Mediation Act 2017
Mediation information sessions in family law and succession proceedings
23. (1) The Minister may, for the purposes of ensuring that information sessions concerning mediation are available (in this Act referred to as a “mediation information session”), at a reasonable cost and in suitable locations, to parties to relevant proceedings and having had regard to the matters specified in subsection (2)—
(a) prepare and publish a scheme for the delivery of such sessions, or
(b) approve a scheme for the delivery of such sessions prepared by a person other than the Minister.
(2) A scheme referred to in subsection (1) may include provisions in relation to any of the following:
(a) the nature and operation of mediation in respect of a relevant dispute;
(b) the role of the mediator in a mediation in respect of a relevant dispute;
(c) the types of mediation settlements available in a mediation in respect of a relevant dispute;
(d) the benefits of mediation over court-based resolutions in respect of a relevant dispute;
(e) the costs of mediation;
(f) a statement that legal advice may be sought by the parties at any time during the mediation.
(3) Before publishing or approving a scheme under this section, the Minister shall—
(a) publish a notice on the website of the Department of Justice and Equality and in at least one daily newspaper circulating generally in the State—
(i) indicating that he or she intends to publish or approve a scheme under this section,
(ii) indicating that a draft of the scheme is available for inspection on that website for a period specified in the notice (being not less than 30 days from the date of the publication of the notice in the newspaper), and
(iii) stating that submissions in relation to the draft scheme may be made in writing to the Minister before a date specified in the notice (which shall be not less than 30 days after the end of the period referred to in subparagraph (ii)),
(b) have regard to any submissions received pursuant to paragraph (a)(iii).
(4) Where the Minister prepares or approves a scheme under this section, he or she shall cause a notice of the preparation or approval to be published in Iris Oifigiúil and the notice shall specify the date from which the scheme shall come into operation.
(5) Subject to subsection (6), the Minister may—
(a) amend or revoke a scheme prepared or approved under this section, or
(b) withdraw approval in respect of any scheme previously approved under this section.
(6) The requirements of subsections (3) and (4) shall, with all necessary modifications, apply to a scheme that the Minister intends to amend or revoke or in relation to which the Minister intends to withdraw his or her approval.
(7) Where the Minister amends or revokes, or withdraws his or her approval in respect of, a scheme under this section, he or she shall cause a notice to that effect to be published in Iris Oifigiúil specifying—
(a) the scheme to which the amendment, revocation or withdrawal of approval, as the case may be, relates,
(b) whether the scheme is to be amended or revoked or whether approval in relation to the scheme is to be withdrawn,
(c) if the scheme is to be amended, particulars of the amendment, and
(d) the date from which the amendment, revocation or withdrawal of approval, as the case may be, shall come into operation.
(8) In this section—
“relevant dispute” means a dispute the subject of relevant proceedings;
“relevant proceedings” means—
(a) family law proceedings, or