Introduction of the Mediation Act 2023
There are several alternative dispute resolution processes, such as arbitration, mediation, Lok Adalat, etc. by which disputes may be settled outside the traditional court system.
A court may also refer a case for mediation under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. Parties to a dispute may resort to mediation under a contract having a mediation clause or as provided under a specific statue (such as the Commercial Courts Act, 2015, the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, the Companies Act, 2013).
Mediation results in amicable resolution of disputes in civil, commercial, family and matrimonial matters and fosters collaborative approach, reduces the burden on the courts, and preserves relationships amongst disputants.
Various countries, such as Australia, Singapore, and Italy, have standalone laws on mediation. However, there is no such standalone law on mediation in India.
The Mediation Act, 2023 seeks to promote and facilitate mediation, especially institutional mediation, for resolution of disputes, commercial or otherwise, to enforce mediated settlement agreements, to provide for a body for registration of mediators, to encourage community mediation and to make online mediation in an effective manner.