Mediation in public administration
From Encyklopedia Administracji Publicznej
MEDIATION IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION − out-of-court method of resolving administrative and legal disputes that arise between a party or parties to → administrative proceedings and → a public administration body with the participation of a third party - a mediator. Med. was introduced in 2017, the conditions of initiation and course are set out in the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure. Med. it may be carried out during administrative proceedings, if the nature of the case allows it, and its purpose is to clarify and consider the factual and legal circumstances of the case, as well as to make arrangements for settling it within the limits of applicable law, including by issuing an → administrative decision or conclusion → administrative settlement. In practice, med. can be widely used. It may constitute an important element of explanatory proceedings, mainly in complex cases (e.g. regarding the establishment of building conditions or issuing a building permit for a socially controversial infrastructural investment), and may also be applied with consideration for the matter in hand. Med. is voluntary, it may take place ex officio, when the administrative body took the initiative to carry it out, or at the request of the parties; the mediator may be indicated in the request. In the notification about the possibility of carrying out a med., a public administration body approaches the parties to grant their consent to med. and to choose a mediator - within 14 days from the date of delivery of the notification. Lack of consent of at least one participant in the dispute makes it impossible to conduct a mediation. If a case is referred to mediation, it is adjourned for up to two months, but at the joint request of its participants or for other important reasons, this period may be extended, but not longer than by one month. If the mediation goals specified in these deadlines are not achieved, the public administration body issues a decision on its termination and settles the matter. Med. is conveyed by a mediator who is an intermediary between the conflicted parties. The mediator is a neutral person, not associated with the participants of the case. A mediator may be a natural person who has full legal capacity and enjoys full public rights, and in particular is entered in the register of permanent mediators or figures on the list of institutions and persons authorized to conduct mediation proceedings, kept by the president of the regional court or may be found on the list maintained by a non-governmental organization or university, the information of which was forwarded to the president of the regional court. In case the body conducting the proceedings is a participant of the mediation, then the mediator must be entered in the register of permanent mediators or must figure on the list of institutions and persons authorized to conduct mediation proceedings, kept by the president of the regional court or be enlisted in a register maintained by a non-governmental organization or university, the information of which was forwarded to the president of the regional court. The mediator's primary task is to facilitate mutual agreement between the parties. The mediator should be guided by the principles of impartiality, neutrality and confidentiality. The mediator presents conditions which may enable the parties of the dispute to adopt solutions that may end in an agreement in the form of a settlement. It is his duty to organize the mediation process in a proper way and to be in contact with the parties. The mediator, the mediation participants and other persons part of the mediation process are obliged to keep secret all facts they learned during mediation, unless the participants unanimously resign from confidentiality. The mediator draws up a report, which contains information about the time and place of the mediation, names and addresses (seats) of the participants, name and address of the mediator, arrangements made as to how to settle the case, as well as the mediator's and mediation participants’ signatures; in case a signature is missing, an explanation should be provided. The report should be immediately submitted by the mediator to the public administration body for inclusion in the case file and a copy should be delivered to the participants of the mediation. The mediator shall be entitled to remuneration and reimbursement of expenses related to conducting the mediation, unless he has agreed to convey it without remuneration. The costs of remuneration and reimbursement of expenses related to carrying out mediation services are covered by public administration bodies, and in cases where a settlement may be concluded - the parties in equal parts, unless they decide otherwise. [M. Jurgilewicz]
Literature: H. Izdebski, M. Kulesza, Public administration. General issues, Warsaw 2004 ■ M. Jurgilewicz, Mediation in public administration, Rzeszów 2018.