The recently passed Law on mediation in civil and commercial disputes , the provisions of which abolish the former Law 4512/2018, comes into force from 15.01.2020 for domestic/family law disputes, (other than matrimonial disputes relating to divorce, annulment of marriage, recognition of the existence or non-existence of marriage and disputes in parent-child relationships) and from 15.03.2020 for disputes in the regular proceedings at the Single Member Court of First Instance ( for amount over than 30.000 Euros) and the Multi-Member Court of First Instance.
The most notable arrangements of the law are the following:
- The article 3 of law 4640/2019 introduces the obligation of the authorized attorney to inform the principal in writing regarding the option of meditative dissolution of the dispute, as well as the obligation to appeal to the Mandatory Initial Session. This “information document” is fulfilled and signed by both the authorized attorney and the principal and is submitted along with the introductory application, or at the latest with the proposals, otherwise the case is considered inadmissible in the court hearing (the hearing cannot proceed).
- The article 4 (1) (e) of law 4640/2019 mentions the possibility of adding a mediation clause to the parties’ written agreements to resolve civil and commercial private law disputes.
- The articles 6-7 of law 4640/2019 mention the disputes, which are included in the process of the “Mandatory Initial Session”. The provisions also describe the procedure itself. In cases where the dispute falls under the Mandatory Initial Session process, the court hearing is considered admissible (and the process can proceed) if along with the case’s discussion proposals is also deposited the Minutes of the M.I.S.
Summarizing the arrangements, the key points are:
- a) the hastening party submits a request to the mediator for the Mandatory Initial Session and informs the other party, first of all, about the person of the mediator, b) if the parties do not agree on the person of the Mediator, the last one is appointed by the Central Commission, c) at the Mandatory Initial Session, the parties are represented by a legal representative whose remuneration is freely agreed d) the limitation on the possibility of extending the time limit for the mediation process is deleted, e) the minute of mediation is considered as an enforceable title if the agreement can be enforced and f) the written notice of the mediator for the parties to conduct the Mandatory Initial Session or the agreement of voluntary appeal to Mediation suspends the limitation period and the expire date for exercise of all claims and rights as well as the procedural deadlines according to articles 237 and 238 of the Code of Civil procedure, for as long as the mediation lasts.