Mediation in Poland
Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution technology with the participation of a third party (neutral, impartial, not interested in this conflict) - a mediator that helps the parties to work out a specific agreement on the dispute, while the parties fully control the decision-making process for the settlement of the dispute and the conditions for its resolution . Now mediation technologies are widely used in civil law, commercial law and criminal law. Mediation allows the parties to agree so that the participation of state structures, the court and law enforcement agencies is minimal. The use of mediation in Poland is often used and encouraged, and this makes it possible to significantly relieve the courts, law enforcement agencies and significantly reduce the costs of the parties to resolve the dispute, to achieve maximum benefits.
Mediation does not require special legislative regulation of free negotiations between the parties. If a dispute has arisen, the parties are already in confrontation, so the participation of an independent entity that has experience in negotiations and often leads to positive results and to the achievement of the most favorable terms of the transaction.
Obligatory participation of public authorities complicates or makes impossible negotiations. A person has violated the law that protects the foundations of public safety and must be punished in one form or another for this, otherwise it can lead to rampant crime and other negative aspects. However, when committing a not serious crime, mediation is possible.
Only a family judge can transfer legal cases to mediation. The juvenile code does not prescribe conditions allowing mediation, so cases are often transferred during preliminary court hearings so that the offender agrees to recover damages. Such an agreement is submitted to the court at the sentencing stage. The agreement may involve the use of educational measures that allow the conditional release of a minor or the temporary suspension of a sentence of detention. Fulfillment of the agreement may also be a condition of a trial period. Not serious or moderate cases in which the offender is able to compensate for the harm to the victim and when the offender’s guilt is established and undeniable are passed on to mediation.
The process of referring cases to mediation is carried out by a court and sometimes by a prosecutor. In the case of juvenile delinquents, after the mediation center received the case from the family judge and accepted it, the mediator contacts the offender (his parents) to explain the procedure. If the offender agrees to mediation, then the mediator contacts the victim. Then the mediator holds meetings separately from each side to discuss expectations from direct mediation.
The most common results of mediation are redress and apology. The terms of the agreement (completion of compensation) are fixed in writing. The mediator controls the implementation of the agreement. If the contract is not fulfilled, the victim may seek a judicial decision on damages. In practice, offenders rarely fail to fulfill their obligations.