Mediation is an alternative method of dispute resolution (ADR), managed by a neutral third party with the purpose to facilitate the negotiation between the parties. The mediator will set up a number of private meetings, in order to establish a proper dialogue between the parties and to reach tailored-made solutions.
In Italy, mediation was introduced by Legislative Decree 28/2010 to reduce the workload of the courts. In 2013, a law established mandatory mediation before issuing legal proceedings in certain areas of law.
There are three main types of mediation:
The process starts with an Application for Mediation submitted by the promoting party to a credited Mediation Centre.
Once the request has been accepted, the mediator sets the first meeting within 30 days, to which the other party may decide to accept or refuse to attend.
Non-participation without justified reason can be used as grounds in court and, in mandatory mediation, can imply the payment of a penalty.
During the first meeting, the mediator explains the functions and procedure of mediation. The first and following meetings must take place in the presence of the parties’ lawyers.
Mediation may end:
The entire process must be completed within 3-4 months from the initial application for mediation.
In conclusion, the slowness of justice may be a major impediment to dispute resolutions, where mediation or arbitration represent an efficient alternative.
In Italy, in the last ten years, the global number of applications for ADR has dramatically increased recording a positive trend.
VGS Lawyers is always recommending to include mediation or arbitration (depending on the value of the contract) clause in the agreements between the parties. Some of VGS Lawyers’ professionals are arbitrators and/or mediators themselves and, therefore, they are very familiar with all rules and techniques of these two alternative dispute resolutions means. That is why we can offer tailored and efficient assistance to clients someway involved in such procedures.
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