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Children's Act, 2005 (Act No. 38 of 2005)

Chapter 4 : Children’s Courts

Part 1 : Establishment, status and jurisdiction

49. Lay-forum hearings


(1) A children's court may, before it decides a matter or an issue in a matter, order a lay forum hearing in an attempt to settle the matter or issue out of court, which may include—
(a) mediation by a family advocate, social worker, social service professional or other suitably qualified person;
(b) a family group conference contemplated in section 70; or
(c) mediation contemplated in section 71.


(2) Before ordering a lay forum hearing, the court must take into account all relevant factors, including—
(a) the vulnerability of the child;
(b) the ability of the child to participate in the proceedings;
(c) the power relationships within the family; and
(d) the nature of any allegations made by parties in the matter.