years after the notification of the final decision to the Parties. All original documents shall be retained by CEPANI until 30 days after the notification of the final decision to the Parties. After the expiry of this period, the original documents shall be destroyed, unless a Party or the Third-Party Decider has requested the return of its documents before the expiry of this period.

5.4.      Unless otherwise provided in these Rules, all notifications pursuant to these Rules shall be validly made by e-mail.

5.5.      Communications shall be in the language described in Article 12 of these Rules. Electronic communications (e-mail) shall be occur in accordance with Annex VII.

5.6.      Either Party may change its contact details by notifying the Complaint Manager and the other Party of its new contact details. Such change shall not take effect until the fifth calendar day after the date of notification to the Complaint Manager.

5.7.      Unless the Third-Party Decider decides otherwise, each communication provided for in these Rules shall be deemed to have been received on the date on which the communication was sent.

5.8.      All time limits which commence on the day of receipt of a particular communication shall begin to run on the day after the day on which the communication is deemed to have been received in accordance with Article 5.7 of these Rules.

5.9.      From the commencement date of the proceedings, all communications shall take place as follows:

5.9.1.   by a Party to the Third-Party Decider and, conversely, by the Third-Party Decider to the Parties, in accordance with the provisions of Article 9 of these Rules: through the Complaint Manager;

5.9.2.   by the Complaint Manager to a Party with a copy to the other Party and to the Third-Party Decider, if already appointed; and

5.9.3.   by a Party to the Complaint Manager with a copy to the other Party.

5.10.    If the last day of a binding term is not a working day in the country where the notification is to be made, the term expires at the end of the first working day thereafter.

5.11.    When a sending Party receives proof of non-receipt of a communication, it shall immediately inform the Complaint Manager. The Complaint Manager shall inform the Third-Party Decider thereof, if already appointed. All further communications and responses thereto shall be made in the manner prescribed by the Third-Party Decider or by the Complaint Manager.

ARTICLE 6. – THE RESPONSE

6.1.      Within a period of 21 calendar days from the commencement date of the proceedings, the Domain Name Holder must send its Response to the Complaint Manager.

6.2.      The Response shall be submitted in “portable document format” (pdf). If the Domain Name Holder wishes to use another transfer system or other formats, the Domain Name Holder shall first contact the Complaint Manager by e-mail at info@cepani.be to ensure that the Complaint Manager can receive and read the Response. To be complete, the Response shall be submitted by e-mail to the address info@cepani.be (for larger files, the e-mail may refer to an Internet transfer system such as www.wetransfer.com, or any equivalent transfer system), shall be drawn up in accordance with the Response form of Annex V of these Rules, and shall contain at least the following information:

6.2.1.   a Response to the facts and grounds of the Complaint and the arguments to maintain the registration of the Domain Name;

6.2.2.   The correct name, postal and e-mail addresses and telephone numbers of the Domain Name Holder, as well as of any representative acting for the Domain Name Holder. Representatives, who are not lawyers and members of a bar association within the European Union, must have a special power of attorney;

6.2.3.   the identification of all other legal proceedings of which the Domain Name Holder is aware relating to the Domain Name that is the subject of the Complaint and a copy of any decision rendered;

6.2.4.   confirmation that a copy of the Response and its annexes was sent to the Complainant by e-mail at the e-mail address indicated in Article 3.2.2 of these Rules;

6.2.5.   the following statement, followed by the legally valid (electronic) signature of the Domain Name Holder or its representative: “The Domain Name Holder agrees that its claims and remedies relating to the registration of the Domain Name, the dispute or the resolution of the dispute are directed only against the Complainant and expressly waives, except in the case of wilful misconduct, any claim against a) CEPANI, its directors and officers and b) the Third-Party Decider.

The Domain Name Holder confirms that the information contained in this Response is to the best of its knowledge complete and accurate.”;

6.2.6.   an electronic version of all documents and other evidence relied upon by the Domain Name Holder with a numbered inventory.

6.3.      At the request of the Domain Name Holder, or upon its own initiative, the Complaint Manager may extend the term to submit the Response. The term may also be extended upon confirmation by both Parties, if approved by the Complaint Manager.

6.4.      If the Domain Name Holder fails to submit its Response, the proceedings shall continue and the Third-Party Decider shall resolve the dispute on the basis of the Complaint alone.

6.5.      The Complaint Manager shall check the Response for completeness in accordance with Article 6.2 of the Rules within a period of 7 calendar days. If the Response is found to be incomplete, the Complaint Manager shall inform the Domain Name Holder of the deficiencies. The Domain Name Holder shall have a period of 14 calendar days to correct the deficiencies and return the Response to the Complaint Manager. If the Domain Name Holder fails to correct the deficiencies and return the Response within the aforementioned period, the proceedings shall continue unabated and the Third-Party Decider shall resolve the dispute on the basis of the Response as submitted.

ARTICLE 7. – APPOINTMENT OF THE THIRD-PARTY DECIDER

7.1.      The Appointments Committee or the President of CEPANI shall, within 7 calendar days following the receipt of the Response or after the expiry of the term for the submission thereof, appoint a Third-Party Decider from the list of accredited Third-Party Deciders  published on the CEPANI website.

7.2.      After the appointment of the Third-Party Decider, the Complaint Manager shall inform the Parties of the identity of the Third-Party Decider, as well as of the time period within which the Third-Party Decider is to send the decision to the Complaint Manager.

ARTICLE 8. – INDEPENDENCE OF THE THIRD-PARTY-DECIDER

Only persons independent of the Parties and their counsel may be appointed as Third-Party Deciders.

Before accepting his/her appointment, the Third-Decider shall complete and sign a statement of availability, acceptance and independence (Annex II). In this statement, the Third-Party Decider discloses in writing to the Complaint Manager the facts and circumstances which might call into question her/his independence in the eyes of the Parties.

If new circumstances arise in the course of the proceedings that could give rise to justifiable doubts as to the independence of the Third-Party Decider, the Third-Party Decider shall immediately communicate those circumstances to the Complaint Manager.

The Complaint Manager has the power to request the Appointments Committee or the President of CEPANI to replace the Third-Party Decider on the basis of this communication.

By accepting the appointment, each Third-Party Decider undertakes to carry out the assignment until its completion in accordance with these Rules.

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

None of the Parties, nor anyone acting on their behalf, may in any way directly or indirectly contact the Third-Party Decider.

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

The Complaint Manager shall send the file by e-mail to the Third-Party Decider upon his/her appointment. A Third-Party Decider may demand the communication of the original documents at any time. In this case, the original documents shall, at the option of the Third-Party Decider, be sent either to the seat of the Complaint Manager where the Third-Party Decider may consult them, or, if exceptional circumstances prevent such consultation, directly to the Third-Party Decider.

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

11.1.    The Third-Party Decider shall conduct the proceedings in the manner he/she considers to be appropriate in accordance with these Rules, the Policy of DNS Belgium and the Registration Agreement.

11.2.    The Third-Party Decider shall at all times ensure that the Parties are treated equally and that each Party can assert its rights.

11.3.    The Third-Party Decider shall ensure that the proceedings take place expeditiously. The Third-Party Decider may upon request by a Party or ex officio – exceptionally – extend the time limits provided for in these Rules or reopen the debates.

11.4.    The Third-Decision Decider shall rule on the admissibility, relevance and weight of the evidence.

11.5.    The Appointments Committee or the President of CEPANI shall decide on the consolidation of several Complaints, ex officio or at the request of a Party, taking into account the related or indivisible nature of the disputes. This decision shall be final.

ARTICLE 12. – LANGUAGE AND PLACE OF THE PROCEEDINGS

12.1.    Unless the Parties agree otherwise, the language of proceedings shall be the language indicated upon registration or renewal of registration of the Domain Name in the WHOIS database of the Registration Authority, available on the website www.dnsbelgium.be. If this information is not available via the WHOIS database on the website www.dnsbelgium.be , it can be requested from the Registration Authority via e-mail to the address legal@dnsbelgium.be. In special circumstances, the Third-Party Decider may change the language.

12.2.    The Third-Party Decider may require that any document sent in a language other than the language of the proceedings be accompanied by a full or partial translation in the language of the proceedings. If the requested translation is not provided, the Third-Party Decider may exclude the document from the debates.

12.3.    The place of the proceedings is the seat of the Complaint Manager.

ARTICLE 13. ADDITIONAL SUBMISSIONS – CLOSURE OF DEBATES

The debates are deemed to be closed at the expiration of a period of 7 calendar days after the appointment of the Third-Party Decider. During this period, the Complainant may request the Complaint Manager for an additional term to submit a reply. This request and any documents shall be addressed, in accordance with the provisions of Article 9 of these Rules, to the Complaint Manager, who shall promptly transmit them to the Third-Decider. The Third-Party Decider shall decide whether to grant this request and, if necessary, make arrangements for the further course of the proceedings.

If the Third-Party Decider considers the file to be incomplete, he/she may invite the Parties to submit additional information. In doing so, the Third-Party Decider shall always respect the principle of adversarial proceedings.

ARTICLE 14. – ORAL HEARING

The parties shall only be heard if the Third-Party Decider so decides. This shall be done in an adversarial process, in the manner chosen by the Third-Party Decider and preferably by video conference.

ARTICLE 15. ABSENCE OF RESPONSE BY ONE OF THE PARTIES

If a Party does not respond within the time limits set by these Rules or the Third-Party Decider, the Third-Party Decider may proceed to take the decision.

ARTICLE 16 – DECISION OF THE THIRD-PARTY DECIDER

16.1.    The Third-Party Decider shall rule on the Complaint with due regard for the views of the Parties and in accordance with the Policy of DNS Belgium, the Registration Agreement and these Rules.

16.2.    The Third-Party Decider shall deliver the decision on the Complaint in “portable document format” (pdf) to the Complaint Manager within a period of 14 calendar days after the closure of the debates in accordance with Article 13 of these Rules.

16.3.    The decision of the Third-Party Decider shall be signed (electronically) and shall contain the detailed reasons on which it is based, as well as the date on which is was rendered and the identity of the Third-Party Decider.

16.4.    If, after examining the case, the Third-Party Decider finds that the Complaint was made in bad faith, the Third-Party Decider shall establish in the decision the abuse of proceedings.

ARTICLE 17 – NOTIFICATION, PUBLICATION AND ENFORCEMENT OF THE DECISION

17.1.    Within 7 calendar days following receipt of the decision from the Third-Party Decider, the Complaint Manager shall communicate the full text of the decision to each Party and to the Registration Authority. In this communication, the Complaint Manager shall indicate the date of expiry of the term to file an appeal in accordance with Article 18.1 of these Rules.

17.2.    If the Third-Party Decider decides that the Complaint is well-founded and orders to transfer or cancel the Domain Name, the Registration Authority shall implement the decision after the expiry of a period of 14 calendar days from the notification of the decision to the Parties, unless the Domain Name Holder lodges an appeal within this period in accordance with Article 18 of these Rules. In the latter case, the Domain Name shall remain “on hold” until the final decision on appeal.

17.3.    Unless the Third-Party Decider decides otherwise, the Complaint Manager shall publish the decision on the Complaint Manager’s publicly accessible website: www.cepani.be.

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

18.1.    Each Party has the right to appeal the decision of the Third-Party Decider within a period of 14 calendar days from the notification of the decision. The appeal is lodged by submitting a request for appeal and by paying the costs of the appeal (Article 21 of these Rules).

18.2.    The request for appeal shall be submitted in “portable document format” (pdf). If the appellant wishes to use another transfer system or other formats, the appellant shall first contact the Complaint Manager by e-mail at info@cepani.be to make sure that the Complaint Manager can receive and read the documents. The request for appeal is only complete if it is submitted by e-mail to the address info@cepani.be (for larger files, the e-mail may refer to an Internet transmission system such as www.wetransfer.com, or any equivalent transmission system) and is prepared in accordance with the form of Annex VI of these Rules.

18.3.    The request for appeal shall contain, in addition to the identity of the Parties, the identification number of the decision against which the appeal is lodged and the identity of the Third-Party Decider, a detailed statement of the facts and grounds on which the appeal is based, followed by a legally valid (electronic) signature.

18.4.    Within 7 calendar days of the date on which the Complaint Manager receives both the request for appeal and the payment of the costs of the appeal, the Complaint Manager shall notify the other Party of the request for appeal by e-mail. Upon receipt of proof of non-receipt of this communication, the Complaint Manager shall notify the other Party of the request for appeal by registered letter.

18.5.    The Party against whom the appeal is lodged may file a reply within a period of 14 calendar days after receipt of the communication. This reply shall contain a detailed account of the facts and grounds of the appeal.

18.6.    Within 7 calendar days following receipt of the reply or after the expiry of the term for subsmission thereof, the Appointments Committee or the President of CEPANI shall appoint, from the list of accredited Third-Party Deciders, a committee of three Third-Party Deciders (the Appeal Committee), one of whom as the chairperson. Each of these Third-Party Deciders must fulfil the conditions of independence set out in Article 8 of these Rules.

18.7.    The provisions of Articles 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17 of these Rules shall apply to the Appeals Tribunal, except that:

  • in principle, the Appeal Committee must take its decision within 30 calendar days after the closure of the debates;
  • the decision of the Appeal Committee is not subject to appeal;
  • the decision of the Appeal Committee is signed separately (electronically) by each Third-Party Decider, after which the signed copy is submitted to the Complaint Manager; and
  • the Complaint Manager, after receiving the (electronically) signed decision, will send the copy signed by the chairperson to the Parties at a minimum.

ARTICLE 19. – AMICABLE SETTLEMENT OR OTHER MEANS OF TERMINATING THE DISPUTE – IMPEDIMENT OF THE THIRD-PARTY DECIDER

19.1.    When the Parties come to an amicable settlement before the Third-Party Decider or the Appeal Committee has taken a decision, they shall inform the Complaint Manager. The Complaint Manager shall in turn inform the Registration Authority and the Third-Party Decider or the Appeal Committee. The Third-Party Decider or the Appeal Committee verifies whether all Parties have accepted the settlement and, if so, declares that the proceedings be closed.

19.2.    If, before the Third-Party Decider or the Appeal Committee has rendered the decision, it appears that it is not necessary or impossible for any reason to continue the proceedings, the Third-Party Decider or the Appeal Committee shall announce its intention to terminate the proceedings and declare them terminated within a reasonable period of time thereafter, unless a Party expresses a justified objection within the period of time imposed by the Third-Party Decider or the Appeal Committee.

19.3.    In the event that a Third-Party Decider is prevented from acting for any reason, the Appointments Committee or the CEPANI President shall appoint a replacement and shall inform the Parties accordingly. Where appropriate, the Complaint Manager shall adjust the time limits granted.

19.4.    In all the foregoing cases, the costs as defined in Article 21.1 of these Rules shall remain acquired by the Complaint Manager.

ARTICLE 20. – EFFECT OF COURT PROCEEDINGS

20.1.    If, prior to or during the proceedings, a lawsuit has been filed before a court concerning the Domain Name, the Third-Party Decider or the Appeal Committee shall decide whether or not to suspend the proceedings in whole or in part.

20.2.    If, during the proceedings, a Party commences proceedings before a court, it shall immediately inform the Complaint Manager. It shall also forward a copy of the document instituting the proceedings.

ARTICLE 21. – COSTS

21.1.    The costs of the proceedings are determined in accordance with the fee schedule for domain name disputes (Annex I), which forms an integral part of these Rules, and shall be borne by the Complainant. The costs include the fees and expenses of the Third-Party Decider(s) as well as the administrative expenses of Complaint Manager. They must be paid to the Complaint Manager at the same time as the Complaint or the request for appeal is filed.

21.2.    The Complaint Manager shall not take any action with regard to the Complaint or the request for appeal as  long as the full costs of the proceedings have not been received.

21.3.    If, within a period of 10 calendar days after receipt of the Complaint or the request for appeal, the Complaint Manager has not received full payment of the costs, the Complaint or the request for appeal shall be deemed withdrawn.

21.4.    If the progress of the proceedings requires special services, the cost of which is not reasonably covered by the costs requested, such services shall only be rendered after the payment by the most diligent party of the amount for additional costs as determined by the Complaint Manager.

21.5.    In any event, the amounts already paid shall remain acquired by the Complaint Manager, without prejudice to Article 4.3 of these Rules.

ARTICLE 22. – EXCLUSION OF LIABILITY

Except in cases of willful misconduct or gross negligence, neither i) CEPANI, its directors and officers, nor ii) the Third-Party Decider shall be liable to a Party or to the Registration Authority for any act or omission relating to the proceedings conducted under these Rules.

ARTICLE 23. – GENERAL PROVISIONS

The most recent version of these Rules is available on the CEPANI website (www.cepani.be). CEPANI reserves the right to modify these Rules at any time. A Complaint shall always be governed solely by the Rules in force at the time of its submission.

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