Mediation was first developed in Croatia after the company, Končar Group, began using it to resolve internal disputes in the year 2000. In 2003, the first mediators in Croatia completed a commercial mediation training, and, later that year, the Croatian Mediation Association was founded. This was also the year that the Mediation Act was first passed in Croatia. This was followed by the formal enactment of the Strategy of Development of Alternative Dispute Resolution in 2004.
Croatian courts began to promote the use of mediation in 2006, beginning with the Commercial Court in Zagreb. Several other courts followed suit and, in 2008, Croatia established a new Law on Civil Procedure that encouraged further use of mediation within the court system.
While the use of mediation has fluctuated over the years, it continues to be promoted through educational conferences organized by the Croatian Bar Association as well as on various media platforms.
Important legislative developments continue to emerge, such as the Law on Mediation and Strategy of Developing Mediation in Civil and Commercial Cases (2009) and a new law on mediation in 2011.
In Croatia, lawyers and judges are required to inform parties of the option to mediate. However, there are currently no mechanisms in place to ensure that they do so.
The Croatian Ministry of Justice regulates the registry of mediators, including the Rule Book of standards for accreditation, and mediators are required to participate in at least 40 hours of training before being registered.