Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) techniques like mediation have grown in
acceptance in India recently. A neutral third party, known as a mediator,
assists parties to a disagreement in communicating and negotiating a resolution
that will be acceptable to both parties. Mediation is a voluntary process. The
procedure aims to resolve conflicts more quickly and affordably than traditional
litigation by being less formal and confrontational. This study offers an
overview of mediation in India with an emphasis on how it is applied to family
Mediation in India
Since the 1996 passage of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, mediation has
been accepted as a means of alternative dispute resolution in India. According
to the Act, disagreements can be resolved by arbitration, conciliation, and
mediation. A mediator supports parties to a disagreement in obtaining a mutually
acceptable resolution by facilitating dialogue and negotiation between them.
Mediation is characterised as a voluntary procedure.
Although its usage in family issues has grown recently, mediation is typically
employed in civil and economic disputes in India. Property disputes, contractual
conflicts, and marriage issues are just a few of the disputes that mediation is
Mediation in Family Disputes
In India, family conflicts are frequent and can result from a number of
problems, including property disputes, marriage problems, and inheritance
problems. Family conflicts are frequently complicated and emotionally intense,
and they can have a big effect on the people involved, especially the kids.
As it offers a private, non-adversarial setting for parties to address their
issues and strive towards an amicable resolution, mediation can be a successful
method of settling family conflicts. In family disagreements, mediation can be
especially helpful since it enables parties to maintain their relationships and
prevents the strife that might come from litigation.
India has seen a rise in the use of mediation in family disputes in recent years
as a result of a rising appreciation for the value of maintaining family peace
and the necessity to avoid protracted and expensive litigation. In family
disputes, mediation is especially helpful since it enables parties to come to a
resolution that takes into consideration their unique needs and interests and
may be customised to their particular circumstance.
Evolution and Historical Perspective of Mediation in India with reference to
In India, mediation has a long history, and it has traditionally been used to
settle family disagreements. In India, mediation has long been used to settle
conflicts between relatives, neighbours, and other community members.
In the past, respected community members frequently served as mediators in
India. The mediation process was founded on the concepts of consensus-building,
bargaining, and compromise. The mediator's job was to help the parties
communicate and understand one another so that they might come to an amicable
The Indian government and judiciary have been encouraging mediation as a way to
settle conflicts quickly and affordably in recent years, which has led to a
resurgence in interest in the practise. Particularly in relation to family
problems, mediation has been found to be extremely useful.
Family courts in India are required by the Family Courts Act of 1984 to
encourage parties to settle conflicts through mediation. The Act acknowledges
the special characteristics of family disputes and the need for a more
cooperative approach to their resolution. In India, family mediation often
entails the use of experienced mediators who collaborate with the parties to
promote communication, pinpoint shared interests, and consider alternative
dispute resolution strategies.
To encourage the use of mediation in family disputes in India, a number of
noteworthy efforts have been launched in recent years. For instance, the Delhi
High Court has set up a centre for mediation and conciliation that specialises
in family disputes and offers free mediation services to parties in family court
matters. Parties have expressed high levels of satisfaction with the mediation
process, and the centre has been successful in resolving a significant portion
Generally, the development of mediation in India has been characterised by a
long tradition of community-based dispute resolution and a recent upsurge in
interest in mediation as a way to settle disputes in a more cooperative and
economical way. A robust legislative framework, a burgeoning network of
certified mediators, and mediation organisations all promote mediation's growing
acceptance as an efficient means of settling family disputes.
Meaning and Concept of Mediation in India
In mediation, a neutral third person mediates negotiations and communication
between the parties to a dispute in order to help them come to a mutually
accepted resolution. Mediation in the context of family conflicts entails a
professional mediator who helps family members settle their differences without
turning to court proceedings or other adversarial methods.
A mediator facilitates discussions and communication between disputing parties
in order to assist them in reaching a mutually acceptable conclusion. Family
conflict mediation involves a trained expert helping family members resolve
their issues without using the legal system or other adversarial processes.
Depending on the region and situation it is utilised in, family mediation has
several definitions. Family mediation is defined as "conciliation or mediation
done with the assistance of a conciliator or mediator appointed by the court in
a family dispute" in India under the Family Courts Act, 1984. This concept
emphasises the mediator's position as a court-appointed, impartial third party
who helps parties resolve their disputes.
Many conflicts, including those involving divorce, child custody, property
distribution, and inheritance, can be settled through family mediation. Parties
must agree to take part in mediation for it to be effective as it is a voluntary
process. The mediation process is private, so nothing said during it may be used
as evidence in court, and the mediator won't reveal anything without the
In general, family mediation is a flexible and cooperative procedure that aims
to provide participants the power to settle their own conflicts. In addition to
helping families retain stronger connections and avoiding the stress and expense
of court processes, mediation is a helpful alternative to litigation.
Legal Framework and Legal Provisions of Mediation in India with reference to
The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, which offers a thorough legal
framework for the settlement of disputes through arbitration, conciliation, and
mediation, essentially governs the legal foundation for mediation in India.
According to the Act, mediation is a voluntary process in which a disinterested
third party helps the parties to a dispute come to an amicable resolution.
According to the Act, parties might decide to use mediation to resolve a
disagreement before or after initiating legal action. A mediator overseeing the
mediation process is chosen by the parties or by a mediator organisation they
both agree upon. The mediator must be unbiased, neutral, and without a direct or
indirect financial stake in the outcome of the dispute.
The Act outlines specific steps for how mediation will be carried out, including
how the mediator will be chosen, how the mediation will continue, and how the
settlement agreement will be written. The mediator is obligated to uphold strong
confidentiality laws in order to preserve the parties' privacy and any
information shared during the mediation process.
A number of additional Indian statutes, in addition to the Arbitration and
Conciliation Act, have provisions for the use of mediation in particular
situations. For instance, the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, permits the court
to submit specific civil issues to mediation. The Family Courts Act of 1984
mandates that family courts promote mediation as a means of dispute resolution.
Commercial disputes may also be referred to mediation under the 2015 Commercial
Courts, Commercial Division, and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts
In an effort to minimise the backlog of cases in the court system and provide
more effective and efficient dispute resolution, the Indian judiciary has played
a significant role in promoting the use of mediation, with many courts and
tribunals around the nation directing cases to mediation.
Overall, India's legal system for mediation is well-established, with a thorough
legal framework and various statutes allowing its application in a wide range of
situations. In India, the use of mediation is expanding, and it is becoming more
widely acknowledged as an efficient way to settle disputes quickly and
Contemporary Challenges, Suggestions and Recommendation
Despite the fact that mediation is increasingly being used to settle family
disputes in India, there are still a number of current issues that limit its
usefulness and accessibility. Here are some of the main difficulties: swift and
economical conflict resolution.
Lack of knowledge and instruction: One of the main obstacles to mediation in
India is a lack of knowledge and instruction regarding the procedure. As many
people are unfamiliar with mediation, they might not know how it operates or how
it might help them. This may result in a lack of confidence in the mediation
process and reluctance to participate.
Low supply of qualified mediators: India is experiencing a scarcity of qualified
mediators, particularly in rural areas. Because to this, it may be challenging
for parties to family disputes to obtain mediation services, especially if they
reside in rural or underserved areas.
Resistance from legal professionals: Some legal professionals in India may be
resistant to the use of mediation, either because they are not familiar with the
process or because they view it as a threat to their business. This can make it
difficult for parties to access mediation services or may lead to a bias against
mediation in the legal system.
Cultural and societal norms: In India, it may be challenging for parties to
discuss their disagreements freely or to take other forms of dispute settlement
into consideration. Family members could be under pressure, for instance, to
keep disagreements inside the family or to follow customary cultural norms
rather than seek outside help.
Lack of institutional support: Despite India's legal foundation for mediation,
the procedure still doesn't have the backing it needs. This includes inadequate
funding for mediation facilities and a lack of precise standards for mediator
accreditation and training.
Overall, these difficulties show that, despite mediation's potential to be a
useful technique for resolving family conflicts in India, there is still much
that needs to be done to improve its use, efficacy, and acceptance. To overcome
these obstacles, legislators, attorneys, and civil society organisations must
work together to increase public understanding of the issues, expand the pool of
qualified mediators, and foster a spirit of cooperation and process trust.
As a result, mediation is a crucial and useful method for settling family
conflicts in India. Parties can identify and amicably settle their conflicts
through the collaborative, confidential, and voluntary process offered by
mediation. It provides a substitute for the conventional adversarial techniques
of resolving disputes, which may be costly, time-consuming, and stressful for
Even though mediation has numerous advantages, there are current issues that
must be resolved in order to improve its usability and effectiveness in India.
The absence of knowledge and education, a lack of skilled mediators, resistance
from the legal community, cultural and societal standards, and a lack of
institutional support are some of these obstacles.
The availability of trained mediators should be increased, there should be clear
guidelines and standards for training and certification, and there should be a
culture of cooperation and trust in the process. These are the challenges that
should be addressed by policymakers, legal experts, and civil society
organisations working together to promote awareness and education about
The willingness of all parties concerned to engage in the process and cooperate
to find a mutually acceptable resolution to their issues will ultimately
determine if mediation is successful in settling family disputes in India.
Families in India can gain from a more cooperative and effective method of
dispute resolution with continuing efforts to promote and enhance the use of
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