Mediation means a structured procedure irrespective of the name and basic characteristics of confidentiality, private autonomy, neutrality and impartiality of the Ombudsman, in which two or more parties voluntarily attempt in a bona fide conduct and transactional straightness to resolve by agreement a dispute with the assistance of the Ombudsman (article 178 N. 4512/2018). In simpler terms, mediation is a process in which a third neutral party helps two or more parties to voluntarily be driven into a compromise of their differences. Mediation is possible if (Article 181 N. 4512/2018):
- The parties agree to this before or during the Lis Pendens
- The Parties are invited to take recourse to it by the Court of Justice
- If mediation is ordered by a court in another Member State
- Enforced by law
This is a process, that presents many important advantages. This is why it is used in dozens of countries abroad with a high frequency to solve private and corporate affairs, even noting spectacular success rates, which touch 90%! Below are the main advantages of:
- Voluntary procedure: The parties freely come to mediation and may also freely withdraw from it at any point in time, without justifying that decision.
- The Parties decide the result: the parties are in control of the outcome of the procedure. The agreement will be a result of their own understanding and will include a solution that serves their interests and needs.
- Speed: Mediation is a process with a short duration of time; it usually takes a few hours to a few days. Mediations relating to simple disputes are mostly resolved within the same day, as opposed to multiannual court proceedings.
- Flexible process: Mediation is a flexible process without strict procedural rules. It is not so much about legal claims and evidence as the parties willingness to agree on a common solution and to get rid of the pending one. For this and as part of the solution, the parties can agree on something that is not relevant to the dispute under discussion.
- There are no winners and losers: Mediation aims to satisfy the interests and needs of both parties. By reaching to an agreement there are no winners and losers as is the case with a court order.
- Maintaining good relations: agreements reached with mediation are offered more for voluntary execution and allow for a sustainable professional and friendly relationship between the parties in the future.
- Impartiality: The Ombudsman is a third person, neutral, impartial, independent in relation to the parties and the dispute and has no interest whatsoever in the outcome of the mediation. Designated by the parties or by a third party of the choice of the parties.
- Confidential procedure: The procedure is confidential and is not kept in practice. Before the start all participants are bound in writing to abide by the confidentiality of the procedure.
- Enforceable title: The practical agreement of a successful mediation may, at the initiative of any of the two parties, be lodged at the registry of the single-member court of first instance of the area where the mediation took place and become an enforceable title, as It happens with court rulings.
- Low cost: The cost of mediation is considerably lower compared to litigation, due to low wages and the short duration of the procedure.
Mr. Tsanousis Stamos is a certified mediator of the lists of the Ministry of Justice of Transparency and human rights with registration number 2101 and a number of participations in informal mediation of commercial mainly disputes.
- Date: December 17, 2019