Arbitration and mediation
Besides ordinary proceedings, you and your debtor have two alternatives to solve a dispute.
Arbitration (articles 806–840 c.p.c.)
The parties agree to entrust the dispute to an arbitration hearing. An arbitration clause must be included explicitly in the contracts (it must not be presumptive); otherwise, the competence of the arbitration may be called into question after the dispute. The arbitration must be convenient for both parties, managed by an arbitrator that both parties trust and are able to achieve a majority easily. Decisions taken by the arbitrator (arbitration awards) must pass the certification of the court in order to be effective for the parties. It will always stay a private action, with the same effect as that of a judgment.
Mediation (D.L. n. 28 on 4 March 2010, implementing the law n. 60/2009, according to the European Directive 2008/52/CE)
The target is to drive the parties to an agreement. In Italy, mediation is indicated by law as a necessary step for some matters before starting a judgment (binding mediation). It is optional for other kinds of matters (optional mediation). And it is necessary during some procedures in accordance with orders of the judge (judicial mediation).
Mediation could be a convenient alternative because the whole proceedings should be concluded in three months. The costs are lower than ordinary proceedings, and both parties are directly involved in the search for a satisfactory solution. The agreement issued by successful mediation is as enforceable as a judgment.
Arbitration and mediation are managed by specialised organisations, which are more flexible and place the utmost importance on finding possible solutions.
(End of chapter 6 - Arbitration and mediation)