Table of Contents
The mediation procedure is defined in articles 1724 to 1737 of the Judicial Code.
This is a voluntary process between the parties that ask a neutral third party to help them solve their dispute within a confidential framework.
The mediator will work to improve or repair communication between the parties so they can find the best solution. He will not suggest anything but rather create a framework for fruitful discussion. He does not take any stand as a judge would.
Conciliation and mediation are close and the limit between the two is sometimes difficult to see.
There are two types of mediation: free or voluntary mediation and legal mediation. It is ‘free’ when it is decided by the parties; it is ‘legal’ when it is asked by a judge. For instance, a Justice of the Peace can start a mediation procedure as long as it is part of his remit (for instance: lease dispute, trade dispute for a sum inferior to 1860 EUR).
Mediation can take place without any particular formality. It can also follow specific steps, especially if it is led by an approved mediator.
Even if the mediation procedure fails, it is always possible to attempt arbitration or to take the matter to a court.