(710 ILCS 20/1) (from Ch. 37, par. 851)
    Sec. 1. The General Assembly finds that the resolution of certain disputes can be costly and time-consuming in the context of a formal judicial proceeding; and that mediation of disputes has a great potential for efficiently reducing the volume of matters which burden the court system in this State; and that unresolved disputes which individually may be of small social or economic magnitude are collectively of enormous social and economic consequence; and that many seemingly minor conflicts between individuals may escalate into major social problems unless resolved early in an atmosphere in which the disputants can discuss their differences through an informal yet structured process; and that there is a compelling need in a complex society for dispute resolution centers in which people can participate in creating lasting resolutions to ongoing conflicts; and that not-for-profit dispute resolution centers can make a substantial contribution to the operation and maintenance of the courts of this State by keeping some matters from litigation and by providing a mechanism for resolving certain pending matters.
(Source: P.A. 85-756.)