On 1 September 2012 the new Mediation Act (Act No. 202/2012 Coll (the Act) became effective. Mediation is not widely used in the Czech Republic and the Act aims to establish a clear legal framework to significantly increase the number of cases settled through mediation. The Act gives effect to the requirements of the Mediation Directive.
The Act provides for basic mediator standards, whereby only those who pass specific mediation exams and are registered on the list of mediators maintained by the Ministry of Justice can act as mediators under the Act. However, “private mediators” who are not registered with the Ministry of Justice, can continue to perform their activities outside the scope of the Act.
In order to initiate mediation proceedings the parties must select a mediator and enter into a contractual agreement defined by the Act. The agreement must state the names of the conflicting parties, the mediator, the dispute, the remuneration to be received by the mediator, and the agreed duration of the mediation (if not agreed it should run indefinitely). In accordance with the Mediation Directive, the limitation period will be interrupted and thus a claim cannot become statute-barred whilst mediation is being attempted.