Breaking News: Europe Gets It Sorted

Brussels, 24 April 2008, the European Parliament formally approved the European Council’s common position on the new Mediation Directive.

The purpose of the Directive is to facilitate access to dispute resolution and to promote the amicable settlement of disputes by encouraging the use of mediation and by ensuring a sound relationship between mediation and judicial proceedings.

> The Directive obliges Member States to encourage the training of mediators and the development of, and adherence to, voluntary codes of conducts and other effective quality control mechanisms concerning the provision of mediation services.

> The Directive gives every judge in the Community, at any stage of the procedure, the right to suggest that the parties attend an information meeting on mediation and, if he deems it to be appropriate, to invite the parties to have recourse to mediation.

>The Directive enables parties to give an agreement concluded following mediation a status similar to that of a judgment by rendering it enforceable. This can be achieved, for example, by way of judicial approval or notarial certification, thereby allowing such agreements to be enforceable in the Member States under existing Community rules.

>The Directive ensures that mediation takes place in an atmosphere of confidentiality and that information given or submissions made by any party during mediation cannot be used against that party in subsequent judicial proceedings if the mediation fails. This provision is essential to give parties confidence in, and to encourage them to make use of, mediation. To this end, the Directive provides that the mediator cannot be compelled to give evidence about what took place during mediation in subsequent judicial proceedings between the parties.

>The provision of the Directive on periods of limitation and prescription will ensure that parties that have recourse to mediation will not be prevented from going to court as a result of the time spent on mediation. The Directive thus preserves the parties’ access to justice should mediation not succeed.

Following today’s adoption of the Directive, Member States will be given 36 months to convert the new rules into national law

Read more here: European Parliament formally approved the Council’s common position on the new Mediation Directive – Get more documents

                        author

Geoff Sharp

Geoff Sharp is a Commercial Mediator from Wellington, New Zealand. Geoff works in the Asia Pacific region, including New Zealand, Malaysia, Thailand and Pacific Islands. He is a mediator resolving business problems. He is a fellow of the International Academy of Mediators and mediates complex and hotly debated litigation covering… MORE >

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