In 1997, CEPANI followed a common request coming from the companies that consisted in finding a technique, besides Arbitration and Mediation; that could efficiently help parties to reach an agreement. This technique is known as the mini-trial.
The mini-trial is the appropriate procedure for any contractor anxious to settle as quickly as possible a dispute, in order to be able to rapidly carry on with his normal business relations with the other party. Both parties directly participate in the procedure because they must each appoint a high representative as assessor in the mini-trial committee. The Chairman of the mini-trial committee is appointed by CEPANI, whose mission is to reach a consensus of opinion between the parties.
For the mission to succeed; two conditions have to be combined:
Firstly, the parties must be represented by someone of a sufficiently high standard in order for that person to be able take a step back from the dispute and take into consideration the interests of the company on a long term basis. The assessors have to be able to commit the company when a settlement is reached.
Secondly, it is essential that the Chairman of the min-trial committee, appointed by CEPANI, has sufficient authority and negotiating abilities, for it will enable him to get the right idea of the dispute but also it enables him to get a psychological approach of the case.