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A quality judge is in Germany a judge , of the Bureau of a court to carry out the conciliation hearing has been determined or for other quality tests. He is not authorized to resolve the legal dispute and, according to Section 278 (5) of the Code of Civil Procedure (ZPO), can “use all methods of conflict resolution, including mediation ”.

The judge takes action in a legal dispute after referral by the competent judge or panel. He has a discretion as to which method of conflict resolution (cf. the discussion on dispute settlement methods under the label " Alternative Dispute Resolution ") is used in the conciliatory trial. In model projects for the use of judges, mediation was practiced in the vast majority of cases.

Legal regulations

The judge was added to the ZPO as well as to all other procedural rules applicable in the Federal Republic of Germany with the exception of the Criminal Procedure Code by the “Law for the Promotion of Mediation and Other Out-of-Court Dispute Settlement” of July 21, 2012. The regulation came into force on July 26, 2012.

After a controversial debate in the legislative process, the various projects of internal court mediation and the work of court mediators have now been transferred to the work of judges (see also the transitional regulation in Section 9 of the Mediation Act ). Even at courts where there were no judicial mediators up until then, an offer of judges had to be regulated in the business allocation plan (principle of completeness of the business allocation plan, § 21e Courts Constitution Act - GVG). The designation "judge" is based on a Bavarian legislative initiative in 2004 and the correspondingly designated model tests in Bavaria and Thuringia.

Since August 1, 2013, the term "mediator" has been reserved for the out-of-court or court-related, usually freelance mediator.


  • Martin Ahrens : Mediation Act and Judges - New legal regulations for judicial and extrajudicial mediation. In: Neue Juristische Wochenschrift (NJW), 2012, pages 2465–2474.
  • Nikola Friedrich: Mediation in social justice . In: Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy (Ed.): Studies from the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy . tape 53 . Nomos, Baden-Baden 2011, ISBN 978-3-8452-3360-4 , JSTOR : j.ctv941s4h (Zugl .: München, Univ., Diss., 2011; Open Access).
  • Karsten-Michael Ortloff: From court mediator to judge in the administrative process. In: Neue Zeitschrift für Verwaltungsrecht (NVwZ), 2012, pages 1057-1061.
  • Anika Sonnenberg: The judge in labor law . In: Schriften zum Sozial- und Arbeitsrecht , Volume 356. Berlin 2019, ISBN 978-3-428-15665-8 (also dissertation, Bucerius Law School, 2018).
  • Andreas Zeitlmann: Alternative conflict resolution by the judge in social justice . In: Writings on social law . 1st edition. tape 42 . Baden-Baden, ISBN 3-8487-4548-8 ( plus dissertation, University of Bayreuth, 2017).

Individual evidence

  1. See the reports on the accompanying scientific research by Reinhard Greger .
  2. Federal Law Gazette (BGBl.) I, p. 1577.
  3. Federal Council printed matter 747/04.