Mediators deal in words – not exclusively, but a great deal (and perhaps sometimes too much, but that’s another blog). So it pays for us to think carefully about what words really mean. A couple of years ago, I came across an article entitled “US facilitation yes, mediation no: Omar”. It detailed how Pakistan, through…

Here is a confession. I have a theory (in the best traditions of Monty Python). It is totally untested. I am pretty certain that it would not survive rigorous, double-blind trials. It may, however, contain some seeds of insight. My theory – wait for it – is that mediations where one or more of the…

A few years ago, the mediation world was alight with gossip about the proposed launch of IMI, the International Mediation Institute (see www.IMImediation.org if you have never heard of it). Proponents and opponents in equal measure gathered either to welcome a fresh initiative, or to man the barricades against an attack on cherished turf. The…

Sometimes, I look around at mediation events at a sea of grey hair (mine included!). Where, I wonder, are those to whom we are handing this torch? And more importantly, what do they think? So as the dust settled on last month’s ICC mediation competition in Paris, I took the chance to capture some of…

Many of you will have read of the tragedy this week in Arizona, where a mediation ended in the death of one party, and the serious wounding of their lawyer. Details are still sketchy, but it seems that a mediation of a commercial dispute was taking place in an office in downtown Phoenix, between a…

It’s never easy to get a grasp on national statistics for mediation. The closest we come in the UK is a biennial (that’s once every two years, not twice a year!) survey carried out by CEDR, for which I for one am very grateful. The latest survey results have recently been released and these are…

For students of South-East Asian political struggles (come on, you know you are out there!) last month marked an important landmark. The Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Moro National Liberation Front signed an historic peace agreement intended to bring an end to 25 years of violent conflict. Of course, this is…

I recently came across a new word – new to me, at least, which was irritating because I pride myself on having a pretty good vocabulary. The word is “Chaordic”. To quote Wikipedia, “The portmanteau chaordic refers to a system of governance that blends characteristics of chaos and order”. The term was apparently coined in…

These days, I don’t go to that many mediation conferences. I haven’t lost my interest or passion for mediation, I just find that the conferences are all full of mediators talking to mediators. And while some of my best friends are mediators, I don’t need a conference to talk to them. The harsh truth is…