Last month, Al Jazeera carried a piece called “‘Mama Boko Haram’ grasps for peace in Nigeria”. It detailed the activities of Aisha Wakil (pictured above), a Nigerian lawyer who has become a de facto mediator between Boco Haram and the Nigerian government – often at considerable risk to herself. “Mama Boko Haram”, as she has…

Many mediations are 80/20 – that is, 80% of the day spent in dialogue and debate with not much sign of movement and, as evening gathers, 20% frenetic activity. So it is not unusual for the parties to sit together for many hours and ask towards the end of the day “are we any nearer each other?”…

Recently my good friend Canon Andrew White (aka “the Vicar of Baghdad”, as he is the Anglican priest at St George’s Church, Baghdad) convened a meeting of religious certain leaders from Iraq and Israel, bringing together senior Iraqi Muslim and Israeli Jewish figures in Cyprus for several days of talks about peace. It was by…

I am indebted to my friend and fellow mediator Mark Lomas QC for sending me the following email recently: ‘I have come across what I think may be one of the earliest recorded mediations in England, and conducted at the highest level. An Italian called Tito Livio dei Frulovisi wrote an account of the life…

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…

Not so long ago I was a claiming party as part of a group of plaintiffs in the stead of my elderly parents in a multiparty, multimillion dollar mediation. Now, I mediate around 120 mediations every year as a commercial mediator here in New Zealand so it was with a mix of personal apprehension and professional curiosity…

Part 1 of this post touched on rumblings for more transparency in arbitration. But there is more than the distant sound of thunder, and it’s coming closer. As arbitration and mediation are both highly competitive and fragmented fields, it is hard for providers to act collectively. Yet they must. The only forums where arbitration organizations…

Most mediators I know graduated from the Facilitative School of Mediation – and we could spend much ink here debating exactly what that means but to my mind we were essentially taught to own the process and butt out of the outcome. Recently there have been a number of calls for mediators to do more – more what is…

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…