It’s been a tough week. In fact, it has been a tough month. And, on reading Geoff Sharp’s post from 30th November, I am amused and reassured to see that I am not alone in thinking this! Maybe it’s the time of year, maybe it’s the weather over here in the soggy Northwest of Ireland,…

How good are the decisions you make? Are they free from error? From unconscious bias? Are they consistently the product of careful reasoning? Before you answer yes, consider the following questions: 1. A bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1.00 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?…

The evolution of society, its population growth and the consequent increasing complexity as to relationships made it necessary that the natural right to justice become a right guaranteed by the State. That came about due to the fact man used to make justice himself using physical violence and imposing his own interests. Access to Justice…

One of the privileges and perils of working as a mediator in Scotland is that we get a close-up view of developments in England and Wales. In an ideal world this should allow us (pop. 5 million) to learn from them (pop. 55 million): to pick the best innovations and avoid the failures. As I…

As globalisation progresses and migration increases, the number of bi-national and bi-cultural relationships and marriages is increasing. This brings a new richness and diversity to our society, but can also bring new challenges and difficulties when those relationships break down. One of the difficulties that can arise is international parental child abduction, where one parent…

1. Failing to get the right people at the table. 2. Failing to explain the mediator’s role as agent of reality. 3. Permitting settlement negotiations to begin prematurely – prior to permitting the parties to vent or prior to risk analysis and reality testing. 4. Failing to orchestrate the negotiations by discouraging out of the…

Desire. I have some transcripts from real-life family mediations to analyse and reading the transcripts, it struck me that I was reading about desire. This sent me back to my 1985 language, literature and culture textbook, Modern Literary Theory, and to psychoanalytic and linguistic theories. Thinking also about Nadja Alexander’s post about the Carlo Scarpa…

This morning I was greeted with the news that Julian Barnes’ The Sense of An Ending had been named this year’s winner of the Man Booker Prize. A wonderful read, in part about how our memory deceives us, it struck me as an appropriate point of departure for this blog post. Like Barnses’ narrator, “I…

Last weekend I was entertained by the “progressive rock” group Caravan, a lesser known group of musicians, the peak of whose glory was 40 years ago, in 1971. These grey-haired men in their mid-60’s displayed enthusiasm, energy and engagement as they took us down memory lane, with deft playing and masterly reconstruction of some of…