Prague, Oct 19 (CTK) – The number of civil cases dealt with by mediators is growing in the country, while the number of penal cases in which an out-of-court settlement is sought is falling, Czech Probation and Mediation Service analyst Michal Karban said on international Conflict Resolution Day on Thursday.

In the late 2000s, 500 to 600 penal cases a year were mediated. A boom of mediations between the perpetrator and the victim started after 2010 and stopped in 2013 when the number of mediated penal cases was 1321, Karban told a press conference held within the Mediation Day events organised on Thursday.

Last year, 980 penal cases were mediated and in the first nine months of this year it was 473 cases.

Unlike civil cases in which a judge can order the parties in dispute to meet a mediator, mediation is voluntary and free of charge in penal cases.

Karban said mediation is suitable only for some penal cases and it is used only if the victim wants to take part in it.

One of the reasons why the number of penal mediations is getting lower is the attitude of police officers and judges who prefer a quick solution of the cases.

A majority of successfully mediated penal cases end with an agreement on the compensation of the damage incurred and often also with the perpetrator’s apology.

One third of all penal mediations concerns crimes caused by negligence, especially road accidents. It is because their perpetrators did not cause damage deliberately and they often want the mediation. They often wish to apologise and settle the issue, their criminal record is clean and they have enough money to cover the damage.

The second most frequent category of mediated penal cases are actions of vandalism, followed by thefts.