Sascha Ferz


Both the Austrian and German civil procedures deploy an intra-court conflict resolution proceeding that follows the principles of a mediative conciliation process. The decisive difference between the two institutions cannot be found in the name, but in the fact that the German initiative is already legally enshrined, whereas in Austria, it is still assumed to be a project. For this reason, contrasts between the two approaches can be found in the legal qualification and the procedure of court conciliation, as well as in the legal classification, role and function of the conciliation judge. In both cases, however, conciliation proceedings at court convey the idea that there is a hidden solution in almost every conflict that is profitable for all parties. It is never too late to seek such a solution in any phase of conflict management, even in the judicial environment. A conciliation hearing at court brings movement into deadlocked conflicts by the conciliation judge gathering facts together with the parties and trying to shed light on the underlying interests to facilitate comprehensive conflict management tailored to the parties involved, and thus finally solving the overall conflict. Judges take on this role of a conciliation judge in addition to their in-court settlement work in standard proceedings. This article aims to compare the legal situation in the two countries, address the two approaches of introducing the method of the conciliation process at court, analyse the scope of their legal regulation, as well as to discuss questions about their successful practical implementation in the organisational framework and to reveal the role, standing, and training of conciliation judges.