Mediation in civil and commercial matters
Mediation is a confidential and structured voluntary consultation process that takes place between conflicting parties with the assistance of an independent, neutral, and impartial third party. This third party facilitates communication to enable the two parties to reach an agreement by themselves (Belgium Procedural Code, articles 1723 – 1737).
Mediation in civil and commercial matters is an option in the case of disputes between client and supplier, between shareholders, in relation to the payment of an invoice, or in matters relating to housing or co-ownership, etc.
The mediator is the party moving forwards.
And they therefore aim to get the parties to follow the path from impasse to a solution.
Mediation is a voluntary confidential consultation process, in which an independent and impartial mediator helps to resolve disagreements between parties and come up with an acceptable arrangement that suits both parties.
A mediator must complete a certain number of compulsory specific training hours, pass the relevant assessments, and undergo regular refresher training.
The mediator is chosen by the parties themselves, as it is important that they have full confidence in them.
When the parties have differing opinions and are unable to reach an agreement themselves.
- Voluntary mediation: it is the parties who call upon a mediator, without the intervention of a judge.
- Court mediation: in the context of court proceedings, mediation can be used at the request of the parties or the judge, and this suspends court proceedings.
- All of the parties involved (jointly or separately)
- The mediator
- Possibly an expert in the subject matter of the dispute (e.g. a lawyer, jurist, notary public, engineer, auditor, tax expert, architect or other experts from different specialisations)
Mediation is faster and less expensive than court proceedings.
The mediator helps the parties to come up with their own solution for the dispute.
An agreement can be reached that meets the needs of all parties.
In the case in which the mediation process ends without an agreement, this will not be to the disadvantage of either of the parties.
Mediation will only prove successful if the parties are willing to listen to each other and look for ways in which they can make compromises. They must provide each other with all of the information, treat each other with respect, and not take any action that could hinder or block the mediation process.
The parties and the mediator shall specify the fees that are to be paid to the mediator, as well as determining any additional expenses and the manner in which these will be charged and paid according to the mediator’s protocol.
According to current regulations, both parties must pay half of the fees and expenses, unless otherwise agreed in the mediation protocol.