Merits of alternative dipute resolution methods in-court and out-of-court are the following: priority is given to interests of parties, the very procedure is confidential, it takes place in an informal atmosphere which diminishes or even excludes the emotional burdening of parties, it is quick, efficient and in the end it enables parties to remain on good terms with each other.
Development of alternative dispute resolution in the Republic of Croatia got its legislative frame back in 2003 with passing of the Mediation Act.
Within the frame of implementing the Judicial Reform Strategy, on 15 March 2006 a pilot project on mediation started on the Commercial court in Zagreb. For the first time mediation was introduced as a special dispute resolution.
During the second half of 2006, within the frame of the project ''Mediation at Courts'', implementation of medation started at eight municipal courts: in Bjelovar, Osijek, Rijeka, Slavonski Brod, Varaždin, Vukovar, Zadar and at Municipal Court in Zagreb.
During 2007 process of mediation was introduced on the High Commercial Court of the Republic of Croatia, and this was the first second-instance court in the Republic of Croatia where a centre for mediation was established.
During 2008, and all within the frame of pilot-project mediation centres were founded on the Municipal Court in Karlovac and on Municipal courts in Varaždin, Rijeka, Pazin, Bjelovar and Osijek.
The project PHARE 2005 ''Enhancement of Mediation as an Alternative to a Court Based Dispute Settlement'' started in February 2008, its user being the Ministry of Justice, and participants are Croatian Chamber of Trades and Crafts, Croatian Employers Association, Croatian Chamber of Economy and Croatian Mediation Association.
The overall objective of the project is to ensure better access to justice through the development of alternative dispute resolution. The purposes of the project are as follows: to develop alternative dispute resolution in Croatia and adjust it to the best EU practic and the development of in-court and out-of court alternative dispute resolution system for physical and legal persons.
The project consists of four components: legal framework, structure and system of mediation, training of mediators and development and preparation of information and publication on mediation.
On the basis of the Civil Procedure Act (OG 84/08) that came into force on 1 October 2008, in the Republic of Croatia a system of meditation during entire civil proceedings was introduced.
This has offered the possibility to courts to settle disputes through the use of alternative resolution,that is, mediation, with the view of using it more often, since it has offered the possibility of quicker and more economic way of settling disputes, that is, the possibility of disburdening and greater efficacy of courts.
Mediation is based on voluntarity and consent of parties, and they can propose mediation at any moment during the proceeding, and they can do it at court or at mediation centres.
You can find all the documents related to mediation on this web page.