A regulatory body for Irish mediators could be established in the future, Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald has said.
Ms Fitzgerald introduced the second stage debate on the Mediation Bill 2017 on Thursday.
Section 12 of the bill, which did not form part of its General Scheme, makes provision for a Mediation Council of Ireland.
Ms Fitzgerald said it stems from submissions received and observations made by the justice committee regarding regulation of mediation.
She said: “The mediation sector is made up of a diverse range of bodies; for example, seven such bodies attended the public hearings which were held by the Joint Committee, while submissions were received from a number of other interested parties.
“For this reason, the Bill does not set out to impose a rigid regulatory structure on the sector. It does, however, provide for the possible future establishment of a body to be known as the Mediation Council of Ireland under certain conditions.”
Section 12 allows the Justice Minister, if satisfied that a body “complies with the minimum standards set out in the Schedule and is, at the same time, sufficiently representative of the various mediation interests involved in the mediation sector”, to, following a consultation process, make an order declaring that that body will be recognised for the purposes of the legislation as the Mediation Council of Ireland.