Like all businesses, mediation ultimately depends upon (and needs to reflect) what the users want from it. That doesn’t of course mean that theirs in the only relevant perspective – mediators also have views on what the process can and should offer. But at the very least it’s a vital part of the equation (I…

Forty-five years ago, Professor Christopher Stone published a paper entitled “Should Trees have Standing? Towards Legal Rights for Natural Objects”. [45 Southern California Law Review 450–501.] Two years later, that paper had morphed into a book of the same title, with the subtitle, “Law, morality and the Environment” (1974; 3rd ed, 2010; OUP). Stone’s objective…

How many of us share the experience I have had – sitting on the last train home, late at night, with a day’s mediating behind me and no settlement? Perhaps even no meaningful progress towards a settlement? Occasionally, no offers even made? And as you do so, perhaps you find that your thoughts veer from:…

I have just read Ian Macduff’s recent Kluwer blog (26 November: “Upheaval and resilience: a note from the Shaky Isles”). What a privilege it is, in this blog, to follow Ian’s erudite writing. He captures so well the spirit of the age, with all its uncertainty, tragedy, hope and opportunity. On that theme, my wife…

Rather than use Brexit and the US elections as introductory examples of dramatic change, I’m going to use yesterday’s seismic event in Chicago instead. Yesterday, the Irish rugby team beat New Zealand’s All Blacks for the first time ever (111 years). If that hasn’t changed the landscape of rugby, I don’t know what will. Anyway,…

It’s that time of year again! Mediation Awareness Week is about to kick off in Ireland, the UK and many other countries around the world. An enormous range of activities are being held to draw the attention of members of the public to mediation and its potential for resolving disputes. In Ireland alone these include…

This blog synthesises some remarks I have made recently to policy-makers in Scotland. As I reflect on things, there are a lot of issues in the civil justice system in my country which remain of interest and concern. Not least, the number of ordinary folk caught up in the court system, paying a lot of…

The Olympics have come and gone with all of the emotion and inspiration they bring. In our recent, fully-subscribed, residential Summer School on mediation skills for leaders, we reflected on the learning from Rio. We watched a video replay of the men’s taekwondo -80kg final in which Team GB’s Lutalo Muhammad lost to his Ivory…