The Mediation Bill 2016 was first read in Parliament on 7 November 2016.
It is likely to be passed as law in the near future. The Mediation Act is aimed at promoting and facilitating the resolution of disputes by mediation. It will strengthen the framework for mediation in Singapore and change the dispute resolution scene in Singapore.
Key Features of the Mediation Bill 2016 as proposed:
i. Stay of Court proceedings
Presently, parties may refuse to proceed with mediation despite having contractually agreeing to refer their disputes to mediation. The present proposed bill seeks to provide a statutory basis for either parties to apply to court for a stay of court proceedings pending mediation. In addition, the Court will be given specific powers to make further orders to preserve the rights of parties whilst mediation is in process.
ii. Recording of Mediated Settlement Agreement as Order of Court
Currently, in the event of a breach of a mediated settlement agreement, parties must institute court proceedings to enforce the mediated settlement agreement as a breach of contract. The proposed provisions in the Bill allow parties to have the ability of enforcing mediated settlement agreement as enforceable orders of court.