The Mediation Bill was published in 2017. The purpose of the Mediation Bill is to put a framework
The Act shall apply to any civil proceedings. There are some exceptions but generally speaking, mediation is applicable to most civil disputes.
Solicitors will have to advise clients to consider mediation
Participation in mediation will be voluntary
The proposed mediator and the parties concerned must be prepared and sign an “agreement to mediate” before the mediation can begin.
Confidentiality of the mediation process now enshrined in law
Imposes a general confidentiality obligation on both the mediator and parties to the mediation process.
Mediation agreements can be enforced by the court
Enforceability will be a matter for the parties themselves to determine if and when a mediation settlement has been reached between them. Subsection (3) provides that a court may enforce the terms of a mediation settlement subject to certain parameters.
Provides that a court may, on application by a party to proceedings or of its own motion where appropriate to do so, invite the parties to consider mediation as a means of attempting to resolve the dispute before the court.
Costs can be awarded against parties who unreasonably refuse to attend mediation
The court may consider any unreasonable refusal by a party to consider using mediation when awarding costs in such proceedings.