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Mediation is gaining an increased currency as a dispute resolution method, supported by recent European legislative developments. 

Recent developments like the issue of Directive 2008/52/EC on certain aspects of mediation in civil and commercial aspects of mediation in civil and commercial matters is testament that mediation is increasingly foreseen for the resolution of disputes.

The European Directive on certain aspects of Mediation. In essence, the Directive is aimed at encouraging the use of mediation in civil and commercial matters and in addition to make uniform across the Member States of the European Union the legal status of certain principles of the mediation practice. It is important to note that states are faced with the challenge of having to enact laws, regulations and/or administrative provisions which are consistent with the stated provisions in the Directive but all the Member States (excluding Denmark) are free to do so pursuant to laws of their own making.

The Directive only applies to cross-border disputes which concern civil and commercial matters and it excludes, amongst other things, disputes in family, community law and administrative actions.The Directive requires Member States to make provision for enforcement of written agreements arising from mediation (providing both parties are agreeable) unless it is contrary to the law of the Member State or the Member State does not provide for its enforceability.

(c) Adrian Leopard & Company 2009

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