Mediation: the great ally for quality justice

Without a doubt, the last year has been a year of change. Due to Covid-19, the world has found itself, from one day to the next, wrapped in a situation that has changed our habits, our way of relating, our daily life.

Faced with the new reality we live in, there have been many conflicts that have arisen. Conflicts of various kinds, aggravated by the situation: conflicts in family, neighborhood, business, work, social, health, etc. areas.

Suspension of judicial proceedings and procedural deadlines

The declaration of State of alarm in Spain in March 2020 by Royal Decree 463/2020, of March 14, with exceptions, meant the suspension of judicial proceedings and procedural deadlines.

The length of time this suspension lasted, added to the collapse that already existed in the justice system at a time prior to the health emergency situation, has led to, essential to take action for streamline and decongest Courts that, without promoting other alternatives to manage conflicts outside the judicial system, are doomed to not provide optimal solutions in many cases.

Importance of mediation

As has been made clear, the health crisis has brought (and will bring) a notable increase in judicial matters as a consequence of:

  • Increase in the number of layoffs.
  • Contractual breaches derived from the impossibility of meeting obligations that were contracted in other terms and situations different from those we now experience.
  • Claims of financial liability or bankruptcy declarations.
  • Consumer complaints. 

That's whereand mediation acquires even more relevance than it had.

The General Council of the Judiciary has stated that “It is essential at this time to look for formulas that encourage extrajudicial conflict resolution, reserving judicial intervention for those truly necessary chaos, preventing this from ultimately becoming the first option. The General Council of Spanish Lawyers has reached the same situation, stating that “mediation as an alternative method of conflict resolution is an instrument of convenient application in the current situation.””. 

justicia de calidad con mediacion

What alternatives and solutions exist?

Offer alternatives for management and solution of conflicts outside the judicial system is essential. Count on qualified professionals To be able to accompany the parties and help them manage that situation and find an appropriate solution for each case, in which the parties have been involved and have worked, is totally essential. 

For all these reasons, public institutions have worked over the last year to advance along the lines of what was a first step with the approval of the Draft Law Imposing Mediation in 2019, Although it may have been slowed down by the health crisis, it seems to be the starting point for what will take place in the coming years. 

As an example of the above, it is worth remembering that the Permanent Commission of the General Council of the Judiciaryl approved and published the document called “Shock plan in the administration of justice after the state of alarm” which proposes as one of its lines of action the establishment of alternative measures for the resolution of extrajudicial conflicts.

This document, furthermore, as announced by the General Council of the Judiciary, will be complemented by four other documents that will include proposals, among others, in the field of extrajudicial conflict resolution with a document that will be called “Measures for extrajudicial conflict resolution”. 

Law on Procedural Efficiency of the Public Justice Service

In line with what has already been revealed, we have seen how the Council of Ministers approved at the end of December the Preliminary Draft of Law on Procedural Efficiency of the Public Justice Service where it gets special emphasis on appropriate means of dispute resolution among which mediation falls, this seems to be the most appropriate in many of the conflicts that reach the Courts. 

In light of events and the new reality in which we have found ourselves involved, mediation is emerging as a great alternative and an ideal method to resolve disputes in all areas, with special importance being given to the possibility of carrying out mediations through electronic means.

This special importance will focus on the decongestion of justice in the civil, commercial, family, labor sphere and in many other areas in which the number of disputes has increased and their characteristics have changed.

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