It was a comment made a few months ago and it has stayed with me: “But Anna, mediators are all tree-huggers.” There have been many variants of this type in response to my answer to the very English question: “So, what do you do?” These comments continue to irk me. Finally, as this year draws…

As the year comes to an end, I am expanding upon a story to which I referred in a previous blog, in the hope that it may provide a couple of useful reminders of what we do as mediators. I had eaten a chicken curry rather hastily at the hotel where I had been mediating…

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…