Mediation in Italy
The Code of Civil Procedure entitles civil judges to promote mediation before examining the case, but this general provision is quite seldom applied by the courts and accepted by the parties, apart from labour and social security disputes, where, due to the procedural favour provided to the employee (the “week party” ) a mediation settlement is often achieved either before an administrative body out of court or during the proceedings with the judge himself acting as a sort of mediator.
A recent legislative provision (Art. 185-bis c.p.c.), probably arisen from the successful experience of the labour litigations authorizes the judge to explicitly formulate a proposal for mediation, without prejudicing his powers to decide the dispute. After the voidance of the most significant provisions contained in Legislative Decree no. 28 of 2010 due an unconstitutionality judgment of the Constitutional Court, with art. 84 of d.l. no. 69, June 21, 2013, converted by Parliament with the law no. 98 of 9 August 2013, mandatory mediation has been introduced again for certain matters.
However, in commercial matters and particularly in cross border litigations, Mediation is marching towards an increasing popularity due also to the availability of lawyers who are specifically trained and / or matured an outstanding experience in this sector sometime because of having acted in arbitrations and as arbitrators.