Code of Civil Procedure

Code of Civil Procedure as of January 1, 2011 with mediation integrated into a procedure, but voluntarily chosen

The new Code of Civil Procedure, which has been valid for all of Switzerland since January 1, 2011, replaces the previous system of 26 different codes of civil procedure. The new code consists of 4 parts:

  1. A general part on the types of procedures, responsibilities, procedural principles, types of complaints, rules of evidence, Art. 1-196
  2. A special part with details regarding the process of a civil procedure (from the arbitration to mediation to execution), Art. 197-352, Mediation: Art. 213 ff. ZPO
  3. Rules regarding (internal) arbitration (Art. 353-399)
  4. The final provisions, mainly transition provisions from the old to the new law, Art. 400-408

Important note: a civil procedure is initiated either by means of a request for conciliation (Art. 202 ff. ZPO) or a mediation request (Art. 213 ff. ZPO) (for the exceptions see Art. 198 ZPO, for example the divorce).

The parties themselves decide on how to proceed on the path to mediation and inform the conciliation authorities on the successful conclusion of a mediation or on the continuation of the legal process.

When mediation is concluded, the settlement will be as enforceable as a final judgement.

The court may also recommend mediation, during which a proceeding remains suspended.