Find out about the Mandatory Initial Mediation Session. Find out about the benefits of Mediation.
The Managing Partner of our law firm Vicky Athanassoglou is an Accredited Mediator and Alternate Member of the Central Mediation Committee (“KED”) of the Ministry of Justice (http://www.diamesolavisi.gov.gr/selida/kentriki-epitropi-diamesolavisis), as well as rapporteur to the Committee on Legal Affairs of KED. We undertake mediations of all kinds, including the Mandatory Initial Mediation Session.
“Confidentiality-Speed-Impartiality-Legally Binding, four characteristics that distinguish the Mediation.”
What is Mandatory Initial Mediation Session?
Mandatory Initial Mediation Session is a mandatory stage of a single out-of-court dispute settlement between the parties and their legal representatives before a neutral and impartial third party: the mediator. The purpose of this session is to examine whether the specific dispute can be resolved through mediation, i.e. with a viable and mutually satisfactory dispute settlement between the parties, while it can be held before even filling the lawsuit, but in any case prior of the hearing of the case before the Court.
Which is the legal framework of Mandatory Initial Mediation Session and when has it been institutionalized in the Greek Legal Order?
Mandatory Initial Mediation Session was introduced for the first time in the Greek judicial system with the enactment of Article 6 of Law 4640/2019 (Government Gazette 190A/ 30.11.2019) – “Mediation in civil and commercial disputes – Further harmonization of Greek legislation with Directive 2008/52/EC of the European parliament and of the council of 21 May 2008 and other provisions”, aligned with Article 2 (1) of the EU Directive 2008/52/ EC. and is defined as: “..the meeting between the mediator and the parties taking place in private disputes before the case is introduced with the competent Court”.
Which disputes are subject to Mandatory Initial Mediation Session?
Provided that the parties have the power to dispose of the subject-matter of their dispute, the following disputes may be settled by this procedure: (a) Family Disputes (except differences of Art. 592 par. 1 a΄, b΄ and c΄, i.e. divorce, annulment of marriage, recognition of the existence or nonexistence of marriage and Art. 592 par. 2 -differences in parent-child relationships (paternity, maternity, etc.), (b) Disputes subject to the ordinary procedure of Single-Member Courts when the value of the subject-matter of the dispute exceeds the amount of EUR 30.000,00 and of Multi-Member Courts, (c) Disputes arising from agreements including a valid mediation clause.
What are the stages of the Mandatory Initial Mediation Session process?
In the first stage, the parties mutually consent to the person of the mediator, otherwise in case of disagreement, a mediator shall be appointed by the Special Register of Accredited Mediators maintained by the Court of First Instance. A request is submitted from the parties, which contains the parties information and the subject matter of the dispute. The mediator notifies the parties and arranges the date and place of the initial mediation session at least 5 days prior to the scheduled first mediation session. The costs of the notification are being paid in advance by the hasty party and are awarded as court costs in case of a lawsuit. Finally, the initial session must take place with the proxy attorneys within 20 days following the next day of the mediator’s being notified of the petition for initiation of mediation, if the parties reside in the country, or within 30 days if any of the parties resides abroad.
What are the benefits of Mediation?
The mediator must not disclose confidential information to the other party without the consent of the disclosing parties. Parties participating in mediation proceedings are excluded from being examined as witnesses or attorneys-at-law.
There is no defined timetable for Mandatory Initial Mediation Session, but it is rather fast-track procedure.
The mediator is appointed by the parties or by a third party of their choice, therefore acting on a permanent basis with neutrality towards the parties ensuring a procedurally fair process.
The agreement of the parties is legally binding and enforceable against the other party in the same way as a court order.
What if a party fails to appear at the Mandatory Initial Mediation Session?
If a party fails to attend the Mandatory Initial Mediation Session -although invited to do so- a pecuniary sentence ranging from EUR 100,00 to EUR 500,00 shall be imposed by the Court. In determining this sentence, the Court shall take into account the overall behavior of the party and the reasons for their non-attendance at the mediation session.
What happens after the end of Mandatory Initial Mediation Session?
The parties have two options: (1) They decide to proceed to mediation procedure, with the same or another mediator, draw the agreement to mediate and shall complete the mediation within forty days (the parties may agree on an extension following the expiration of the aforementioned period of 20 or 30 days). (2) Otherwise, the parties notify their option to submit their dispute into court or any other method they have deemed more appropriate and the mediator prepares minutes, depicting the failure which is signed by all participants. In this latter case, the parties submit, along their briefs and exhibits, the minutes proving the attempt and failure of the mediation before the competent Court, otherwise their case is rejected as inadmissible.
If the Mandatory Initial Mediation Session is successful, how can it be ensured that the parties shall respect the agreed?
If the parties reach an agreement, then the respective minutes are signed by the mediator, the parties and their lawyers and are submitted before the secretariat of the competent Court which the trial of the case is pending or is about to be introduced and may constitute an enforceable title according to Article 8 of the above-mentioned Law. As a matter of fact, the validity of the agreement will be upheld as a court decision.
If you are interested in Mediation for your case contact us at 2103254237 or [email protected]
The contents of this newsletter do not constitute legal or tax advice and cannot be used as such. In case you require advice in your specific case, please do not hesitate to contact one of our experts.