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

Chapter 4 : Children’s Courts

Part 3 : Pre-hearing conferences, family group conferences, other lay-forums and settling matters out of court

69. Prehearing conferences


(1) If a matter brought to or referred to a children's court is contested, the court may order that a pre-hearing conference be held with the parties involved in the matter in order to—
(a) mediate between the parties;
(b) settle disputes between the parties to the extent possible; and
(c) define the issues to be heard by the court.


(2) Pre-hearing conferences may not be held in the event of a matter involving the alleged abuse or sexual abuse of a child.


(3) The child involved in the matter may attend and may participate in the conference unless the children’s court decides otherwise.


(4) The court may
(a) prescribe how and by whom the conference should be set up, conducted and by whom it should be attended;
(b) prescribe the manner in which a record is kept of any agreement or settlement reached between the parties and any fact emerging from such conference which ought to be brought to the notice of the court; and
(c) consider the report on the conference when the matter is heard.