Quite often, we hear mediators and mediation trainers using the fable of “Blind Men and an Elephant”, which is a story about several blind persons describing an elephant differently out of their own experience by way of their respective touches of the different parts of the same elephant, to illustrate that a party’s own interpretation…

Culture Includes Corporate Culture in Business Mediations Many articles have been written about cross-cultural negotiation and the role of culture of participants in international mediations. However, relatively little has been said about the role of corporate culture. Those of us who have worked in small and large enterprises know first-hand what this means. Practically every…

Artificial Intelligence (AI), the notion that computerised systems can replace human thought processes and interactions, continues to gain traction in all areas of life including the legal profession and in particular in the field of dispute resolution. Lex Machina, a Data-mining computer programme created at Stanford University in 2006, has been used to look for…

On 25 July 2018, I was privileged to be part of a conference panel moderated by the inimitable Professor Nadja Alexander, CEO of the Singapore International Dispute Resolution Academy and my colleague at the Singapore Management University School of Law. The panel’s inspired title was “Feel the Earth Move – Shifts in the International Dispute…

In the first few months of this year I found myself returning to Vietnam a number of times thanks to Vietnamese initiatives in commercial mediation. Most recently I was involved in workshops hosted by the Vietnam Business Lawyer’s Club, the Judicial Academy and the International Finance Corporation (IFC). Given the mediation activity in Vietnam and…

Bloomberg (not my usual reading fodder, I confess) carried an interesting piece a couple of months ago, entitled “Meet the Real Force Behind the Brexit Talks”. Yes, it was about Brexit (yawn) but it was about an unseen side of the negotiations. Opening with the line “In every negotiation the most important work is done…

(This post is being republished because of technical problems when it was first published). Studying and teaching with Professor Frank E.A. Sander at Harvard in the late 80’s was life changing. The energy and vision he showed – going right back to his presentation at the 1976 Pound Conference – persuaded me that fundamental changes…

The Kashmir valley in India is a stressed region and though older generations have ‘lived’ through some tense winters, this generation is not ready to ‘survive’ through the silence and indifference. Deaths are on the rise and if this constantly raging battle between the militants and the Indian administration is not addressed appropriately and immediately,…

The forthcoming Singapore Convention on Mediation will be the first UN Treaty named after Singapore. At the 51st Session of the United Nations (UN) Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) on 26 June 2018, the final drafts of the Convention on the Enforcement of International Settlement Agreements and corresponding Model Law were approved. A resolution…

James Bond enters a casino where a beautiful girl is sitting at the bar. He approaches her, buys her a drink and makes his obligatory introduction: “Bond, James Bond…” After brief chatting, she asks him about his profession. Then, the usually reckless hero comes up with a cover story: “I am a mediator… Traveling to…