As per Rule 3 of the Mediation and Conciliation Rules, 2004 the High Court and the District & Sessions Judge can prepare panels for appointment of mediator. The qualifications of the mediators / conciliators given in Rule 4 are :-
(a) (i)Retired Judges of the Supreme Court of India;
(ii)Retired Judges of the High Courts;
(iii)Retired District & Sessions Judges or retired officers of Delhi Higher Judicial Service;
(iv)District & Sessions Judges or Officer of Higher Judicial Service.
(b) Legal practitioners with at least ten years standing at the Bar at the level of Supreme Court or the High Court or the District Courts.
(c) Experts or other professionals with at least fifteen years standing.
(d) Persons who are themselves experts in mediation / conciliation.
In India, the qualifications of a mediator vary depending on the context and the specific mediation program or institution involved. However, there are certain general qualifications and requirements that are commonly expected of a mediator. Here are some key qualifications:
Training and Certification: Mediators are typically required to undergo specific training in mediation techniques and processes. They may complete a recognized mediation training program or course provided by accredited institutions or organizations. Upon successful completion of the training, they may obtain a certificate as a qualified mediator.
Legal Background: While not mandatory in all cases, many mediators in India have a legal background. They may be practicing lawyers, retired judges, or legal professionals who have a thorough understanding of the law and legal processes. This legal knowledge can be particularly helpful in mediating disputes involving legal issues.
Experience and Expertise: Mediators are expected to have substantial experience and expertise in the field of mediation. This can be gained through practical experience in conducting mediations, handling diverse cases, and successfully resolving conflicts. Many mediators specialize in specific areas such as family mediation, commercial mediation, labor mediation, etc.
Impartiality and Neutrality: A mediator must be impartial and neutral, without any bias towards either party involved in the dispute. This ensures that they can facilitate a fair and unbiased mediation process. Mediators should have the ability to create a safe and respectful environment for all parties to freely express their concerns.
Good Communication and Interpersonal Skills: Effective communication is a crucial skill for mediators. They should have excellent listening skills to understand the needs and interests of the parties involved. Mediators also need to be skilled in facilitating dialogue, managing emotions, and helping parties find common ground and mutually acceptable solutions.
Ethical Standards: Mediators should adhere to high ethical standards and maintain confidentiality throughout the mediation process. They should follow a code of conduct that promotes professionalism, integrity, and the best interests of the parties.
Continuous Learning: Mediation is a dynamic field, and mediators are encouraged to engage in continuous learning and professional development. This includes staying updated with current mediation practices, attending workshops and seminars, and being aware of relevant legal and societal developments.
It’s important to note that the qualifications and requirements for mediators may vary depending on the specific mediation program, organization, or jurisdiction in India. Different courts, institutions, and private mediation centers may have their own criteria for selecting and accrediting mediators.