The position is that the Mediation Act 2017 came into operation on 1 January 2018. Section 12 of the Act provides that, subject to certain conditions, the Minister for Justice and Equality may, by order, declare that a body as is specified in the order shall be recognised for the purposes of the Act as the Mediation Council of Ireland. The Schedule to the Act sets out the minimum requirements in relation to the Council including the functions of the Council – which include promotion of the mediation sector, the establishment of a register of mediators and the development of codes of practice – and its membership.
I understand that the Legal Aid Board has brought together an informal group to examine if consensus could be reached in relation to the possibility of putting together a proposal for the establishment of the Mediation Council. Following a number of meetings, a proposal from the informal group for the establishment of the Council has now been submitted and is under consideration in my Department. I expect that further discussions on the matter will be held in due course.