Introduction: What is Mediation?

Mediation is an Alternative Dispute Resolution Method (ADR
Method) which can be an alternative option for resolving a dispute
between two (or more parties), other than through the Courts.

Mediation, like other ADR Methods (such as Arbitration), has
advantages over a court process: it is faster, more cost-effective,
and involves the confidentiality of the process, as opposed to a
trial which is a general procedure open to the public.

In addition, Mediation, has the added advantage of being a more
conciliatory and peaceful way of resolving a dispute between two
parties, without necessarily causing the two parties to derail and
terminate the relationship and/or cooperation of the two parties,
as is almost always the case when a dispute leads to Trial or
Arbitration.

In terms of its practical application, it is a structured
process (regardless of the name), in which two or more parties try
to reach an agreement on resolving their dispute voluntarily with
the help of a Mediator, as a third, a neutral, independent and
impartial party.

This impartial third party is a Certified Mediator, who is
selected jointly and with the consent of all parties involved in a
dispute.

Ways, the Disputing Parties, can enter into a Mediation process
in Cyprus:

Under the current legal regime in Cyprus, there are three ways
for the disputing parties to enter into a Mediation process:

1) By a voluntary agreement of the parties when a dispute
arises

2)  Through a Mediation Clause in a Contract signed between
the parties

3) During a court case, when both parties agree or when one
party requests it and the Court deems that this is the best course
of action in this particular case (rare application).

Informatively, it should be noted that in other countries, such
as Greece and Italy, there is a mandatory pre-trial mediation
procedure prior to the adjudication of the civil action, something
which is not currently applied in the Cypriot legal system.

The Stages of Mediation:

When and if the disputing parties enter into a Mediation
process, then the Mediation process is divided into the following
five stages:

1) Preparation:  Where
any possible conflict of interest of the Mediator is examined,
e.g., if he had previously cooperated with one of the parties of
the dispute (as it also happens in an Arbitration process for the
selection of an Arbitrator), the acceptance of his appointment, the
drafting and signing of the agreement affiliating the dispute to
Mediation, the Mediator’s briefing, the appointment of the
session, the venue, and the authorizations by the parties.

2) Opening Statements: Both of the Mediator
(where he outlines his role, the way the procedure is conducted and
the ultimate goal which is the resolve of the dispute) and of the
Parties (where each party expresses its position on the dispute
being mediated).

3) Investigation: Where separate confidential
discussions take place between the Mediator and the parties,
questions, investigation of the history of the dispute and the
pursuit of interests.

4) Negotiations: Where the parties with the
help of the Mediator create options and solutions for the dispute
with proposals and dialogue between them.

5) Dispute Settlement Agreement: In case of a
successful mediation process, the dispute is closed with the
«Mediation Settlement Agreement»
signing.

Mediation Settlement Agreement

«The Mediation Settlement
Agreement»
is probably the most crucial part of
Mediation, as the Mediation process (and what has been agreed in
it) is not binding until the two parties sign the Mediation
Settlement Agreement.

The Mediation Settlement Agreement is drafted up by the
Mediator, where what has been agreed is recorded in writing. It is
then signed by him, and the parties and a true copy is given to
each party of the Mediation. In this case, any party involved can
file and register the Mediation Settlement Agreement in Court (as
it is the case with an Arbitral Award) and then an Implementing
Order is issued, and the Mediation becomes fully
binding.

Laws and Procedures governing Mediation in Cyprus

The Laws governing Mediation in Cyprus are the following:

  1. Law on Certain Matters of Mediation in Civil
    Disputes of 2012 (159 (I)/2012),
    which is the
    national law that governs the application and the procedure of
    Mediation in Cyprus, as well as the qualifications that a potential
    certified Mediator should possess.

    Additionally, the above law stipulates the existence of two
    separate Registers of Mediators which are kept by the Ministry of
    Justice of the Republic of Cyprus:

    • Register of Mediators for Commercial Disputes

    • Register of Mediators for Civil Disputes other than
      Commercial Disputes


  2. Directive 2008/52/EC of the European Parliament and
    of the Council, of 21 May 2008, on certain aspects of mediation on
    civil and commercial matters
    , where this European
    Directive applies in the event of cross-border disputes in civil
    and commercial matters other than certain rights and obligations
    which the parties are unable to decide on the basis of the
    applicable law, and which dispute may be referred to Mediation as
    an ADR.

  3. The European Code of Conduct for
    Mediators
    , which is currently the applicable Code of
    Conduct for Mediators in Cyprus, as the Cyprus Code of Conduct for
    Mediators has not yet been created.

  4. Law on Family Disputes Mediation of
    2019
    (Ν.
    62(
    Ι)/2019)
    , which regulates
    issues that fall within the scope of Family Law such as Property
    Disputes, Alimony, and the Use of the Family House. Matters
    concerning Divorce and Child Custody remain in the exclusive
    jurisdiction of the Family Court.

Furthermore, informatively, due to the peculiarity of Family
Mediation, discussions and actions have been taken to create a
third separate Register of Mediators for Family
Disputes
.

The Future of Mediation in Cyprus:

In recent years the number of registered Mediators in Cyprus has
increased dramatically and the interest of the business and
commercial world in finding an ADR Method, both from the Court and
from Arbitration, which is not confrontational, has turned the eyes
of several stakeholders to Mediation as an economic, speedy
confidential and peaceful option to resolve a dispute between 2 two
parties.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.

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