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Judicial conciliator

Verified 31 March 2021 - Directorate of Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister), Ministry of Justice

The Justice Conciliator is a volunteer justice officer. Its role is to find, in accordance with the law, an amicable solution to a dispute between 2 parties. It must remain neutral and avoid favouring one side over the other. The conciliator may be appointed by the parties or by the judge, and may intervene before or after the case is brought. The conciliator is free of charge. His solution must be approved by the courts.

Role

The duty of the judicial conciliator is to settlement of disputes which are submitted to it. It is responsible for establishing a dialogue between the parties to find the best solution to their dispute, whether natural or legal persons. It must remain neutral and avoid taking sides in a conflict. The conciliator must act within the law.

Skills

Jurisdiction of the judicial conciliator

Situations for which the conciliator is competent

Situations for which he is not competent

- Civil status disputes

- Disputes between landlords and tenants

- Disputes between tenants

- Disputes relating to an employment contract

- Consumer disputes

- Commercial disputes

- Disputes between persons (unpaid, miscellaneous work, etc.)

- Disputes in rural law

- Disputes in the matter of prud'homale

- Family conflicts

- Conflicts with the administration

In the event of a dispute, you can refer the matter to the conciliator before taking legal action.

But you can also seize it after the opening of legal proceedings.

Finally, the judge may decide to refer the matter to the conciliator for a negotiated solution.

Referral to the judicial conciliator is free of charge.

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Seize the conciliator before any legal proceedings

You can write, phone or visit a conciliator's office.

Who shall I contact

Seize the conciliator in a dispute before the court

Request for conciliation

You can ask the court to appoint a conciliator to help you resolve a conflict amicably. The application can be made on site at the court registry or by mail. The following form must be completed.

Reconciliation request

Who shall I contact
Assignment or application for judgement

In some cases, you have to justify that you have attempted to resolve the dispute amicably before going to court. Such is the case if the dispute concerns the payment of an amount less than or equal to €5 000 or if it concerns a neighbourhood conflict. You can then use the conciliation procedure.

You can request conciliation on the spot at the court office or by submitting the following form.

Reconciliation request

Who shall I contact

You are not required to request prior conciliation in the following cases:

  • One of the parties approval agreement
  • You justify that you have used another method of amicable resolution of the dispute (attempt at mediation, attempt at participatory procedure)
  • A prior appeal must be made to the author of the decision you are challenging before the court
  • The judge or administrative authority must, under a special provision, make a prior attempt at conciliation
  • One party may justify a legitimate reason (e.g. refusal of the other party to participate in conciliation)

Conciliator seized by judge

Where a civil dispute has been referred to the court, the judge may appoint a judicial conciliator.

The Commercial Court judgement panel may also, with the agreement of the parties, appoint a judicial conciliator. He shall notify the parties by simple letter or e-mail.

The judge of the Joint Rural Lease Court may also delegate his conciliation duties when a dispute is referred to him.

Conciliation

The conciliator of justice brings the parties together in conciliation. Parties may be accompanied by a person of their choice (lawyer, spouse, partner, etc.).

The judicial conciliator may travel to the protest site and question any person he or she considers useful, with the agreement of the parties.

The conciliator informs the judge if he has any difficulties.

FYI  

the conciliator of justice may not disclose the contents of the statements to the judge unless the parties agree.

Conciliation time 

The initial duration of the conciliation is 3 months maximum.

It may be renewed once, for the same period, at the request of the conciliator: for example, if the initial duration is set at 2 months, the conciliation can be renewed for 2 months.

The judge may terminate the conciliation at any time on his initiative, that of the conciliator of justice or at the request of one of the parties.

Agreement found

If the decision to resort to conciliation has been taken by the judge, the conciliator must inform him in writing of the result.

If the conciliation has been undertaken at the request of the parties, the conciliator may draw up a statement of agreement signed by the parties in which they are committed to each other. The drafting of a statement is only mandatory if the conciliation results in the waiver of a right.

A copy of the report shall be given to each party. The court conciliator shall deposit a copy at the court registry.

One of the parties may submit the statement of agreement to the court for approval enforcement, unless the other party objects.

Conciliation failed

Conciliation may fail if one of the 2 persons is not present or if the parties could not agree on an amicable settlement. In the event of failure, the parties can always have the dispute settled by a court.

Terms

  • Major
  • Enjoying your civil and political rights
  • Not to have an elected mandate in the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal concerned
  • Do not engage in judicial activity or participate in the functioning of the public service of justice
  • Have legal training or experience
  • Have skills that qualify you particularly for the role of conciliator

FYI  

the duties of judicial conciliator are incompatible with those of mediator, lawyer, legal counsel or judge.

Recruitment

If you wish to become a judicial conciliator, you must apply to the court where you wish to perform this function. You must send a letter of motivation to the coordinating magistrate for the protection and conciliation of justice of this court. Attach the following to your letter:

  • CV
  • Attestation on honour
  • Evidence of training or legal experience indicating skills specifically qualified to perform these duties

You can send the letter and documents electronically to the appropriate recruitment office for the selected jurisdiction.

After checking for incompatibility, the Court of Appeal will interview the candidate before recruiting him for a first year of practice. At the end of the first year, the conciliator may be appointed for a renewable period of 3 years.

Training

New conciliators must complete one day of initial and one day of continuous training during their 1mother year of office and during the 3-year term following.

A conciliator who does not attend this training may be denied an extension of his or her term of office.

Function Exercise

The judicial conciliator takes an oath. He has an obligation of reserve and secrecy towards third parties.

With the consent of the parties concerned, the Committee may visit the premises and hear witnesses.

The justice conciliator is a volunteer. However, a lump sum payment is made to cover the costs of secretarial services, telephone, documentation and use of new technologies. This allowance shall be paid quarterly in an annual €650. Exceptionally, with the authorisation of the heads of court, these expenses may be reimbursed beyond the fixed amount, up to €928.

The conciliator submits an annual activity report to the coordinating magistrate for the protection and conciliation of justice. The latter then transmits the report to the first president and the attorney general of the Court of Appeal.