Did you know there is an alternative to resolving your legal of problems, without a judge’s intervention?
The Conciliation Center, ascribed to the Externado Legal Office, provides free services for the resolution of different conflicts.
In 1991, the Externado de Colombia University Law Faculty opened its Conciliation Center, offering free legal services to “Bogotanos.” The Center, attached to the Legal Clinic, serves the community, promotes dialogue as a tool for successful resolution of conflicts, and, thus, creates a culture of peace.
Currently, the Conciliation Center has its own team: an attorney, as Director, a consulting attorney, two monitors, a secretary, four conciliation attorneys, and an annual average of 200 students training as conciliators. The Center can schedule up to four consultation meetings at the same time, if necessary, and a total of 16 a day.
The Center’s directors and advisors have been certified as legal conciliators and, thanks to their connection with the Externado, are permanently available for consultations assigned to them, as well as students working on their practice and monitors fulfilling their graduating requirements.
Through conciliation, defined as an alternative mechanism for disputes resolution, two or more persons can find a resolution of their differences with the help of a neutral and qualified third-party, known as a conciliator. Thus, avoiding a judge’s involvement.
The Externado University Conciliation Center provides this service, free of charge, to persons who cannot afford the fees charged by regular conciliation centers. Interested Individuals must also meet any of these following conditions:
- Must reside in strata 1, 2 or, occasionally, 3
- Be a displaced individual
- Be an active community mother
- Belong to the Sisben
- Be disabled
- Be a single parent, head of household
- Be an older adult
- Belong to an ethnic minority
The conciliatory attorneys are able to assist in solving family conflicts: support obligations; children custody and visitation rights; asset separation; liquidation of community property for causes other than death. Also, the Center can assist in civil matters, such as breaches of contracts, restitution of leased property; and in the commercial area, issues relating to titles, or cash obligations and, in Criminal matters, offense disputes.
How to request conciliation at the Externado?
- Stop by the Legal Office located at Calle 12 No. 0-71, La Candelaria District, Bogotá, Monday through Friday, from 1:00 pm to 4:45 pm.
- If your request is ready, you can file it at the Center, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 am to 12:00 noon, and from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
Once the request is approved, a hearing date will be assigned within fifteen days of filing, even though the Law grants three months to set date and time; thus, evidencing the Externado Conciliation Center’s effectiveness as a tool for conflict resolution.
In November 2013, the Externado Conciliation Center was certified by the Colombian Institute of Technical Standards and Certification (ICONTEC), validating the Center’s efficiency and quality services. This certification has been renewed to date.