The mediation process in Sri Lanka provides voluntary and semiformal dispute resolution mechanism to enable speedy and free access to justice for people. The process involves a group of mediators that facilitate people to negotiate concrete and mutually satisfactory agreements to resolve their disputes. Mediation sets a solid foundation to resolve differences and helps disputants to re-establish, redefine or transform their attitudes and relations with one another, and move towards more peaceful reconciliation and relationships. The mediation programme is led by the Mediation Boards Commission with the policy and administrative support of the Ministry of Justice and is strengthened by mediators who volunteer their time to resolve people’s disputes. The process helps resolve all disputes referred to mediation boards by disputing parties themselves, courts of law and the police, through the process of interest based mediation in order to promote peace and encourage co-existence in Sri Lanka. Considering the success rate of mediated settlements to varying disputes through the use of mediation services in Sri Lanka over the last 3 decades, it is evident that mediation has become a largely popular method of conflict resolution widely available in the country.
The Mediation Boards Commission is appointed under the Section 2 of the Mediation Boards Act No. 72 of 1988 (as amended) by the President of Sri Lanka. The Commission comprises of 05 (five) members including the Chairperson. Three of them are statutorily required to be retired judges of the Superior Courts.
The powers, roles and responsibilities of the Mediation Boards Commission are set out in the Mediation Act No. 72 of 1988.
The Mediation Boards Commission sits at No. 80, Ministry of Justice and Prison Reforms New Building, Adikarana Mawatha, Colombo 12.