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Criminal mediation

Criminal mediation is a process whereby the public prosecutor in charge of the case appoints, with the agreement of the parties to the proceedings, a qualified and independant person - the mediator - in order to offer the parties the opportunity to seek a freely negotiated solution with the aim of bringing the criminal proceedings to a definitive end.

What are the cases suitable for mediation?

Situations that may be suitable for criminal mediation include the following:

  • Conflicts in the workplace
  • Everyday life events that have degenerated
  • Insults, with the exception of those made against a representative of the authority
  • Commercial disputes (e.g. unfair competition)
  • Small and medium-scale offences between people who have to see each other again (e.g. neighbourhood relations)

Mediation process details

Who takes the decision on the implementation of mediation?

The cases that can be submitted to mediation are determined by the public prosecutor.

How would I know about it?

The public prosecutor puts his/her proposal into practice by sending a letter to the parties concerned, in which he/she sets a deadline allowing the parties to take their decision. During the investigation, this proposal can be made in a hearing.

Who chooses the mediator and how is the proceeding conducted?

  • The parties choose the accredited criminal mediator from a list kept by the Public Prosecutor's Office.
  • Once the agreement of all the parties involved in the mediation procedure has been obtained, and after checking that there is no conflict of interest of the mediator, the public prosecutor suspends the criminal proceedings for a period of 3 months and sends a copy of the file or essential documents to the mediator.
  • The suspension of the proceedings is renewable once only.


Mediation agreement

A mediation agreement is drawn up between the parties and the mediator in accordance with art. 20 RMéd.

This agreement mentions in particular the following points:

  •  A description of the dispute and designation of the parties involved
  • The fact that mediation does not interrupt time limits or expiry, unless there is a legal exception
  • The independence, neutrality and impartiality of the mediator
  • The confidentiality regarding the content and conduct of the mediation process
  • The fees and their breakdown
  • The right to terminate mediation at any time


Fees & costs

  • The costs and fees of the mediator are covered by the Public Prosecutor's Office up to a maximum of Fr. 1'000.-.
  • Beyond that amount, they are the responsibility of the parties who may, if necessary, request legal aid.
  • They may also be charged to the parties in the event of a complex financial dispute.
  • The hourly rate for the mediator is Fr. 200.-. It may be higher in the event of a complex financial dispute.


Result of the mediation

At the end of the mediation, the mediator returns the file to the public prosecutor.

The mediator informs the public prosecutor of the failure or success of the mediation, without going into the details of the agreement, unless all the parties to the mediation wish to do so.