Family Mediation Ireland have been invited by the Joint Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality, to be briefed on and discuss the Heads of the proposed Mediation Bill.
When passed the Mediation Bill will provide a dramatic change to the laws in this jurisdiction relating to mediation.
Whilst it remains to be seen as to whether or not the draft legislation will be amended to include a requirement for mandatory mediation sessions for parties considering accessing the courts, the legislation has been widely welcomed nonetheless.
The Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality published their Report on hearings into the Scheme of the Mediation Bill on 21 June 2012 last. The report makes various suggestions to the legislature in Ireland based upon public hearings conducted with the main mediation service providers within the state.
One of the key targets of the report was the issue of raising awareness of mediation. The legislation aims to encourage the use of mediation as an alternative to contested legal disputes. The question arises as to whether or not a statutory duty should be placed upon prospective litigants to attend one mediation session prior to seeking the issue of proceedings.
Issues Such As:
The Regulation of Mediators
Codes of Conduct
A national Register for Mediators
Confidentiality and Ireland as an international hub for mediation were also discussed in the report.
The report also encompassed the submissions made by the various interested organisations including Family Mediation Ireland.