Mediation in Portugal: Growing Up in a Sheltered Home*

Jan Peter Schmidt

in Mediation

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199653485
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191758270 | DOI:
Mediation in Portugal: Growing Up in a Sheltered Home*

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Over the last 15 years, Portugal has increasingly developed mediation as a means of alternative dispute resolution. The legislature has so far adopted a piecemeal approach and created independent mediation regimes for different sectors, such as low-value disputes, family law, labour law and criminal law. The implementation of the EU Mediation Directive in 2009 left the existing regulations largely untouched, but introduced provisions of general applicability for the first time. Portuguese mediation law is characterised by a considerable level of State control: State institutions function as the first port of call for mediation and supervise the admission of mediators. Mediation proceedings are kept inexpensive for the parties, and outside the formalised structures they are denied legal support. The practical results of mediation, which is still entirely voluntary, have been promising but there has not yet been any breakthrough.

Keywords: Portugal; mediation; low-value disputes; family law; labour law; criminal law; EU Mediation Directive; mediators; legal support

Chapter.  12256 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Law

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