India passed its ground breaking Mediation Act, 2021 on December 15, 2021. It’s based on a national decision for mediation to be a force for a better country. From my perspective, it’s a giant step forward for mediation. It makes mediation an integral part of India’s judicial system country wide. It funds a national system of support for mediation, provides standards for mediators and the mediation process. Allowance for further enhancements and improvements is provided through the empowerment of designated committees.
The enforcement of mediated agreements will be supported by the courts.
Time lines are provided to expedite resolutions.
Importantly for me, the Act spells out the values of mediation. It specifically mentions that mediations benefit communities.
It refers to mediation as the preferred mode of ADR.
The bill refers to India’s goal of being a leader in the field of mediation. My personal interaction with Indian mediators leads me to believe that they’re going to be successful. YCM (Youth Conflict Management & Mediation), an Indian youth organization, is already setting up centers in schools to teach communication and mediation skills.
The new law may not be perfect. But, my monthly interaction with Indian mediators Zooming on E-mediation Writings encountered a tangible enthusiasm for the support and recognition of mediation by the Indian government.
Contact me if you wish a copy of the bill. I’ll send a download.