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:

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My Court is Better than Your Court

“My Court is Better than Your Court” was the title of a session at this week’s annual IBA Conference in Dubai. It presented the approaches to specialized commercial courts in jurisdictions around the globe. It was a very informative session. The presentations that I found the most impressing were on the one hand those from the home region, namely the DIFC Court in Dubai and the QFC Civil and Commercial Court in Doha, Qatar. Both courts, in a way, started with a clean slate and allowed their founders to design state of the art processes and procedures. And budget restrictions appeared not to an obstacle. The DIFC court originally had jurisdiction over matters related to the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). During the IBA Conference, an extension of the DIFC’s jurisdiction was signed into law by the Ruler of Dubai, creating an opt-in jurisdiction which is now available to parties outside the DIFC. Continue reading

Making Appeals More Appealing – Update

Update to my post on the reform of the appeal provisions last week: Wendt Nassall has since pointed out to me that, whilst the numbers that he had published had appealed to the rational mind, they were only one side of the story. In addition, there was also a very emotional campaign for the law to be changed. That campaign was driven by the parents of a baby handicapped since birth, allegedly due to medical malpractice. The parents did not want to accept that their appeal in the medical malpractice case was dismissed without a hearing, without their day in court. The role the parents played was acknowledged in the parliamentary debate, and it appears to have been the combination of emotions and rational argument that made the change happen.

Making Appeals More Appealing (Again)

Today, a reform of the appeal process came into force, following its publication in the Federal Gazette (Bundesgesetzblatt) yesterday. The reform widens the scope of judicial review of decisions that summarily dismiss an appeal in civil matters. The provision that was revised, Sec. 522 Code of Civil Procedure (ZPO), was only introduced in the large-scale reform of civil procedure in 2002. Today’s changes in part undo the 2002 reform. Continue reading