Mediation Act 2017

2.

Interpretation

2. (1) In this Act—

“agreement to mediate” has the meaning assigned to it by section 7 ;

“Council” has the meaning assigned to it by section 12(1) ;

“dispute” includes a complaint;

“family law proceedings” means proceedings before a court of competent jurisdiction under any of the following enactments:

(a) section 8 of the Enforcement of Court Orders Act 1940 in so far as that section relates to the enforcement of maintenance orders;

(b) the Guardianship of Infants Act 1964;

(c) the Family Home Protection Act 1976;

(d) the Family Law (Maintenance of Spouses and Children) Act 1976;

(e) the Family Law Act 1981;

(f) the Status of Children Act 1987;

(g) the Judicial Separation and Family Law Reform Act 1989;

(h) the Child Abduction and Enforcement of Custody Orders Act 1991;

(i) the Maintenance Act 1994;

(j) the Family Law Act 1995;

(k) the Family Law (Divorce) Act 1996;

(l) the Protection of Children (Hague Convention) Act 2000;

(m) the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010;

(n) the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015;

(o) subject to subsection (2), any other enactment which may be prescribed for the purposes of this definition;

“mediation” means a confidential, facilitative and voluntary process in which parties to a dispute, with the assistance of a mediator, attempt to reach a mutually acceptable agreement to resolve the dispute;

“mediation information session” has the meaning assigned to it by section 23 (1) ;

“mediation settlement” means an agreement in writing reached by the parties to a dispute during the course of a mediation and signed by the parties and the mediator;

“mediator” means a person appointed under an agreement to mediate to assist the parties to the agreement to reach a mutually acceptable agreement to resolve the dispute the subject of the agreement;

“Minister” means Minister for Justice and Equality;

“party” means a party to a mediation;

“practising barrister” has the same meaning as it has in section 2 of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015;

“practising solicitor” has the same meaning as it has in section 2 of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015;

“prescribed” means prescribed by regulations made under section 4 ;

“proceedings” means civil proceedings that may be instituted before a court.

(2) In prescribing an enactment for the purposes of the definition of “family law proceedings”, the Minister shall have regard to—

(a) the desirability of resolving, in so far as is practicable, disputes, within a family, that the enactment relates to in a manner that is non-adversarial, and

(b) the need for the expeditious resolution of such disputes in a manner that minimises the costs of resolving those disputes for the parties concerned.