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What is administrative mediation?

Verified 01 April 2022 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister)

Before going to court to challenge an administrative decision, you can first try to find an amicable solution through mediation. Sometimes, mediation is even a mandatory prerequisite before a contentious appeal. This is the case for some civil service and social disputes.

General case

Administrative mediation is optional: you are free to use this procedure or not.

Mediation is an amicable way of resolving disputes with the help of a mediator.

We talk about administrative mediation when your opponent is a public service or an administration. The Ombudsman's role is to help you start a dialogue with the administration to reach an agreement.

Mediation may be for the entire dispute or only for part of the dispute.

If you dispute a decision of the administration that can be subject to an administrative appeal, you can request mediation.

The mediator can be chosen by you or by the administration. It may also be designated by the administrative court, with your agreement.

The Ombudsman may be a natural person or legal person.

If the person is a natural person, the person must be qualified for the subject matter of the dispute. It must also provide training or experience appropriate to the practice of mediation.

The Ombudsman undertakes to respect ethical charter . It must respect the principles of confidentiality, impartiality and neutrality.

You can ask the Administrative Court for the contact details of the mediators responsible for your dispute.

Who shall I contact

You have 3 ways to do this:

  • Fully organise mediation with the administration and jointly appoint the mediator
  • Organise mediation with the administration (scope of the dispute, duration, etc.), but ask the administrative court which would have jurisdiction in the event of an appeal to appoint the mediator
  • Ask the administrative court to organise the mediation completely.

If you appeal to the judge, you can appeal to the administrative court:

  • Either by mail on free paper
  • Either by e-mail (the address is on the website of each jurisdiction)
Who shall I contact

When a dispute is referred to the judge, the judge may propose mediation to try to reach an agreement between the parties.

It sets a time limit for the parties in dispute to respond to this proposal.

The decision ordering the mediation shall include the following information:

  • Agreement
  • Appointment of Ombudsman, duration of mission and amount of remuneration

Decision is notified the mediator and the parties.

Mediation shall be subject to the principle of confidentiality except in the following cases:

  • Contrary agreement
  • Public policy reasons for protecting the best interests of the child or the integrity of a person
  • Need to know the content of the mediation agreement to implement it

You may be assisted in front of the Ombudsman by any person of your choice.

The judge shall terminate the mediation at the request of one of the parties or the mediator.

It may also decide to stop it when the proper conduct of the mediation seems to it to be compromised.

The judge can validate and enforce the agreement reached through mediation.

It is not possible to appeal against the judge's decision.

Where the mediation task is entrusted to a person outside the jurisdiction, the judge shall decide whether it is necessary to pay it and shall fix the amount of the remuneration.

The President of the Court may, at his request, grant the Ombudsman an interim allowance. The amount paid will be deducted from his remuneration.

When the costs of mediation are borne by the parties, you must discuss with the administration to make the allocation.

If no agreement is reached, these costs shall be apportioned equally, unless the judge considers that such apportionment is unfair in view of the economic situation of the parties.

When legal aid you have been granted, the costs are apportioned equally, unless the judge is of the opinion that such apportionment is unfair.

Costs that are charged to you by the judge can be covered by the state up to a certain amount.

You can use mediation before or after you have made a contentious appeal

The mediation procedure interrupts the time-limits for litigation.

The starting point for the interruption of the appeal periods is as follows:

  • from the day on which the parties agree in writing to mediate,
  • or, in the absence of written agreement, from the day ofmother mediation meeting.

Litigation periods shall resume from the date on which either of the parties or the 2 or the mediator declare that the mediation is completed.

Public Service

If you are a public servant, you may be required to participate in administrative mediation before you can appeal certain decisions in court.

Which agents are involved?

You are affected by the mandatory prior mediation procedure if you are in one of the following situations:

  • You are an official or contractual employee of the National Education and are assigned to the Rectorate or Departmental Services (Desden), a nursery or elementary school, a college or a high school of one of the following academies:
    • From 2 April 2022: Aix-Marseille, Clermont-Ferrand, Montpellier
    • From 1to June 2022: Bordeaux, Lyon, Nantes, Nice, Normandy, Paris, Rennes, Versailles
  • You are an official or territorial contractor employed in a community or public institution that has an agreement with the management centre to mediate

FYI  

management centres shall provide the administrative courts with a list of the communities that have concluded a convention.

What decisions are affected by compulsory prior mediation?

  • Unfavourable individual administrative decision concerning one of the elements of remuneration
  • Refusal of secondment or lay-off of an official
  • Refusal to grant a contractor unpaid leave to raise a child under the age of 8 to care for a dependent child, her spouse, her partner Civil partnerships: titleContent, one ascending following an accident or serious illness or disability requiring the presence of a third party
  • Refusal to grant a contractor unpaid leave to follow his or her Civil partnership partner who has been forced to move for work reasons
  • Refusal to grant a contractor unpaid leave for personal reasons
  • Refusal to grant a contractor unpaid leave to create or resume a company
  • Refusal to grant a contractor unpaid mobility leave
  • Unfavourable individual administrative decision concerning the reinstatement of an official at the end of a secondment, availability or parental leave
  • Unfavourable individual administrative decision concerning the reinstatement of a contractor at the end of unpaid leave
  • Unfavourable individual administrative decision concerning the classification of an official following a promotion of rank or internal promotion
  • Unfavourable individual administrative decision concerning training
  • Unfavourable individual administrative decision concerning access to or continued employment of a disabled official
  • Unfavourable individual administrative decision concerning the preservation of equipment contributing to the adaptation of the work of a disabled staff member
  • Unfavourable individual administrative decision concerning the organisation of working conditions for the reclassification of an official recognised as unfit for the performance of his duties

In National Education, the compulsory prior mediation procedure is applicable to decisions which take place from 1to April 2022.

In the territorial civil service, it applies from 1to day of the month following the conclusion of the agreement between your employer community or institution and the management centre.

When an individual decision is subject to mandatory prior mediation in the event of a dispute, the administration must inform you of this at the notification of the decision.

Your employer's administration will inform you of the contact details of the competent mediator.

In case of non-compliance by your employer administration, the time limit for litigation does not apply and you can challenge the decision at any time.

Mediation is an approach that aims to enable you and your employer administration to reach an amicable agreement, with the help of a third mediator.

The purpose is to enable a dispute to be settled and to avoid a procedure before the Administrative Court.

For certain categories of decisions, prior mediation is mandatory before proceeding before the Administrative Court.

Only if mediation fails can you refer the matter to the judge.

If you enter the Administrative Court without having completed the compulsory prior mediation procedure, the judge will reject your application and forward it to the competent mediator.

If you are an agent of National Education, the obligatory prior mediation is provided by the academic mediator.

Who shall I contact

If you are a territorial agent, the management centre provides the necessary prior mediation. The president of the management centre shall designate the natural person or persons who carry out the compulsory prior mediation mission.

You must file a complaint with the Ombudsman by mail within 2 months of the date of notification of the decision you are challenging.

Your mail must be accompanied by a copy of the contested decision.

The filing of the complaint shall interrupt the time-limit for bringing the case before the Administrative Court.

This period shall begin again from the date on which either you, your administration, or you 2 or the mediator declare unequivocally and by any means that the mediation is terminated.

The potential cost of mediation is fully covered by your employer administration.

You, and your employer administration, can have any person of your choice assist you in front of the mediator.

If you hire grace or hierarchy after the organisation of the mediation, this ex gratia or hierarchical remedy does not interrupt the time limit for the contentious appeal.

The mandatory mediation process ends with a negotiated agreement or disagreement.

If an agreement is reached, the administration may withdraw the contested decision or take a new decision that is more favourable to the addressee.

If the discussions do not result in an agreement, you can challenge the decision before the administrative judge.

Social or return-to-employment aid

If you are a jobseeker or you receive certain social benefits, you may be required to mediate before appealing against certain decisions.

Job seekers

Administrative mediation is mandatory for you if you have received one of the following decisions from Pôle emploi:

  • Decision taken to promote return to employment (e.g., mandatory training)
  • Decision to terminate registration on the list of job seekers
  • Decision to change the category of job seekers
  • Decision to remove job seekers
  • Decision to delete replacement income
  • Administrative penalty decision
  • Decision to request reimbursement of allowances, aid or unduly paid benefits

Beneficiaries of social assistance

Administrative mediation is mandatory if you have received one of the following decisions made by Pôle emploi on behalf of the State:

  • Decision on allowances for young people involved in an accompanying journey towards employment and self-sufficiency
  • Decision on the specific solidarity allowance
  • Decision on solidarity allowances for intermittent performers
  • Decision on aid for the creation or resumption of company

Mediation is a process by which the parties attempt to resolve their dispute amicably with the assistance of a mediator. It may relate to all or part of a dispute.

When mediation is mandatory, you must seek it before appealing to the administrative judge. Otherwise, the judge will dismiss the appeal without considering it.

Procedure

After notification of the decision, you must contact the appropriate mediator to ask him to open a mediation.

The application must be made within the time allowed to challenge the decision in court.

The notice must mention the obligation to request mediation within the time limit for the contentious appeal.

The document must also indicate the name of the competent mediator and his contact details.

A copy of the contested decision must be attached to the request for mediation.

If this is implicit decision, you must include a copy of the request and acknowledgement.

Mediators responsible for Pôle emploi decisions

The Ombudsman for decisions taken by Pôle emploi is the Regional Ombudsman of Pôle emploi.

The Advocate is also competent to conduct compulsory mediation with Pôle emploi.

Referring to the competent mediator shall interrupt the time-limit for bringing legal proceedings. This means that the mandatory mediation procedure does not deprive you of the possibility of appeal to administrative judge if it fails.

If you file a dispute without having requested mandatory mediation, the judge will reject the appeal and forward the case to the appropriate mediator.

If you grace or hierarchy after mediation, this will not result in a further interruption of the appeal period.

You do not have to pay when mediation is a mandatory prerequisite to litigation.

The mediator first listens to each party's arguments.

Then he organises a dialogue between you and the administration, to try to find an amicable solution.

Mediation is subject to the principle of confidentiality except in the following 3 cases:

  • Contrary agreement
  • Public policy reasons for protecting the best interests of the child or the integrity of a person
  • Need to know the content of the mediation agreement to implement it

The mandatory mediation process ends with a negotiated agreement or disagreement.

If an agreement is reached, the administration may withdraw the contested decision or make a new decision more favourable to you.

If the discussions do not result in an agreement, you can challenge the decision before the administrative judge.