MEDIATION IN CONSUMER DISPUTES

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Mediation, which is one of the alternative solutions, started to be practiced in our country upon the acceptance of the Code of Mediation in Civil Law Disputes numbered 6325 and its publication in the Official Gazette dated 22.06.2012 and numbered 28331. With the mediation mechanism, it is aimed to resolve the disputes by agreement without moving this dispute to the courts and to conclude more easily and quickly. The mediation mechanism was initially regulated as an option and as of 01.01.2018, in disputes arising from labor law, it has become a cause of action and as of 01.01.2019, in commercial disputes when the subject is related to the payment of some amount of money, it has also become a cause of action. Applying to the mediation mechanism as a cause of action is called “compulsory mediation”.                                                                  

It should be noted in relation to the current regulations in this regard that; it is decided to add an article as “Article 73/A” which is titled as “Mediation as a cause of action” to be included after the Article 73 of the Law on the Protection of Consumer No. 6502, and this provision came into force with its publication in the Official Gazette dated 28.07.2020 and numbered 31199.

Mediation as a cause of action”

ARTICLE 73/A – (1) In the disputes that shall be seen before the consumer courts, applying to a mediator before filing a lawsuit is a cause of action. Yet, the provisions regarding mediation which is a cause of action shall not be applied on the following matters:

a) Disputes within the scope of the duty of the consumer arbitration committee

b) Objections against the decisions of the consumer arbitration committee

c) The cases specified in the sixth paragraph of the Article 73

d) Cases specified in the Article 74

e) Disputes that are in the nature of consumer transactions and arise from the same immovable property

In accordance with the article 73/A added to the Law No. 6502 on the Protection of the Consumer, the obligation to apply to the mediator before filing a lawsuit before the court for the consumer disputes has become a cause of action. Although no monetary limit is clearly foreseen in the law, it is actually indicated that the monetary limit was actually 10.390,00 TRY by exempting the disputes falling within the scope of the duty of the Consumer Arbitration Committee.

As outlined in the Article 73/A added to the Law on the Protection of the Consumer, the situations that are excluded from the scope of compulsory mediation as a cause of action are as follows:

1-Disputes within the scope of the duty of the Consumer Arbitration Committee (disputes which the value is less than 10 thousand 390 TRY),

2-Objections against the decisions of the Consumer Arbitration Committee,

3-Taking precautionary decisions,

4-Consumer organizations, relevant public institutions and organizations and the ministry; besides the provisions regarding unfair commercial practices and commercial advertisements, taking a precautionary decision regarding the prevention or cessation of the situation, in cases where there is a danger of a situation contrary to this Law, which concerns the consumers in general or the detection, prevention or cessation of the illegal situation, if any,

5-Lawsuits regarding the cessation of production or sales and the collection of the goods,

6-Disputes that are in the nature of consumer transactions and arise from the same immovable property.

As a result, although the Law No. 6502 is introduced to protect consumers, consumers abstain from seeking their rights because of the lengthy trial process and they become victims. For this reason, it is expected that the application of mediation mechanism as a cause of action in accordance with Article 73/A added to the Law No. 6502 on the Protection of the Consumer in terms of consumer disputes will save the consumer from being victims anymore.

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Mert-Yalcin

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