Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC), a department of the UK Government responsible for the collection of taxes, published the results of its pilot ADR project evaluation. It has been testing a new way of resolving tax disputes, with the SMEs and individual taxpayers, since 2011. The way the scheme works is that an official…

Mackerel has recently been taken off the ‘Fish to Eat’ list of the Marine Conservation Society (MCS). Due to overfishing, MCS has downgraded its rating of this popular oily fish. The society believes that international arguments about mackerel quotas mean it is no longer a sustainable choice. MCS advises that mackerel should now only be…

Prior to Christmas I found myself in Jerusalem, Israel – the heart of the heart of the conflict of our time. Here, no one agrees on anything – even the monks from various Christian denominations (Greek Orthodox, Armenians, Catholics and others) responsible for The Church of the Holy Sepulchre where Christ was crucified, argue amongst…

A potpourri of mediation-related reflections as the holiday break fades from memory. Hockey Mediation – With last Saturday’s puck drops in 13 cities the National Hockey League has commenced its lockout-shortened season. Full arenas around the league confirm the strength of the game’s drawing power if not the forgive-and-forget sentiments of long-suffering fans. Readers of this…

Edinburgh is one of the world’s top tourist attractions. To quote its own website “Edinburgh is an multi-award-winning, world-class tourist destination. A must-see cultural capital. From stunning skylines to sandy beaches, festivals to fireworks – the city has something for everyone, day and night.” So, it can hardly have been good for business when, during…

In previous posts I had pointed out how difficult it is in my area to make mediation taking off and despite the fact that Switzerland has been known as a “neutral” country with a long standing practice of promoting peace in the settlement of dispute, at least viewed from an international perspective. A figurehead of…

Two stories currently making headlines in Canada provide the occasion to harken back to previous posts on this blog. Mediation Backlog – Ontario No-Fault Auto Insurance Disputes  In March of this year I blogged about the consequences of under-resourcing mandatory mediation programs. The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) had (and still has) a huge…

I’ve been working in this field for more than 20 years and one thing that I’ve observed with genuine curiosity over that time is the sniping from various quarters that what I (and others with practices similar to mine) do each day falls short of “The Promise of Mediation”. As readers of this Blog will…

This month I want to share with you a little gem of a mediation book, published late last year by the Irish state-funded Family Mediation Service (FMS). I wanted to review this book for two reasons – first of all, because it is an excellent publication which, though written in the context of the 25th…

As you would expect, judges are appointed for their ability to adjudicate, often untested at the time of elevation to the Bench. Once appointed, many jurisdictions around the world then ask their judges to suspend their adjudication skills in favour of mediating controversies coming before the court, often in an effort to reduce backlogs. And it seems…