Civil and commercial mediation, a solution for easing pressure on the courts

The Spanish Law on Mediation in Civil and Commercial Matters was passed in July and offers new guarantees for the field of mediation (for example the possibility of turning a mediation agreement into a writ of execution if it is notarised, thus allowing matters to be brought before a judge more quickly in the event of non-compliance). The decrees needed in order to implement the law will be approved soon, and in January the Spanish Government is expected to launch a Register of Mediators, which anyone who wishes to practice this profession privately may join.

Everything seems to indicate that this is a growing trend, as the Spanish Ministry of Justice is taking new measures to ease the backlog of court cases resulting from a lack of flexibility and efficiency.

Mediation, defined as the extrajudicial resolution of conflicts regarding civil and commercial matters, is becoming one of the professional paths with the most development potential for today’s graduates. Social conflicts and civil and commercial disquisitions are increasingly being resolved through the intervention of a third party – the mediator – who is trained and specialises in reaching an agreement that will prevent unnecessary delays. In order to be listed on the register, the mediator must be a trained and specialised professional.

Last October saw the launch of the IDEC-Universitat Pompeu Fabra’s Postgraduate Programme in Professional Mediation, which is currently in the process of being approved by the Catalan Government. With this approval, the programme’s students will be officially validated to act as mediators in official bodies and will also be able to join the Government of Catalonia’s Register of Mediators, as well as the soon-to-be-created Spanish National Register of Mediators.

For more information regarding the current status of mediation, please see the following news articles (in Spanish):

Cómo ahorrar 1200 millones en litigios civiles (ABC)
Justicia creará un registro de mediadores para descargar de asuntos los juzgados
(El País)