The German Mediation Act

The original wording of the German Mediation Act, as passed on 26 July 2012: http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/mediationsg/index.html

Commentary on the Individual Articles of this Act from Dr. Michael Gross

What advantages do the Mediation Act and other changes provide companies?

1. The Mediation Act creates an understandable framework for mediation outside of arbitration and government courts 
  • Terminology: The terms "mediation"(confidential and structured procedure; with the help of one or more mediators, parties seek freely and of their own authority a mutual settlement of a conflict) and "Mediator" (independent and neutral person without the authority to make a decision who leads the parties through the mediation) are now officially defined  (§ 1 Mediation Act)

  • The procedure and responsibilities of the mediator are defined (the parties have the unrestricted right to select the mediator(s) and also have unrestricted control of the procedure with regards to initiation, the process itself, the topics addressed and conclusion; no third-party involvement as in arbitration or government courts) (§ 2 Mediation ActRe)

  • Quality control of the mediator regulated by law: the mediator must share all circumstances which may affect his neutrality; the mediator may not represent any of the parties before, during or after the mediation without their consent;
    when so requested by the parties, the mediator must inform them of his knowledge/abilities in the field, his education and his mediation experience (§3, §5, §6 Mediation Act)
  • Non-disclosure obligation of the parties and the mediator: the mediator must inform the parties of the extent of both his and the parties' non-disclosure obligation (§ 4 Mediation Act)
2. Mediation is also possible in court
3. The "Gerichtsnahe Mediation am Landgericht München I" (Mediation by the Courthouse at District Court I in Munich) Project for pending economic cases  
  • The Munich Bar Association and the Munich Chamber of Commerce and Industry have created shared offices which administer mediation, inform interested parties about the mediation process and can provide a selected list of competent economic mediators  >>> www.rak-muenchen.de > "Mitgliederservice bzw. Aktuelles" (the website also has a flyer about the pilot project and there is a questionnaire available which can be used to add yourself to the mediator list)
4. Mediation as a long-term solution for ending conflicts in a time and cost-effective manner.