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…

Photo credit: Creative Commons Jean M.Mas 2/2007 Although my mediation training made no mention of it, 32 years of mediating have taught me that mediations generally unfold over two stages: Stage 1: “Who Did What to Whom”? Here parties (or their lawyers) follow the ritual of naming, blaming and claiming – recounting facts, providing evidence…

I have recently been approached to enrol myself in an investor-state mediation training programme and also to speak at one of the sessions. That triggers off my deeper thoughts on the topic of investor-state mediation and related issues. This blog is an attempt to share my thoughts so that fellow mediation practitioners may consider whether…

Charlie Irvine in his recent Kluwer blog (Mediation Values: Still Searching) suggested it is our values that determine what we do or say in a mediation rather than any techniques we learn as mediators. Charlie gives a mediation example where the husband wanted to claim his full pension as part of the division of assets….

“What’s the point?” asked the preacher, rhetorically. “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity” was his text, taken from Ecclesiastes, an Old Testament book apparently attributed to Solomon, whose wisdom we have all heard about over the years. The child and two women each laying claim to being the mother – and all that. What profit…

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…