C6) NOVA Dispute Resolution Forum

NOVA Dispute Resolution Forum

About Us

NOVA Dispute Resolution Forum was created in 2021. It is a Knowledge Centre focusing on research and education on dispute resolution. The Centre aims to encourage the debate on diverse subjects within Procedural Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution, with an integrated approach to civil dispute resolution.

The research is organised around relevant topics selected considering the Centre’s scope and the added value that can be created for society. The researchers include students of all study cycles of NOVA School of Law, always under the supervision of one or more Professors.

The Centre is divided into four fields of research: Civil Procedure and Insolvency, coordinated by Professor João Pedro Pinto-Ferreira; Commercial Arbitration, coordinated by Professor Mariana França Gouveia; Public Law and Investment Arbitration, coordinated by Professor Luís Heleno Terrinha; Mediation, coordinated by Professor Joana Campos Carvalho. All activities are also coordinated by its Executive Director, Rita de Carvalho.

In addition to the “Insolvency Law in Portugal – A Multidisciplinary Analysis” (IN_SOLVENS) research project, funded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology, NOVA Dispute Resolution Forum publishes the Alternative Dispute Resolution Lab’s Yearbook (3 issues) and has a blog with several contributions by its researchers.

Regarding the educational component, the goal is to offer advanced education to professionals in the field of Law wishing to update and deepen their legal knowledge. Our courses have been mainly directed at lawyers, judges, mediators and insolvency practitioners. The executive education has included courses such as:

  • Evidence in Civil Procedure (1 edition);
  • Postgraduate Course in Arbitration (8 editions);
  • Course on Insolvency and Pre-insolvency Proceeedings (3 editions).

In addition, NOVA Dispute Resolution Forum organizes a Summer School on Arbitration (2 editions) and several of its members are involved in the Master’s in Ligation and Arbitration (offered by NOVA School of Law).


Research Activities: Outline current research projects

  • The IN_SOLVENS research project began in February 2021 (with an expected duration of 36 months). The project has two main objectives: to identify the causes and effects associated to the considerable length of insolvency proceedings and to the low use of pre-insolvency mechanisms; to set forth proposals which prioritize judicial and extrajudicial pre-insolvency instruments and streamline insolvency proceedings.
  • The Dispute Resolution Forum has a blog with posts written by its research assistants. During 2023, 17 posts were published. For more information.

Other research initiatives include:

  1. “Masters of Mediation”, a series of four interviews produced by the mediation department and coordinated by Professor Joana Campos Carvalho. Its aim is to collect different experiences from internationally renowned mediators. The episodes are available on YouTube.
  2. A series of posts on the “Singapore Convention on Mediation” organized by the mediation department and coordinated by Professor Joana Campos Carvalho. This series of 13 posts aims to disseminate an annotation to the Singapore Convention made by students of the Master’s in Litigation and Arbitration.
  3. The “Civil Procedure Explained” series, organized by the civil procedure and insolvency department and coordinated by Professor João Pedro Pinto-Ferreira. This involved the publication on social media of 6 FAQs on civil procedure.

Education Activities:

  • The Nova Dispute Resolution Forum offers Executive Education with advanced courses, such as a Course on Evidence in Civil Procedure, a Postgraduate Course in Arbitration and a Course on Insolvency and Pre-insolvency Proceeedings.
  • The Centre also promotes other educational initiatives such as the Arbitration Talks, which took place in March 27, April 24, and May 15, 2023, and were organized and coordinated by Professor Luís Heleno Terrinha and Rita de Carvalho. Their goal was to promote the debate around the hot topics of International Investment Arbitration. Through this initiative the Centre brought to NOVA international Professors, Researchers and Professionals who dedicate their work to these topics, such as Professor Victor Ferreres Comella, Dr. Paschalis Paschalidis, and Dr. Mickael Schinazi.
  • The Centre also organized two very successful editions of the NOVA Summer School on International Arbitration (July 2022 and July 2023). The Summer School brought international participants who were eager to learn more about the world of arbitration from well-known international academics and practitioners.

Highlights in Outputs and Impact

Main outputs:

  • Mariana França Gouveia and Ana Coimbra Trigo, “Mediation in Lusophone Africa: An opportunity to amplify access to justice”, Transnational Dispute Management, issue 3, 2022
  • Mariana França Gouveia, “Adjudication: The missing piece in the Portuguese (and Portuguese-speaking countries) ADR landscape”, Estudos de Arbitragem em homenagem ao Bastonário Manuel Gonçalves, Almedina, 2021
  • Joana Campos Carvalho, “Commercial mediation as a rational step before arbitration”, Revista Internacional de Arbitragem e Conciliação, n.º 20, 2024 (translation of the Portuguese title)
  • Joana Campos Carvalho, “Procedural rules in the Portuguese Mediation Act”, A Lei da Mediação de Conflitos – Estudos sobre a sua aplicação, 2023 (translation of the Portuguese title)
  • João Pedro Pinto-Ferreira [et. al.], “Special proceedings for a payment agreement: An empirical analysis”, in Themis, nº. 36/37, 2023 (translation of the Portuguese title).
  • João Pedro Pinto-Ferreira, Judicial case management and procedural guarantees in civil declaratory proceeedings, Almedina, 2022 (translation of the Portuguese title)


  • IN_SOLVENS: a conference was organized to publicise part of the research’s results and to discuss a legislative change that came into force in 2022. Members of the research team have published several articles in legal journals detailing the main findings of the project, namely on the empirical analysis of closed insolvency and pre-insolvency proceedings. These results aim to inform public policies and legislation on this area. Additionally, some of the findings of the project have also been published in two Portuguese newspapers and a member of the research team gave a TV interview on the main causes of insolvency as detected in the empirical analysis.


Collaborations/Partnerships/External Funding

Foundation for Science and Technology: External funding for the IN_SOLVENS research project

Morais Leitão, Galvão Telles Soares da Silva & Associados: Sponsor of the Course on Insolvency and Pre-Insolvency Mechanisms