A couple of weeks ago I came across a poem by the Native American writer Joy Harjo, entitled “Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings.” The title made me curious, as might be expected for a mediator. You can find the whole poem online on the Poetry Foundation website, or you can buy the book of poems…

Two weeks before the Singapore signing ceremony of the UN Convention on International Mediated Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation, the Romanian Parliament adopted modifications to the Romanian Mediation Law according to which, among many other new provisions, the mediation agreement will be enforceable title in Romania if signed by parties’ lawyers. With this modification, it…

Being a mediator brings surprises along the way. For me, I was presented with what turned out to be the biggest challenge of my professional career last November when the Cabinet Secretary for Health in Scotland appointed me to conduct a review of allegations made by staff (through whistle-blowers) of bullying and harassment in Scotland’s…

The Japan International Mediation Center in Kyoto (JIMC-Kyoto), which is the first Japanese international mediation centre, was officially launched on 20 November 2018. The centre has a panel of non-resident international mediators. Kyoto, the former Imperial capital of Japan, is a city rich in culture. As one of the non-resident mediators, I am interested to…

In the words of the late Sir Laurence Street, former Chief Justice of New South Wales (1974-1988) and subsequently Australia’s leading mediator: “A court that makes available a judge or a registrar to conduct a true mediation is forsaking a fundamental precept upon which public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the court system…

“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill Improving Habit of Thinking The popular quote attributed to the former British prime minister is easily adaptable to mediation. The optimistic mediator considers the mediated settlement probable and helps the parties by spreading the friendly and promising…

My February 4, 2019 post What if Mediation Science Originated in the Real World? sparked much useful comment. Many people said they regretted the deficiency of negotiation and mediation field research, but were dismayed that I offered no proposals for fixing it. How, they asked, do you generate large-scale, real-life negotiation data? So, may I…

“Courts should be the alternative!” – is the slogan coined by the Minister of Justice of Georgia voicing the Government of Georgia’s will to promote the use of out-of-court mechanisms of dispute resolution. And this is not only for domestic disputes. The Government has declared its will to promote Georgia as a regional center for…

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…