“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…

This blog was written in response to several recent meetings with different audiences, which illustrated for me the diverse perceptions of and responses to the role of digital technologies across the practices of dispute resolution. On the one hand, I hear of a cautious judicial recognition that the courts need to develop (and develop soon)…

Readers might have seen media reports that New Zealand has a new government. In New Zealand this is a slightly delayed conclusion to the general election at the end of September, the delay being the result of our proportional representation system, which left neither of the two major parties, Labour and National, with a sufficient…

Previous blog entries on this theme of water have focussed primarily on the process and stalled progress of the Land and Water Forum [LWF] in New Zealand. This was a process intended to bring together most if not all of the stakeholders on questions of water allocation and quality. As we’ve seen earlier, what looked…