New German Mediation Law Passed in the Bundestag*
After a long and intense debate, the Act for the Promotion of Mediation and other Procedures of Extrajudicial Conflict Settlement (Gesetz zur Förderung der Mediation und anderer Verfahren der außergerichtlichen Konfliktbeilegung) passed German parliament (Deutscher Bundestag) on June 28th 2012 (BR-Dr 377/12).
The role that judges are to play in mediation, and the model of “court-integrated mediation” (gerichtsinterne Mediation) or “mediation performed by judges” (richterliche Mediation) was heavily discussed and a lot of lobbying was done from all sides (attorneys, judges, (non legally educated) mediators). Another important issue was the status of the mediator and the requirement certification. Pursuant to the Act, mediators will become “certified mediators” if they meet certain criteria regarding their education and training (e.g. at least 120 hours of mediation training). Nevertheless the process, structure and administration of such certifications will be subject to more discussions (www.zertifizierter-mediator.de) .
It does not surprise that the law is based on compromises and such will continue to be source of discussions in theory and the day to day practice. One thing is for sure, Mediation in Germany will be more present and the relationship between all parties involved in an Mediation are now codified.
For practitioners who worked in business mediation nationally and internationally the work as such does not change dramatically but Mediation might over time –as already in the Anglo Saxon world- become more and more present also in business disputes.
*Author: Attorney Oliver Bolthausen, LL.M (USA), FCIArb (UK) – BridgehouseLaw Munich
und viele Grüße aus Charlotte
Reinhard von Hennigs