Recap Last time I wrote as a young mediator about my mediation path, I had just arrived in Tbilisi, Georgia. It was February 2014, when people began being killed at the Euromaidan on Independence Square in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. I was trying to ‘break into the peacebuilding field‘ but did not have much…

[A talk given at the recent “100 cases” event in Glasgow to celebrate two years of small claims mediation provided by Strathclyde Mediation Clinic. Judges in Scotland are known as “sheriffs”.] I’ve been rather enjoying my belated return to the small claims court. Like a kind of slow theatre, each Friday afternoon unfolds with impeccable…

I begin with two poetic images. One is from an 8th century Taoist poem – I asked the boy beneath the pines. He said, “The master’s gone alone Herb-picking somewhere on the mount, Cloud-hidden, whereabouts unknown.” [Chia Tao (777-841)] And the other, more recent, from W H Auden’s poem “Law Like Love”: And always the…

On 15 February 2016, the European platform for solving disputes arising out of online purchases (https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/odr)the ODR Platform, based on EU Regulation 524/2013 (the Regulation) was officially launched. The platform enables EU consumers and traders to settle their disputes by putting them in touch with the ADR providers selected by Member States. This platform is…

Cogniscenti (and readers of Ema Vidak-Gojkovic’s blog The UNCITRAL Convention on Enforcement of Conciliated Settlement Agreements – An Idea Whose Time Has Come?) will know that talks are ongoing in an attempt to see if it is possible to find a common system for the direct enforceability of agreements concluded in mediation. This is a…

One of the most interesting developments in business dispute resolution over the last decade is the way in which different methods of resolution are being harmonized. The EU Directive on Mediation is one example of this phenomenon, as well as several comprehensive early case assessment and conflict management programs rolled out by multinationals across their…

This week the South China Morning Post featured an article entitled “Why the theories of Einstein, climate change or evolution can never be proved right”. Referring to recent world headlines that Einstein’s theory on gravitational waves had finally been proven, the writer, Timothy Wotherspoon, argues that a scientific theory can never been proven right. He…

“You cannot direct a living system; you can only disturb it”1 When mediators join a conflict, they enter a living system. Realise it or not, that system is instantly changed by their arrival. Change may be for the better, and we hope our influence is benign, but nothing is the same again. It therefore makes…

In 1861, the then Secretary to the Education Department, Robert Lowe, addressed the UK House of Commons on the pressing matter of elementary education, in particular on the linked questions of access to education, funding, and quality. His proposal was to introduce a system of “payment for results”, designed both to limit the costs of…

Last week I spent some time with a European mediation organisation looking to review its mediator accreditation and practice standards. Somehow I expected a discussion about various accreditation initiatives around the world with perhaps some exploration of “mediation models” and how they fit into national regulatory frameworks. I was pleasantly surprised. What ensued was a…