Mediation in Polish cilvil proceedings
Recent amendments to Polish Civil Procedure Code and other acts explicitly promote mediation as an alternative method to regular court proceedings. The main advantages of mediation are the speed and cheapness of this procedure – mediation does not require a court fee, which as a rule amounts to 5% of value of claim (up to 100.000 złoty).
Features of mediation
Mediation is voluntary. It can be conducted on the basis of a court decision or on the basis of an agreement between the parties. Mediation is confidential. The court refers parties to mediation for a period of three months (it is possible to lengthen this period).
The mediator can be any natural person with full legal capacity and with public rights. The judge cannot be a mediator (with exception to judges emeritus). The mediator is obliged to keep confidential all the information what he learned during the mediation.
The course of proceedings
The mediator can review the content of the court files if both parties agree to do so. Then mediator sets the date and place of the meeting with parties. The firs meeting as a rule is conducted with each party separately. Nevertheless, the parties may decide to hold such meeting jointly. The mediator conducts the mediation in a manner, which leads to conclude a settlement. It incudes also encouraging parties to make proposals of settlement. However, the parties are not oblige to concluded settlement. Mediation can be cancelled at any time if any party decides to do so. The mediation minutes are submitted to appropriate court.
Approval and enforceability of settlement
If parties reach an agreement and conclude the settlement during the mediation, then mediator submits it to the court. The court decides on approval of settlement upon appropriate motion expressed by any party. However, the settlement cannot be approved if its is against of provision of law, principles of social coexistence or it leads to circumvent the law or is incomprehensible in its content. If the settlement is enforceable, then the court issues an enforceability clause. Such agreement is recognized as an enforcement order.
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