The conciliation office

Even in a constitutional state, it is generally preferable to resolve an initially contentious problem by means of an amicable solution rather than a judicial decision.

BVerfG, 1 BvR 1351/01 vom 14.2.2007, Absatz-Nr. (1 – 47)

Mediator and lawyer Bernhard Böhm has been recognised by the President of the Higher Regional Court of Dresden as the first legal conciliation officer in Leipzig under the Saxon Arbitration and Conciliation Act, in accordance with § 794 (1) No. 1 of the Code of Civil Procedure (ZPO) in conjunction with § 22 Implementation Act to the Court Constitution Act (AGGVG).

The conciliation office offers special mediation procedures for most civil law disputes, regardless of the amount in dispute.

Our goal is to arrive at conflict resolution that is amicable and in line with the interests of the parties involved.

Advantages of agreement at a conciliation office

  • The proceedings are strictly confidential
  • Terms are suspended (§ 204 para. 1 no. 4 BGB)
  • Enforcement can be pursued from the recorded agreement ( 794 Paragraph 1 No. 1 of the Code of Civil Procedure (ZPO)).
  • In many cases – especially in the case of high amounts in dispute – proceedings before the conciliation office are cheaper and faster than court proceedings

Mediator and lawyer Bernhard Böhm was recognised by the President of the Higher Regional Court of Dresden as the first legal conciliation office in Leipzig under the Saxon Arbitration and Conciliation Act, in accordance with § 794 (1) No. 1 of the Code of Civil Procedure (ZPO) in conjunction with § 22 Implementation Act to the Court Constitution Act (AGGVG). Note: this is repeated from above.

You can download the recognition by the president of the OLG Dresden here (only in German): Anerkennung Gütestelle

You can download the valid rules of procedure (only in German): Verfahrensordnung Gütestelle

We offer you the option of conducting the mediation either according to the rules of procedure of the conciliation office or detached from them. When selecting the appropriate procedure, our experience suggests that the following questions should be considered:

  • How important is the inhibition of time limits?
  • To what extent should the agreement be enforceable?

In areas close to the law – e.g. in disputes between companies – mediation before the conciliation body can be useful. All cases are permissible in which the parties can settle a dispute themselves according to the law – regardless of the amount in dispute.

For more remote areas of application – e.g. in the internal business sector – where questions of communication and cooperation are often at the forefront, we generally recommend dispensing with the formalities required at the conciliation office and making the procedure flexible.

The regulations for the recognition of conciliation bodies may vary from one federal state to another. At this point we would like to inform you about the different types and tasks.

State-recognised conciliation bodies within the framework of the voluntary conciliation proceedings
A mediation procedure (or conciliation or conciliation proceedings) before the conciliation body is permissible in all cases in which the parties can settle a dispute themselves according to the law – irrespective of the amount in dispute. This applies to most civil law matters such as contractual disputes. The conciliation office should, therefore, not be confused with the conciliation office for compulsory dispute resolution (see below), which has only a limited scope of activity.

The officially recognised conciliation boards have rules of procedure which – e.g. in Saxony – are examined and recognised by the president of the Higher Regional Court. The procedure, methods and costs are determined by these rules. In Saxony, the person who is recognised as a conciliation officer must also be authorised to provide extrajudicial legal services (as a rule, therefore, a lawyer).

As a state-recognised conciliation office, we are not restricted geographically, and therefore are active nationwide and internationally.

Conciliation boards for mandatory dispute resolution (e.g. in Baden-Württemberg, but not in Saxony)
The reform of the civil procedure in 2002, in accordance with § 15 a II No. 5 EGZPO, gave the federal states the possibility to prescribe an out-of-court conciliation procedure before filing a suit (obligatory conciliation procedure). Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Brandenburg, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia, Saxony-Anhalt, Saarland and Schleswig-Holstein have made use of this option.
This means lawsuits for amounts in dispute of up to EUR 750.00, for neighbourhood disputes and defamation are only permissible after an unsuccessful attempt to reach an agreement before the conciliation body. In some federal states this also applies to actions under the General Equal Treatment Act (AGG). In both cases, the failed attempt to reach an agreement must be proven with a certificate of failure issued by the conciliation office.
In the event of a successful settlement, this is enforceable after being recorded by the conciliation office.
The Free State of Saxony – unlike Baden-Württemberg – has not made use of this option.

Justices of the peace (Friedensrichter) and arbitration boards under the Saxon Arbitration and Conciliation Board Act
In the Free State of Saxony, municipal arbitration boards have been created in addition to officially recognised quality boards (see above). These are composed of justices of the peace. They conduct arbitration and atonement proceedings before private actions are brought (for criminal offences). The procedures for municipal arbitration boards do not have their own rules of procedure – unlike officially recognised arbitration boards – but are bound by rigid legal requirements.

The course of the mediation process in front of a conciliation board is regulated in our Rules of Procedure, which have been examined and accepted by the president of the Higher Regional Court of Dresden. These rules regulate the necessary framework conditions, but avoid excessive bureaucracy in order to ensure an effective and speedy settlement.

In the following we give you an overview of the course of the mediation in front of the conciliation office. Please note: The Rules of Procedure alone are binding.

The way to the conciliation office
The mediation process is initiated at the request of one of the parties. You can send us the request in writing, by fax, by e-mail, or by telephone.
In the event that limitation periods are to be suspended (§ 204 (1) No. 4 BGB) or other legal consequences of invoking a conciliation office are to be achieved, the request to conduct the mediation must be made in writing.
You can find further application requirements in our Rules of Procedure. Note: add link

Initiation of the mediation proceedings after receipt of the request
If the other party has not yet agreed in writing, we will arrange for them to be notified of your request. If, within four weeks after notification of the request to the other party, no written consent to conduct the mediation process is obtained, we will notify the requesting party in writing of the failure of the request and the termination of the process.
If all parties agree to the mediation, we will determine a date for the hearing as conciliation body.

Execution of the mediation proceedings
The mediation process is not public. Either party may seek legal or other assistance. The mediation hearing is oral and is not usually preceded by written submissions. The number and scope of sessions is discussed with the parties in advance.
The aim of the mediation is that the parties involved, with our support, reach a conflict resolution that is responsible, amicable and in line with their own interests. The focus is thus on communication and dialogue. The mediator ensures fairness and that all parties involved can negotiate on an equal footing. If it is conducive to a speedy resolution of the dispute, the mediator may conduct individual discussions with the parties or their representatives.

Conclusion of the mediation proceedings
The mediation process ends ideally with the signing of an agreement between the parties on the subject matter of the dispute or parts thereof. However, it can also be ended by a declaration by one of the parties that the mediation procedure has failed and is terminated, or by a declaration by the mediator that he considers the mediation procedure to have failed.

Final record and possible enforceability
If an agreement is reached, it is recorded by the mediator and approved by all parties. From the recorded agreement of the parties, execution can be carried out in accordance with § 794 Para. 1 No. 1 ZPO.

Important: If the mediation procedure fails, legal recourse is still open to you. You do not waive any rights until the agreement is approved.

Our services

We are the first recognised legal conciliation office in Leipzig to mediate in disputes nationwide, achieving reliable and satisfactory results for many cases.

Our services include among others:

  • Advising on the various options for out-of-court conflict resolution
  • Mediating of conciliation and arbitration processes
  • Developing, as an alternative, of individual, tailor-made processes

Your contact person for the conciliation office

Bernhard Böhm
Bernhard BöhmCertified mediator and lawyer, recognised conciliation body, registered mediator under the Austrian Civil Mediation Act (ZivMediatG)

non-binding cost enquiry or appointment

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