European code of conduct on mediation
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European code of conduct on mediation


A European code of conduct for mediators has been developed by a group
of stakeholders with the assistance of the services of the European
Commission and was launched at a conference 2 July 2004 in Brussels



This code of conduct sets out a number of principles to which individual mediators

may voluntarily decide to commit themselves, under their own responsibility. It may
be used by mediators involved in all kinds of mediation in civil and commercial


Organizations providing mediation services may also make such a commitment by

asking mediators acting under the auspices of their organization to respect the code

of conduct. Organizations may make available information on the measures, such as

training, evaluation and monitoring, they are taking to support the respect of the code

by individual mediators.
For the purposes of the code of conduct, mediation means any structured process,

however named or referred to, whereby two or more parties to a dispute attempt by

themselves, on a voluntary basis, to reach an agreement on the settlement of their

dispute with the assistance of a third person  hereinafter the mediator.

Adherence to the code of conduct is without prejudice to national legislation or rules

regulating individual professions.

Organizations providing mediation services may wish to develop more detailed codes

adapted to their specific context or the types of mediation services they offer, as well

as to specific areas such as family mediation or consumer mediation.

1.1. Competence

Mediators must be competent and knowledgeable in the process of mediation.
Relevant factors include proper training and continuous updating of their education
and practice in mediation skills, having regard to any relevant standards or
accreditation schemes.
1.2. Appointment
Mediators must confer with the parties regarding suitable dates on which the
mediation may take place. Mediators must verify that they have the appropriate
background and competence to conduct mediation in a given case before accepting
the appointment. Upon request, they must disclose information concerning their
background and experience to the parties.
1.3. Fees
Where not already provided, mediators must always supply the parties with complete
information as to the mode of remuneration which they intend to apply. They must not
agree to act in a mediation before the principles of their remuneration have been
accepted by all parties concerned.
1.4. Promotion of mediators' services
Mediators may promote their practice provided that they do so in a professional,
truthful and dignified way.
2.1. Independence

If there are any circumstances that may, or may be seen to, affect a mediator's
independence or give rise to a conflict of interests, the mediator must disclose those
circumstances to the parties before acting or continuing to act.
Such circumstances include:
any personal or business relationship with one or more of the parties;
any financial or other interest, direct or indirect, in the outcome of the
the mediator, or a member of his firm, having acted in any capacity other
than mediator for one or more of the parties.
In such cases the mediator may only agree to act or continue to act if he is certain
of being able to carry out the mediation in full independence in order to ensure complete impartiality and the parties explicitly consent.
The duty to disclose is a continuing obligation throughout the process of mediation.
2.2. Impartiality
Mediators must at all times act, and endeavour to be seen to act, with impartiality
towards the parties and be committed to serve all parties equally with respect to the
process of mediation.
3.1. Procedure

The mediator must ensure that the parties to the mediation understand the
characteristics of the mediation process and the role of the mediator and the parties in it.
The mediator must in particular ensure that prior to commencement of the mediation
the parties have understood and expressly agreed the terms and conditions of the
mediation agreement including any applicable provisions relating to obligations of
confidentiality on the mediator and on the parties.
The mediation agreement may, upon request of the parties, be drawn up in writing.
The mediator must conduct the proceedings in an appropriate manner, taking into
account the circumstances of the case, including possible imbalances of power and
any wishes the parties may express, the rule of law and the need for a prompt
settlement of the dispute. The parties may agree with the mediator on the manner in
which the mediation is to be conducted, by reference to a set of rules or otherwise.
The mediator may hear the parties separately, if he deems it useful.
3.2. Fairness of the process
The mediator must ensure that all parties have adequate opportunities to be involved
in the process.
The mediator must inform the parties, and may terminate the mediation, if:
a settlement is being reached that for the mediator appears unenforceable or
illegal, having regard to the circumstances of the case and the competence of
the mediator for making such an assessment, or
the mediator considers that continuing the mediation is unlikely to result in a


3.3. The end of the process

The mediator must take all appropriate measures to ensure that any agreement is

reached by all parties through knowing and informed consent, and that all parties
understand the terms of the agreement.
The parties may withdraw from the mediation at any time without giving any
The mediator must, upon request of the parties and within the limits of his
competence, inform the parties as to how they may formalize the agreement and the
possibilities for making the agreement enforceable.

The mediator must keep confidential all information arising out of or in connection

with the mediation, including the fact that the mediation is to take place or has taken
place, unless compelled by law or grounds of public policy to disclose it. Any
information disclosed in confidence to mediators by one of the parties must not be
disclosed to the other parties without permission, unless compelled by law.
European Commission, 2 July 2004 in Brussels