New judicial criteria about mediation regarding its quality as a constitutional human right. In certain cases, judges will have to suspend a jurisdictional process if one of the parties requests a period of time to start a mediation process. Through mediation, a neutral (mediator) assists the parties through the conflict towards seeking a solution and preventing the conflict from ending with the rendering of a final judgement.
On October 18, 2019, certain judicial criteria were issued by a Federal Collegiate Court in Civil Matters of the First Circuit in Mexico City, which resolved that the access to alternative dispute resolution means, such as mediation, is a human right recognized at a constitutional level.
Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process for settling disputes without litigation, that promotes communication between the parties and that offers a resolution of their differences through assisted negotiation before a mediator, instead of having a third party (judge) issuing a judgement.
According to an interpretation of the legislation of Mexico City, mediation, as a human right, has relevant effects on jurisdictional processes. Through a criterion issued by the above-mentioned Collegiate Court, it was determined that per request from a party, the judges shall order the suspension of a trial for up to two months, in order to grant the parties the opportunity to enter into a mediation process (under article 55 of the Civil Procedure Code of Mexico City).
The agreements reached by the parties, as a result of a mediation process, may be formalized through a mediation settlement, and if the same is entered and signed by a mediator certified by the Superior Court of Justice of Mexico City, then such mediation settlement will have the force of res judicata. Thus, if such agreement is not voluntarily fulfilled and/or observed by any of the parties, then the other party may request the assistance of a judge to enforce it.
This represents an alternative to disputes resolution that can be much faster and more efficient than following an adversarial procedure. In addition, since it is possible to require the execution of the mediation settlement, the parties will be assured that if there is a breach of the obligations, a simple and rapid enforcement route can be accessed with the assistance of the competent courts, which is also a deterrent to non-compliance with the agreement.