Law 4512/2018, in line with EU law, regulates the institution of mediation in civil, commercial and cross-border cases.
Mediation is the extra-judicial procedure, initiated by the parties, aiming at the voluntary and bona fide resolution of a private dispute with the assistance of a qualified and certified mediator.
Requesting mediation is sometimes optional and sometimes mandatory by law, and omitting mediation procedure and therefore, a mediator’s report concerning the effort made to resolve the dispute in a compromise way, leads to a critical procedural error that excludes the discussion of the case before the courts.
Furthermore, if one party to the dispute refuses to join the mediation procedure, a fine is imposed, calculated on the total amount of the difference.
Indicatively, the law defines mediation procedure as compulsory in the following usual cases:
- Disputes between owners of floors or apartments and generally the Disputes of vertical or horizontal ownership relationships.
- Disputes in neighboring law (eg branches and fruits of neighboring property, boundaries of neighboring properties, sound and fumes)
- Disputes relating to traffic accident compensation (material and moral damage from road accidents)
- Disputes between clients and insurance companies under a car insurance contract
- Family disputes
- Patient medical claims arising from medical negligence
- Disputes concerning trademarks, patents, industrial designs
- Disputes arising from stock exchange contracts.
It is therefore clear that the institution of mediation greatly changes the way in which private disputes are resolved, as long as omitting mediation procedure may jeopardize the procedural rights of the litigating parties.
The attorney-at-law of the party requesting legal protection submits to a certified mediator from the Register of Accredited Mediators of the Ministry of Justice a request to appeal the mediation procedure.
The certified Mediator informs the other party of the dispute by letter, email or in any legal manner and sets the day and place of the mediation session.
If physical presence of a party is not possible, the session may also be held by teleconference.
The session takes place within 15 days from the notification day of the mediation request to the other parties to the dispute and must be completed within 30 days. The parties may agree on an extension of 30 days.
In the mediation process, the parties are represented by their attorney-at-law, the procedure is confidential, and minutes are not kept.
The mediation process cannot exceed a total of 24 hours.
The Outcome of Mediation
The Accredited Mediator draws up a report of the outcome of the procedure or the failure of the mediation. The mediation report is a legitimate title for speeding up enforcement to satisfy the claim.
The Mediator’s qualifications
Mediators are graduates of higher education, specifically trained and certified by a Mediation Training Officer and registered in a Mediators Register, kept at the Ministry of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights.
In order to receive certification, they are attending mediation seminars and are regularly trained to maintain and promote their knowledge and skills. Accreditation is granted to those who achieve a grade of at least 70% in written and oral examinations.
They are subject to a Code of Conduct that ensures their impartiality, neutrality, and confidentiality. Mediation and legal services are completely incompatible services. Under no circumstances are mediators allowed to provide mediation services and legal services to the same client.
However, lawyers, due to their experience in consensual dispute resolution, are very often accredited mediators.