On 1 January 2017, under the auspices of the Bar Academy and the Institute for Alternative Dispute Resolution at the Bar Association of Slovenia (hereinafter Bar Academy) Mediation Centre came to life. The first mediators were registered in June 2017.
In recent years, mediation has become recognised as one of the regulated methods of dispute resolution and attorneys frequently resort to use such alternative dispute resolution mechanism. The Mediation Centre thus constitutes an additional dispute resolution solution and is conceived as a centre providing conflicting parties with mediation services in disputes before the initiation of proceedings and/or in disputes in which a judicial or other procedure is already in progress and in which mediation is admissible.
From 1 January 2019, the Mediation Centre has been headed by an attorney Janez Starman.
Initiation of the Mediation
A client or his or her attorney who wishes to carry out mediation shall inform the Mediation Centre on the proposal by electronic means, at the same time notify the other party’s contacts, and provide a brief description of the dispute.
The Mediation Centre will send a mediation consent form to the other party and, if within 15 days the other party consents and agrees with the tariff and the mediator, a mediator shall be appointed, who shall announce the first mediation meeting within 15 days. The communication shall take place mainly via electronic channels.
The prior agreement of the parties to resolve the mutual disputes arising from a particular legal relationship through mediation under the auspices of the Mediation Centre is not a prerequisite for the initiation of proceedings under the Rules of Procedure of the Mediation Centre and on the conduct of mediations.
Appointment of a Mediator
The parties shall, by mutual consent, select the mediator from the list of mediators of the Mediation Centre, namely:
- They can decide by mutual agreement on a single mediator; or
- The party that submitted the proposal for mediation proposes two to three mediators, and the party that accepted the mediation chose one among them; or
- If the it is not possible to reach an agreement on the choice of a mediator, the latter shall be appointed by the head of the Centre according to the order of the mediators from the list of the Centre’s mediators, and, exceptionally, and with the consent of the parties, by his or her sole discretion, depending on the specificity of the matter.
Exceptionally – at the request of the parties or upon the proposal of the head of the Mediation Centre and by the consent of the parties – the mediator may also be a person who is not on the list of mediators of the Centre.
Payment of the Mediators
The payment of the mediator’s work is determined by Mediation Centre Tariff, adopted in February 2017.
The payment of a mediator’s work by Tariff is made up of a lump sum and a remuneration for success and the preparation of an agreement. Any additional hours (those exceeding 6 hours) shall be charged additionally, at a special price. The parties also cover the potential travel costs of the mediator. The mediator’s labour costs, according to the Mediation Tariff and his or her travel expenses, shall be paid directly to the mediator, on the basis of an invoice issued by the mediator.
The costs of the work of the mediator shall burden the parties in equal amounts unless expressly agreed otherwise.
Effect of Mediation on Limitation and Prescription Periods
(Article 17 of ZMCGZ)
The limitation of the claim that is the subject of mediation does not run during the mediation period.
If mediation ends without an agreement on the settlement of the dispute, the limitation period shall continue from the moment the proceedings are concluded without an agreement on the settlement of the dispute. The time that elapsed before the beginning of mediation is included in the limitation period prescribed by law.
If a special regulation provides for a time limit for bringing an action, such time limit in respect of the claim that is the subject of mediation shall not expire earlier than 15 days after the end of the mediation.
Conclusion of Mediation
Mediation can be concluded by an agreement, a statement of unsuccessful mediation, or withdrawal of consent.
In the event of an agreement, the parties may agree that an agreement is drawn up in the form of an extrajudicial settlement, a directly enforceable notarial record or a court settlement. When concluding court settlements, the Mediation Centre cooperates with district courts on the basis of Article 309 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
The mediation process may take up to 90 days and may be extended with the written consent of the parties.