To paraphrase a worldwide cliché, you wait decades for a Mediation Act and two come along at once. On this typically dreich Scottish summer afternoon I find myself in the surprising position of examining two distinct proposals for mediation legislation. Why surprising? This blog has carried news of a succession of mediation acts in countries…

Being a mediator brings surprises along the way. For me, I was presented with what turned out to be the biggest challenge of my professional career last November when the Cabinet Secretary for Health in Scotland appointed me to conduct a review of allegations made by staff (through whistle-blowers) of bullying and harassment in Scotland’s…

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language; And next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.” T S Eliot, The Four Quartets, “Little Gidding” “Perhaps the most terrible (or wonderful) thing that can happen to an imaginative youth, aside from the curse (or blessing) of…

The success of international arbitration, among others, is owed to the New York Convention, which provided tools for global enforcement of arbitral awards. To that end, international mediation has been underused often because of the lack of necessary international enforcement mechanisms of mediated settlement agreements. The Singapore Convention on Enforcement of Mediated Settlement Agreements (Singapore…

“In negotiations of all kinds, the greater your capacity for empathy – the more carefully you try to understand all of the other side’s motivations, interests and constraints – the more options you tend to have for potentially resolving the dispute or deadlock.” These are wise words from negotiation guru, Deepak Malhotra of Harvard Business…

National Mediation Conferences are important events. Apart from the great opportunities to network with fellow professionals there is the really important opportunity to see the intersection of research and practice at work. Last month’s Australia’s National Mediation Conference did not disappoint. For me the highlight was becoming acquainted with a bold Australian initiative sponsored by…

My February 4, 2019 post What if Mediation Science Originated in the Real World? sparked much useful comment. Many people said they regretted the deficiency of negotiation and mediation field research, but were dismayed that I offered no proposals for fixing it. How, they asked, do you generate large-scale, real-life negotiation data? So, may I…

“Courts should be the alternative!” – is the slogan coined by the Minister of Justice of Georgia voicing the Government of Georgia’s will to promote the use of out-of-court mechanisms of dispute resolution. And this is not only for domestic disputes. The Government has declared its will to promote Georgia as a regional center for…

Formality and informality

Place matters It’s good to see authors on this blog referencing academic research – see Rick Weiler’s recent post on decision-making. Similarly, a new chapter by Singapore judicial mediator Dorcas Quek Anderson (1) has got me thinking about the old chestnut of formality and informality. Anderson considers the impact on people and processes of the…

Azerbaijan adopted the Law on Mediation on March 29, 2019. The Law is based on the principles of UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Mediation and International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation and different CEPEJ guidelines on mediation. In addition, the Law follows the so-called opt-out mediation model (hereinafter “Opt-Out Mediation Model”), by requiring attendance…