A whole day of mediation without a “joint meeting”. The only time the lawyers met was to begin drafting the settlement agreement. The experts played no part. The day before, the principals had exchanged correspondence deprecating perceived personal insults directed at professional advisers which, it was felt, had damaged reputations. This was a long-running commercial…

Over recent years the number of (mainly law) student mediation moots around the world has increased at a remarkable rate. In addition to well-known venues in Paris, Vienna, and Goa, I have heard of events in Bangalore, Bhopal, Chicago, Hanover, São Paulo, Sydney … and Hamburg. There will be more. This is a bug that…

Like all businesses, mediation ultimately depends upon (and needs to reflect) what the users want from it. That doesn’t of course mean that theirs in the only relevant perspective – mediators also have views on what the process can and should offer. But at the very least it’s a vital part of the equation (I…

1. Introduction Although private commercial mediation has been offered in Vietnam for around ten years,1) Some arbitration centres in Vietnam introduced and offered private commercial mediation since 2007 the Vietnamese Government’s enactment of Decree 22/2017/NĐ-CP on 24 February 2017 on Commercial Mediation (hereinafter Decree 22) has been significantly meaningful. Firstly, the Decree 22 has steadily…

The story of the blindfolded men who each approach an elephant from different angles (at the tusk it’s described as a spear, at the tail a rope, at the leg a tree etc.) is a good example of how multiple truths can exist depending on the perspective you take. Different views can often be the…

Every year hundreds, if not thousands, of seats are sold on mediation training courses in Ireland and the UK alone. Most of these courses end with motivated, excited and passionate new mediators going out into the world looking to do their bit to change how conflict is dealt with. What they have usually not been…

One of the principles of mediation as it is trained and practised around the world is that participation is voluntary. The parties decide for themselves if they wish to mediate their dispute. The mediator is only needed if that is what they decide. Of course, this is not quite that clear cut, and there are…

I am travelling back from a couple of days in and around Dublin, discussing an initiative on respectful political dialogue with politicians, academics and conflict resolution professionals. It was a privilege to spend time at Glencree, the centre for peace and reconciliation which was one of those places where so much was done in recent…

The German Mediation Act was passed five years ago on 21 July 2012, after nearly all EU member states were required by a 2008 EU Directive to implement mediation legislation. I took the opportunity to talk about the Act and its effects with two experienced mediator-judges working in German courts. Anne-Ruth Moltmann-Willisch has been a…

This post riffs on Elvis Costello’s “What’s So Funny Bout Peace, Love and Understanding?” to probe the usefulness of the words “trust” and “respect” in mediation. Invitation Mediators the world over are taught to invite their clients to speak. We’re not there to tell people what to do; rather to ask them what they want…