Rather than going to court, why not try to solve your dispute through mediation? This is an alternative dispute resolution procedure, where a mediator assists those involved in a dispute to reach an agreement.
The Federal Ministry of Justice keeps a list of registered mediators. All the mediators included in this list have followed specific training.
There is no central authority with responsibility for mediation services.
There are professional and non‑professional associations offering mediation services and a few non‑governmental organisations offering support to mediators.
In civil law cases, mediation can be used to resolve disputes in which the ordinary courts would normally take a decision. Parties to a dispute can opt for mediation voluntarily in order to find their own solution to the dispute.
In some neighbourhood disputes an attempt to settle the matter out of court must be made first before the case can be brought to court. This may be done by referring the matter to a conciliation board, seeking a pre‑trial settlement through the district court (a procedure known as ‘prätorischer Vergleich’) or by mediation.
There are no specific rules for mediators and there is no code of conduct.
Mediators are not registered as specialising in a given area, such as family, medical or building disputes, but details of the areas in which a registered mediator works can be entered separately.
Anyone who has completed the specific training and who meets the requirements can be listed as a registered mediator. There are no legal restrictions on who can use the professional title of ‘mediator’.
Additional information, including details of training and the requirements for registration as a mediator in Austria can be found here. The information is available in German only.
Mediation is not free of charge.
The mediation fees are agreed by the private mediator and the parties to the dispute.
Under Directive 2008/52/EC parties to a dispute must be allowed to submit a request for the content of a written agreement resulting from mediation to be made enforceable. It is up to the Member States to indicate which courts or other authorities are responsible for receiving such requests.
In Austria the content of an agreement resulting from mediation is enforceable only if the agreement takes the form of a settlement (Vergleich) before a court or a notarial act before a notary.
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