It’s been a long time since I wrote a blog just about mediation practice. Other things always seem more important! However, as I was mediating this week, a thought occurred to me about a rather imperceptible but very real change in my practice as a mediator, which I develop here, albeit in a simplified way….

Lawyer making opening statement in mediation

“The world is made, not found.” (W Barnet Pearce) I had been a mediator for about 10 years before I heard parties’ initial words described as their “opening statement.” This may surprise some readers, though probably not if they began, like me, in family mediation, nor community or workplace. Other descriptions are available, as our…

Effective inter-governmental relations among the constituent parts of the United Kingdom are essential in an era of increased devolution of powers, post-Brexit allocation of responsibility and contested narratives about the future of the (uncodified) UK constitution. Background One of the rather depressing aspects of the constitutional impasse in the UK is that inter-governmental relations (IGR)…

Reading Alan Limbury’s post last week on the value of the partisan challenged my thinking. Like all good challenges it provoked scrutiny of what I do as a mediator and where I consider I add value. As Alan’s partner in life and work it was particularly valuable to debrief his experience with him in greater…

As mentioned in my last blog , the UK Civil Justice Council, in its June 2021 Report on  Compulsory ADR , endorsed the idea, contrary to the ruling in the notorious Halsey case, that unwilling parties in dispute may lawfully and appropriately be compelled to participate in a DR process such as mediation. (As an…

After completing the mediation process, it is always helpful to receive feedback from participants. The quality of the mediation services we provide is directly related to our ability to draw lessons from feedback from participants and incorporate them into our practice. In this way, the chances of having good results, satisfied participants and future recommendations…

Shows forms of dispute resolution and the thick line between mediation and arbitration

Law students are probably familiar with a diagram like the one above. It arranges different ways of resolving disputes according to how much say parties have in the outcome. Much as Felstiner and colleagues (1) famously described disputes being transformed into court cases through ‘naming, blaming and claiming,’ this graphic illustrates a parallel transformation in…

I have in previous entries (July 2012 and July 2013) written about a peer mediation initiative called the Peacemakers Conference. The purpose of the Peacemakers Conference is to teach 13-16 year olds how to resolve conflicts amicably in a workshop cum competition format. This year’s Peacemakers Conference was held from 22 to 24 June 2021….

I wonder how many countries have public institutions that usually use mediation services to resolve disputes in which they are parties. I am not referring primarily to disputes between investors and states, but to any dispute where a public institution is a party that eventually reaches litigation with high financial costs, even and in situations…

For me, one of the benefits of our new online world has been an increase in opportunities to get to work with people over distance, without having to travel that distance. While I have not physically left an area within a radius of some 60 kilometres since early 2020, I feel connected around the world,…