Mediation in Hungary and Europe – International conference held by the National Office for the Judiciary

An international conference about a successful alternative dispute resolution form, the mediation proceeding was held on the Hungarian Judicial Academy between 5th and 6th May, 2016. Through the programme titled Hungarian, German and Polish judges, professional experts shared their experiences and the evolved good practices.
The mediation proceeding offers many advantages compared to traditional legal actions, getting to know these advantages can promote shorter process duration, expense efficiency and satisfaction to both parties. The concerned ones can solve their conflicts with the help of an independent, impartial person, the court mediator, who helps forming an acceptable solution for both parties. 
The international professional conference meant even a further professional education for the currently 150 court mediators, working at 90 bigger Hungarian courts, while development of professional knowledge base of mediation proceeding realized, which was the main goal of the National Office for the Judiciary by hosting the „Mediation in Hungary and Europe” conference.
Tünde Handó, President of the National Office for the Judiciary highlighted in her opening speech that the goal of the mediation proceeding is to help clients settling their disputes peacefully, with the help a professionally trained mediator. She emphasized that mediation between court walls, is very remunerative, because in pending cases the cooperating parties can settle a free, long-term agreement, that’s content is shaped by them.
Concerning the future of the mediation proceeding, she highlighted the importance of participating colleagues’ constant training to improve both domestic and international experiences, as well as announcing good practices for the public.
As first lecturer of the conference, dr. Turcsánné dr. Katalin Molnár, President of Székesfehérvár Regional Court and President of OBH Court Mediation Work Group  reviewed the main aspects of Hungarian Court Mediation to the audience of 130 people. In connection with court proceedings in civil law cases, clients can use mediation, which doesn’t mean more expense for them, above that the agreement, settled in the mediation process can be approved as a judgement by the judge, if both parties ask for it. 
Following, Éva Kerpel, international family law mediator analysed the Mediators’ European Behaviour Codex, by presenting case studies.
Dr. Elke Schwager, Head of Educational Department of the Bavarian Ministry of Justice lectured about the Bavarian mediation model.
After her, Céline Brébion-Guerrin, legal advisor of the French National Executor Chamber presented through a video conference the early experiences how Medicys, the Europe-wide electronic mediation surface works.
Dr. Bernadett Bazsó, mediator of Székesfehérvár Regional Court, talked about the specialities of mediation processes held through video conferences. Courts are technically ready for remote audition, – especially in foreign cases – it is extremely expense efficient to have the chance of a video conference. Dr. Katalin Balogh, professor of Leuven Catholic University reviewed the specialities of the multi-lingual online mediation.
On the second day of the conference, Dr. Anne-Ruth Moltmann-Willisch, mediation coordinator at the District Court of Berlin, introduced the German mediation practice from a judge’s point of view. Dr. Ákos Hegedűs, judge of Eger District Court, who also works as a mediator, pointed that the success of mediation depends on how judges inform clients about mediation possibilities. 
Dr. Tomasz Kaluzny polish judge, former president of District Court of Bialystok shared his positive experiences with the audience, meanwhile he talked about some of his successfully finished mediation cases. Krisztina Hunyadi senior mediator, trainer, head of school at Budapest Metropolitan University Mediation and alternative dispute resolution, highlighted the importance of improving basic skills of a court mediator, eg. the ability of rejuvenation.
As closure of the conference some of the participants took part in a workshop analysing family law cases, others had a chance to take part in a communication workshop, focused on how to ask good questions in mediation, led by dr. Csaba Czimbalmos trainer. Attending judges and secretaries could share their professional experiences effecting the efficiency of mediation process with each-other.

Budapest, 6th May 2016.