The Mediation Act, 2023

By Amigos IAS

Why is it in the news?

Recently, both the houses of the Parliament passed the Mediation Bill, 2023.

About the Mediation Act 2023

  • Allows parties to enforce mediated settlements as court judgments.
  • Allows challenges based on fraud, corruption, impersonation, or impermissibility under the Act.
  • Requires written mediation agreements, where parties commit to resolving disputes through mediation.
  • Permits parties to voluntarily refer disputes to mediation before filing lawsuits, with courts maintaining panels of mediators.
  • Lists matters ineligible for mediation, including criminal offenses, professional misconduct, and tax disputes.
  • Sets a 120-day timeline for mediation, extendable by 60 days.
  • The Act provides for the setting up of the Mediation Council of India with functions includes registering mediators, recognizing mediation service providers and mediation institutes.
Significance of the Act
  • Aims to reduce frivolous court claims and maintain confidentiality to protect relationships.
  • Requires neutral empanelled mediators with expertise.
  • Prioritizes expertise and efficiency, encouraging parties to focus on commercial dealings.



·       Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) method in which a neutral third party, known as a mediator, helps parties in a dispute reach a mutually agreeable resolution.

·       Mediation is considered a more cost-effective, efficient, and less adversarial method compared to traditional court litigation.




About Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

·       Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a non-adversarial dispute resolution mechanism that emphasizes cooperation and collaboration.

·       ADR aims to reduce the burden of litigation on courts, provide a satisfying experience for parties, and address case backlog in the Indian judicial system.


Types of ADR

·       Arbitration: Involves an arbitral tribunal issuing a binding decision, with relaxed formalities.

·       Conciliation: A non-binding procedure with a neutral third-party helping parties reach a mutual settlement.

·       Mediation: An impartial mediator assists parties in achieving a mutually acceptable resolution without making decisions.

·       Negotiation: Parties engage in non-binding discussions to negotiate a settlement.


Advantages of ADR

·       Maintains confidentiality.

·       Cost-effective and efficient.

·       Flexible procedures save time and money.

·       Encourages creative solutions and improved relationships.

·       Specialized expertise available through ADR professionals.

·       Provides greater control over outcomes.


Status of ADR in India

·       Statutory backing through acts like the Legal Services Authorities Act (1987) and the Arbitration and Conciliation Act (1996).

·       Introduction of plea bargaining in the Code of Criminal Procedure in 2005.

·       Use of Lok Adalats for informal dispute resolution.

·       Emergence of Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) as an ICT-based ADR mechanism.


Challenges and Recommendations

·       Lack of awareness about ADR mechanisms.

·       Need for wider dissemination of information by National and State Legal Services Authorities.

·       Potential reliance on ICT innovations and accessible ODR processes for the future of dispute resolution.


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