“Within a multicultural democracy, debate within our own groups and communities must always be balanced by constructive engagement with members of other groups and communities. Citizens of a multicultural democracy must learn how to speak and be heard across difference . . . “ Alison Jaggar, “Multicultural Democracy,” Jnl of Political Philosophy, 7, No. 3,…

(This post is being republished due to technical issues when it was first published.) “I see contemporary patterns of disputing as an adaptive (but not necessarily optimal) response to a set of changing conditions. There have been great changes in the social production of injuries as a result of, among other things, the increased power…

This blog entry has its origins in two threads of conversation. First, as I write, we are just three weeks out from the 2018 Forum on Online Dispute Resolution, to be hosted by the NZ Centre for ICT Law and Auckland Law School. What has been an annual – even flagship – Forum is now…

“I hold to the idea that civility, understood as the willingness to engage in public discourse, is the first virtue of citizens.” Mark Kingwell, The World We Want: Restoring Citizenship in a Fractured Age, [Rowman & Littlefield, 2000] A recent email from a US-based group that specialises in facilitating public dialogues in difficult cases noted…

“Odd as it may seem, I am my remembering self, and the experiencing self, who does my living, is like a stranger to me.” (Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow, (2011: 390) This blog arises from my recent reading of Dr Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal: Illness, Medicine, and What Matters in the End (2014). This might…

(This post is being republished because of technical problems when it was first published). I want to use this month’s blog to riff off Greg Bond’s recent insightful blog, because he’s touched on core issues of language, making sense and personal reflection. That post arrived almost in the wake of an email quoting jazz pianist…

It may seem odd to suggest that a funeral and a book festival could, in the space of a few days, provide sources for a lot of reflection and – just possibly – mediation-related insight. Recently I flew from Auckland to Wellington to attend, and speak at, the funeral for a friend I’d known for…

My guess is that most of my fellow authors on this blog, and probably a high proportion of readers, work in a mediation environment is which clients are represented by counsel. Indeed, if you track back over a number of entries in which matters of process are discussed, it seems typically assumed that counsel are…

Many of my fellow bloggers on these pages, and perhaps many of the readers, will have found themselves in the position in which friends, colleagues, workmates or others call on your/our mediation experience at short notice, and in circumstances that are perhaps not ideal in terms of planning and preparation. One of the strategies I…

“It was impossible to get a good conversation going; everybody was talking too much. ” Yogi Berra I use the word “odd” here in two of its meanings in English: odd as in occasional or sporadic; and odd as in strange, worthy of comment. This blog is a reflection on recent conversations observed or engaged…