The United States, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is supporting Sri Lanka’s efforts to improve its investment climate by enhancing access to commercial alternative dispute resolution (ADR). This initiative has resulted in the U.S.-sponsored training and accreditation of 23 international commercial mediators, effectively doubling the number of qualified mediators in Sri Lanka. These mediators now provide businesses with a faster and less expensive alternative to traditional court litigation for resolving disputes.

Under USAID’s Efficient and Effective Justice (EEJ) project, the 23 mediators underwent extensive training in areas such as communication, problem-solving, managing emotions, and overcoming impasses. The training was conducted by the Singapore International Mediation Centre (SIMC), a respected independent organization specializing in ADR and ADR training. Following a four-month mentorship program, these mediators will apply their new skills to facilitate approximately 100 commercial mediations in Sri Lanka by October 2026.

USAID’s extensive support for ADR in Sri Lanka includes collaboration with local and international experts to provide training in commercial mediation, negotiation, and ADR best practices to lawyers, law students, ADR centers, and companies. The EEJ project is also involved in pilot programs for judicial and court-referred mediation in partnership with the Court of Appeal and Commercial High Courts, aiming to resolve disputes swiftly and reduce delays and backlogs in the justice system. Through these comprehensive initiatives, EEJ enhances the overall efficacy of the judicial process in Sri Lanka.

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