Valerio Stoica, CSALB conciliator: “The most harmonious societies are those in which there is a culture of compromise. Judges should recommend conciliation”

Valeriu Stoica, Honorary Conciliator of CSALB

Valerio Stoica, CSALB emeritus conciliator, attorney and university professor, spoke with Irina Chiu, financial analyst, about the importance of CSALB and intra-center negotiations, a plus for consumers, but also for organizations that use the “art of compromise.” The famous lawyer points out that “the most important advantage of conciliation is the economy of resources.”

Reporter: Is this alternative measure of settlement specific to the law, the principle of fairness?

Valerio Stoica: This project called CSALB is close to my heart and I believe in it and since the beginning of this center I have supported it morally and institutionally. I believe that society as a whole, society as a whole, should be subject to these principles. After all, any society is more harmonious because it knows how to resolve conflicts through settlement, understanding, mediation and reconciliation. The most harmonious societies are those in which there is a culture of compromise. It is normal for misunderstanding to occur in any society, whether it is a misunderstanding between people or a misunderstanding between institutions and individuals. A conflicting profession exists for any physical or legal entity. I hope that the example of this center will be contagious not only in the banking field, but also in other areas where these ADR methods can work.

Over time, all kinds of tensions arose in the financial banking sphere between consumers and banks, and some of them were artificially inflated. At some point, this tension risked reaching an explosive form, and the demagogic sense in various circles of interest could and has been speculated about. The CSALB was the valve by which these pressures were first reduced and then removed. At the moment, we have not seen any acute manifestations of this strained relationship between consumers and banks in Roman society. I believe that an effort should be made in educating children, both in the family and at school, so that this culture of compromise, so to speak, is internalized from the start.

Reporter: Do you think conciliation, mediation or arbitration is best suited for Romanians?

Valerio Stoica: I think, in general, this formula is suitable for all people. The most important advantage of matchmaking is resource savings. By understanding people save resources: psychological resources, because with the escalation of conflict and the escalation of tensions it is a very high psychological consumption. People are unbalanced. Then the financial resources are provided.

A court case costs money. Even in classic arbitration there is a cost. Then there is a cost in time which means, in the end, also a cost in money. Arbitration is a dispute conducted according to the principles of combat, a fight in which each party must prove its fairness. Weapons are legal evidence and arguments, but they are no less tense. Whereas in a conciliation proceeding, in so far as one of the parties wishes to opt out of the proceeding, it is opting out.

Reporter: What would be, from a normative point of view, the consumer advantages or disadvantages of a personal bankruptcy law for individuals compared to the alternative solution?

Valerio Stoica: The bankruptcy of individuals solves some of the problems that companies face as well. Financial difficulties exist not only for companies, but also for individuals. If this formula of help was created for companies to get through the crisis that generates bankruptcy and get over bankruptcy, why shouldn’t it be possible for individuals as well? Matchmaking is another area, but these alternative formulas can prevent financial difficulties. When it comes to arbitration disputes or court litigation, all too often the decision is not executed voluntarily and then another litigation is needed: the enforcement procedure. In the exercise of this position, the decisions issued at the end were carried out voluntarily, although they are enforceable titles.

Reporter: What do you think should be done to improve the relationship between the consumer and the bank and their trust in CSALB?

Valerio Stoica: You spoke a word of confidence! To talk about the possibility of conciliation, compromise, the parties must trust each other. We are in the banking field and this credit means: Trust! Confidence in one person implies a complement: the other must be trustworthy! This explains why, if we refer to the banking field, when granting loans, the creditworthiness of some institutions or persons who request loans are checked. As for trust in CSALB, we see how after a few years of operation this center has proven to be an organization worthy of consumers’ trust. Looking to the future, I believe this formula for conflict resolution will become more and more popular.

Reporter: Recently, more than 120 pending lawsuits within CSALB have been resolved. How do you see this exemption from the courts in terms of benefits to consumers, to banks?

Valerio Stoica: I’ll start with the benefits for the courts first! If the courts make it clear to the parties that they also have the option to resort to proceedings within the CSALB, it is in the judges’ best interest in the first place to do so as it eases their role! Perhaps the first thing the judge should do in such a case is to ask the parties whether they have previously resorted to conciliation. And in court there is a so-called court settlement: the parties, instead of accepting the court’s decision, can agree to each other.

Therefore, judges can advise the parties at the beginning of the trial to seek a negotiated solution. And when it comes to consumers and banks, he can tell that CSALB also has professionals on hand, like conciliators who know how to mediate negotiations! It suffices for judges to apply a general principle: to find the possibility of a negotiated solution first. The advantage of a judge is to shorten the process, avoid giving evidence, hearing witnesses, analyzing evidence, and evaluating evidence. In the end, the parties may be upset because the judge did not understand the facts well and did not apply the law well.

Reporter: What would you advise people in these trying times, with a border dispute?

Valerio Stoica: If we talk about trust, the advice is that we must also trust institutions. Today it is becoming increasingly clear that our chance as a country is that we become members of NATO and the European Union in due course. I have seen many sovereign dialects based on demagogic motives. In the absence of solidarity, beyond their own resources, it was observed that these structures became shadows of protection, even guarantees. I hope that in this very difficult, dramatic circumstance happening two steps away from us, there will be fewer and fewer gullible people who think that we can stand up for ourselves and that we can stand between all the winds of history without the danger of disappearing!

We must be very careful about arguments that try to satisfy our personal pride. Some people talk about independence, sovereignty, that we should not depend on the EU or NATO, that we can do everything ourselves. It’s childhood! On the other hand, those who think so are naive, and those who urge such an approach only represent foreign interests in Romania. Fortunately, many of us rest on a solid foundation: the values, principles, and institutions that protect our freedom and protect our person. It is almost incomprehensible how we can return today to the mentality of the nineteenth century in which a great power, using the means at its disposal, can destroy an entire country!

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