Last January 11, the Council of Ministers approved the Draft Law aimed to promote mediation, which will change its voluntary nature to obligatory. Parties in dispute will have to attend a mandatory informative and exploratory session during the six months prior to the filing of the lawsuit in an assessed number of matters.
The aim is to accelerate and reduce the costs of the parties (the presence of a lawyer or solicitor is not required), as well as alleviate the workload of the courts. This out-of-court mediation will be taken as a necessary step to access the judicial route. However, this will not imply an obligation to undergo a complete mediation process or to reach an agreement that puts an end to the litigation.
The matters subject to the obliged mediation procedure are framed within civil and commercial matters and are characterized by responding to conflicts arising from personal or commercial relationships sustained over time. These matters are:
This new Regulation will enter into force three years after its publication in the Official State Gazette (BOE) in order to ensure sufficient time for adjustment of the regulatory framework and to encourage the presence of mediators in all judicial districts. Within one year of the publication of the law, it is also foreseen that the faculties of Law and related degrees will implement compulsory trainings on mediation.
Written by: Cristina García Alzina