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MediationPrinciples and Regulation in Comparative Perspective$
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Klaus J. Hopt and Felix Steffek

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199653485

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199653485.001.0001

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Mediation in Portugal: Growing Up in a Sheltered Home *

Mediation in Portugal: Growing Up in a Sheltered Home *

(p.809) Chapter 15 Mediation in Portugal: Growing Up in a Sheltered Home*

Jan Peter Schmidt

Oxford University Press

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

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