Summary: 1. Introduction. – 2. England and Wales. – 3. Italy. – 4. Germany. – 5. Austria. – 6. France. – 7. Spain. – 8. Norway. – 9. The Netherlands. – 10. Conclusions.
AJEE Collection of Articles on Mediation
Nowhere in Europe are disputants forced to settle their civil or commercial disputes by way of mediation or any other form of alternative dispute resolution. Settlement is also completely voluntary in light of the fundamental right of access to court of Art. 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights.
This does not, however, mean that potential disputants may not be requested to attempt to settle their case before going to court, for example, by way of mediation, especially if strict time limits are observed for such procedure. In some European jurisdictions, attempting mediation or other forms of alternative dispute resolution before court action is initiated is mandatory, at least in certain cases.
The present contribution will focus on such preliminary mandatory mediation attempts in a selection of jurisdictions.