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The Mediation Act, 2023

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

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

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

 

 

 

About Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

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

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 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

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

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

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

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

 

Advantages of ADR

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Maintains confidentiality.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Cost-effective and efficient.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Flexible procedures save time and money.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Encourages creative solutions and improved relationships.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Specialized expertise available through ADR professionals.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Provides greater control over outcomes.

 

Status of ADR in India

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

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Introduction of plea bargaining in the Code of Criminal Procedure in 2005.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Use of Lok Adalats for informal dispute resolution.

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

 

Challenges and Recommendations

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Lack of awareness about ADR mechanisms.

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

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

 

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