Italy: Mediation in civil disputes
By Dr. Mariagiulia Signori, COMMA 10
Italy regulated the extra – judicial proceedings for ADR with Legislative Decree No. 28/2010, which made provision for mediation becoming a preliminary condition for judiciary proceedings. This term of law was examined by the Italian Constitutional Court which, in its judgment No. 272/2012, declared the unconstitutionality of the legislative decree No. 28/2010 as it stipulated compulsory mediation.
In so doing, the new-born mediation was reduced to a mere choice of parties, thus losing the beneficial deflective effect of Legislative Decree No. 28/2010.
On 15 June 2013, the government enacted Decree Law No. 69/2013 in which mandatory mediation was restored only for a strict number of matters. This decree is effective and is now about to be approved by Parliament.
Decree Law No. 69/13 offers a huge reduction in the costs of mediation and provides for parties to have a preliminary meeting in order to assess the feasibility of mediation itself. The duration of the entire procedure has to be no longer than three months. Prior to the process, mediation can be ordered by the judge, even when it is not mandatory.
The role of the lawyer in the mediation process:
1. The lawyer can take on the role of mediator;
2. The parties must be assisted by a lawyer;
3. The lawyers of the parties with the mediator must sign the agreement so that it assumes the effectiveness of enforcement.
After a year and a half of Legislative Decree 28/2010, more than 125,000 applications were presented to the various conciliation bodies and 20% of them ended in having achieved an enforceable agreement.
The deflective effect of mediation is starting to show and hopefully it will improve in the next years in application to the recent ruling and legislative act.
Dr. Mariagiulia Signori, Partner
COMMA 10 – Commercialisti & Avvocati, Milan, Italy
T: +39 02 481 92 58
Dr. Mariagiulia Signori is a lawyer who has been based in Milan since 2005. She studied at the Università degli Studi di Milano, after which she gained an internship in Strasbourg. She started working in law firms where she expanded her technical training in judiciary proceedings, drafting contracts, evictions and injunctions concerning real estate matters. Today, she is a partner in Comma 10 and has profound experience in civil litigation on corporate and commercial law, M&A, due diligence, restructuring and insolvency and real estate issues.
COMMA 10's cornerstone is the professional collaboration between chartered accountants and lawyers with the mission to provide integrated services to individuals, private and public companies and non-profit organisations.
published: September 2013