Many years ago, a group of friends were driving in the south of England in a rental car and, in need of directions (pre-Google maps and GPS), we pulled over to the side of the road to ask a gentleman the way. I leapt out, approached him and asked for the directions, to which he…

Values drive practice

(I first wrote about mediation’s values 12 years ago at the tail end of a Masters in Conflict Resolution and Mediation Studies.(1) Two years of study had convinced me that it is our values, rather than the techniques we learn, that tell us what to do and say when when mediating. The intervening years haven’t…

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…

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…

The good news is that the Romanian Government has taken a step towards availability for dialogue, communication and negotiation by regulating a mediation procedure between tax authorities and taxpayers. The not so good news is that there is no role provided for a mediator in this procedure called mediation, that in fact is negotiation. Once…

Time Limited Mediation

“It is pointless to do with more what can be done with fewer.” William of Ockham A colleague recently asked me to present a workshop to employment mediators on ‘Time Limited Mediation.’ Until that moment, like Molière’s bourgeois gentleman realising he’s been speaking prose all his life, it hadn’t occurred to me that this was…

Brexit negotiated!

In this blog I discuss the rise of ODR (online dispute resolution). I review recent developments including a live, online Brexit negotiation, which point to a mainstream future. I conclude that ODR will become an integral part of the justice system. When Frank Sander coined the term ‘Alternative Dispute Resolution’ his relatively modest proposal placed…

At a recent excellent conference hosted by Professor Ulla Glaesser at Viadrina University in Frankfurt (Oder), one of the workshop sessions focussed on the extent to which mediators can or should disclose or express their views when engaged in politically-related mediation work – or more generally. What a fascinating conversation we had. It was no…

This blog entry has its origins in two threads of conversation. First, as I write, we are just three weeks out from the 2018 Forum on Online Dispute Resolution, to be hosted by the NZ Centre for ICT Law and Auckland Law School. What has been an annual – even flagship – Forum is now…

On Thursday, August 30, 2018 the Canadian Federal Court of Appeal did the unthinkable. Its Judgement in Tsleil-Waututh Nation v. Canada (Attorney General), 2018 FCA 153 (CanLII) quashed approval of the $9.3-billion (CAN) Trans Mountain oil pipeline. The Canadian government announced last spring that it would purchase the Trans Mountain pipeline from Kinder Morgan Ltd….