MEDIATION (SPECIAL CATEGORIES OF DISPUTES) ACT

Arrangement of Sections

1. Short title.

2. Subject and matters in respect of which the Act shall apply.

3. Special Mediation Board Areas.

4. Appointment of Panel of Mediators.

5. Term of office and remuneration payable to members of a Panel.

6. Filling of vacancies in a Panel.

7. Jurisdiction of the Special Mediation Boards.

8. No action to be instituted without a certificate or non-settlement.

9. Reference by Court or Labour Tribunal.

10. Constitution of Mediation Board.

11. Duties of a Board.

12. Duties of parties to a dispute.

13. Where settlement is reached.

14. Where no settlement is possible.

15. Time limit within which Board must act.

16. Members to be bound by a Code of conduct.

17. Failure to comply with or violation of settlement.

18. Certificates of non-settlement receivable in evidence.

19. Representation.

20. Privilege of witnesses.

21. Prescription.

22. Grama Seva Niladhan to assist the Board.

23. Members of Board deemed to be public servants.

24. Board deemed to be a Scheduled Institution.

25. Defect in the constitution of the Board not to invalidate acts and proceedings of the Board.

26. Where there is a mediation agreement, no action to be instituted without sufficient proof of non-settlement.

27. Regulations.

28. Sinhala text to prevail in case of inconsistency.

29. Interpretation.

SCHEDULE

21 of 2003.

AN ACT to provide for the establishment of mediation boards for settlement through Mediation of Special Categories of Disputes; and for matters connected therewith and incidental thereto.

[Date of Commencement: 30th July, 2003]

1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the Mediation (Special Categories of Disputes) Act.

2. Subject and matters in respect of which the Act shall apply.

(1) The provisions of this Act shall apply in regard to the settlement through mediation of such categories of disputes as shall be determined by the Minister by Order published in the Gazette.

(2) In specifying such categories the Minister shall take into consideration the need to provide for the meaningful resolution of disputes relating to social and economic issues.

3. Special Mediation Board Areas.

The Minister shall, from time to time by Order published in the Gazette, specify the area (hereinafter referred to as the "Special Mediation Board Area”) within which the settlement of disputes shall be carried out under the provisions of this Act, in respect of anyone or more of the categories of disputes determined under section 2.

4. Appointment of Panel of Mediators.

(1) Upon the publication of an Order under section 3, the Mediation Boards Commission shall, subject to the provisions of subsection (2), take all necessary steps to appoint a Panel of Mediators (hereinafter referred to as the "Panel”) in respect of each Special Mediation Board Area. The provisions contained in the Schedule to this Act shall apply in respect of the selection and appointment of members of the Panel.

(2) A person to be eligible to be appointed under subsection (1) as a member of a Panel shall be required to have such qualifications as shall be prescribed for that purpose by the Minister, who shall in prescribing such qualifications have regard to the expertise required of members to be appointed to such Panel, taking into consideration the nature of the categories of disputes determined by the Minister under section 2. Different qualifications may be prescribed in respect of the different categories of disputes determined under that section.

(3) The Mediation Boards Commission shall appoint one of the members of the Panel appointed in respect of each Special Mediation Board Area, to be the Chairman of such Panel.

5. Term of office and remuneration payable to members of a Panel.

(1) A member of a Panel shall hold office for a period of three years from the date of appointment and shall thereafter be eligible for re-appointment.

(2) A member of a Panel shall be paid such remuneration as shall be determined by the Minister in consultation with the Minister in charge of the subject of Finance.

6. Filling of vacancies in a Panel.

The Mediation Boards Commission may make appointments to fill any vacancies occurring in the membership of a Panel, and every person so appointed shall hold office for the unexpired period of the term of office of the member whom he succeeds.

7. Jurisdiction of the Special Mediation Boards.

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsection (2), a person may make an application to the Chairman of the Panel appointed for any Special Mediation Board Area, for the settlement by mediation of any dispute arising in respect of anyone or more of the categories of disputes determined under section 2 of this Act, and arising wholly or partly within such Special Mediation Board Area:

Provided that where any dispute referred to such Chairman—

(a) involves any movable or immovable property, the application shall be made to the Chairman of the Panel appointed for the Special Mediation Board Area within which such movable property is kept or immovable property is situated;

(b) involves a contract, the application shall be made to the Chairman of the Panel appointed for the Special Mediation Board Area within which such contract was made; and

(c) involves a matter which constitutes a cause of action in a court of law, the application shall be made to the Chairman of the Panel appointed for the Special Mediation Board Area within the territorial limits of the court having jurisdiction in respect of such action.

(2) Every application shall be accompanied by a document evidencing the fact that the prescribed fee has been paid in the prescribed manner.

8. No action to be instituted without a certificate or non-settlement.

(1) Where a Panel has been appointed under this Act in respect of a Special Mediation Board Area, no proceedings in regard to a dispute arising wholly or partly within such area in respect of anyone or more of the categories of disputes determined under section 2, where the monetary value of the subject matter of such dispute is less than such sum as shall be specified by the Minister by Order published in the Gazette, shall be instituted in or entertained by a court of first instance, unless it is accompanied by a certificate of non-settlement issued under paragraph (a) of section 14 or subsection (2) of section 17.

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