ADR in the Upper House: Mediating the Mediation Act, Rejecting Brussels

The Upper House (Bundesrat) of the German Parliament has been active in ADR related matters twice this month:

First, its Legal Committee (Rechtausschuss) sent the Mediation Act, which has been unanimously approved by the Lower House (Bundestag)  to the Mediation Committee (Vermittlungsausschuss). Pardon the pun, but I am using the quasi-official translation for the joint committee of the two Houses, provided for in Art. 77 of the German Constitution. Continue reading

Law in the Making: Update on the German Mediation Act

This is an update to my earlier post on the progress made on the Mediation Act, which I had characterized as “much ado about nothing”. The draft version of the Mediation Act on which the all-party consensus in the Legal Committee (Rechtsausschuss) of the Bundestag is based is not yet available online; you can find it here.

Jürgen Klowait, one of the Co-Founders of the Round Table Mediation & Conflict Management of the German Economy did not agree with my assessment and has kindly shared his comments on the changes:

Continue reading

Much Ado About Nothing: Draft German Mediation Act to Become Law

On the same day I posted about the delay in the legislative process implementing the EU Directive on Certain Aspects of Mediation in Civil and Commercial Matters, the German parliament (Deutscher Bundestag) issued a press release that an agreement had been reached across all party lines, and that formal requests for amendment had been withdrawn.

At the time of writing, no information over and above the press release appears to have been published. From the press release, it seems that parliament has more or less settled upon passing into law the draft Mediation Act that was proposed by the government in April 2011. The press release still links to the April version of the draft. So at first sight, it appears that the heated debate about court-integrated mediation was much ado about nothing. Neither it, nor the expert hearing in May 2011 appear to have had a significant impact on the legislation as finally implemented.

Mediation, Court-annexed Mediation and Judges as Mediators

The European Commission is launching its next ADR initiative at a time when Germany’s implementation of the first one, the EU Directive on certain aspects of mediation in civil and commercial matters is overdue. “Member States shall bring into force the laws, regulations, and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this
Directive before 21 May 2011”, the Directive says. Continue reading