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Mandatory mediation in case of litigation due to covid-19 outbreak


Law no. 70 of 25 June 2020, provides for a new hypothesis of mandatory mediation. According to such provision: "In disputes concerning contractual obligations, in which compliance with the containment measures referred to in this decree, or in any case ordered during the epidemiological emergency by COVID-19 on the basis of subsequent provisions, may be assessed under paragraph 6-bis, the prior initiation of the mediation process pursuant to paragraph 1-bis of Article 5 of Legislative Decree no. 28 of 4 March 2010, is a condition for the admissibility of the application".

In light of the above, in case of disputes of a contractual nature arising from "lockdown" provisions (i.e. in case of contractual breach due to compliance with containment measures), the mediation procedure constitutes a condition for the admissibility of the claim.

For the sake of clarity, the condition will be deemed to be met, only after the relevant mediation request has been notified and the other party has not agreed to join the mediation or, if the other party joined the mediation, in case of negative outcome of such mediation.

The provision applies, by way of example, to all disputes in the tourism-hotel sector (airline tickets, travel advances, etc.), breaches to supply contracts, delays in delivery of goods and others.

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