Events last Friday have resulted in a harrowing few days for we mediators forced to move our practice online as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve all been using Zoom. Zoom immediately emerged as the “go-to” platform for video mediation for the simple reason it offered “break-out rooms”, a function inexplicably absent in FaceTime,…

Mediation: “The insertion of a human buffer between people who need assistance to interact with each other.” This definition speaks to the three core issues facing the mediator every time they enter a session. Human: to what degree does the mediator insert their own humanity into the process of mediation. Interact: to what degree does…

“The ground is so wet; it wasn’t like this in the past. We can’t get started on this year’s soil preparation.” In a recent mediation involving farmers, this was the response to my early inquiry about how things were going, generally. These days, I find that the topic of climate change and its effects arises,…

Update: As this post was published, the Singapore Convention Bill was passed into law. In previous blog entries, we have outlined the provisions of the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation (also known as the Singapore Convention on Mediation), reported on its signing ceremony and observed that more than 50 States…

I was first introduced to Kluwer Mediation Blog by Professor Joel Lee of the National University of Singapore when he shared “A Mediator’s Prayer” in his July 2014 blog entry. Joel is no stranger here. He is not only a prominent mediator but also a Chinese martial arts master. Joel practises and teaches Wing Chun –…

One of the most enjoyable aspects of the festive season is receiving and reading books that one might not have come across otherwise. This year, I have been enjoying two quite contrasting works of literature. The first is a Manual for Spectrum Agents (Haynes Publishing) providing “detailed information about the Spectrum organisation”, based on the…

money

Twice today I’ve found myself responding to mediator reflections in these terms: the money’s not about the money. Both cases involved financial negotiation, even haggling, but that’s deceptive. The key to settlement lay not in the realm of calculation and rationality but in the more opaque social world of face, punishment, justice and emotion. In…

“You’ve done what?” It took just a moment. The red mist descended. The words were out before I could haul them back in. “You’ve just gone behind my back and undermined what I set out, and we had agreed, we would do….you might at least have had the courtesy…..” The lawyer had just told me…