“Stand by your devices”; or “Access through the [virtual] looking glass” I take the first phrase of this blog title from a throw-away line in one of the recent comments by a student in my current Negotiation and Mediation class. The context is this: my university has implemented an Emergency Preparedness Teaching and Learning [EPTL]…

To the extent that a mediator’s job involves listening to people complain and engage in negative behaviour, mediators face a serious mental health hazard. Research shows that listening to ongoing negativity impairs the brain function of the listener. Yes! Listening can be bad for you if you have a whinging party in the room, and…

I have to say a huge thank you to my colleague and fellow Mediators’ Institute of Ireland Council Member Margaret Considine who delivered the paper on which this post is based for me last week at the World Mediation Summit in Madrid which I was unable to attend. Despite unbearable heat, an airport fire and…

In his 1956 text, The Queen’s Courts, Sir Peter Archer suggested that the development of the Courts was more organic than by design, and – though he doesn’t say as much – more pragmatic than principled. He calls on Topsy’s response to Ophelia in Uncle Tom’s Cabin, to suggest that, like Topsy, they “just grow’d”….

If you were unaware that last week was Cyberweek 2014, you missed a chance to take part in the 17th annual online conference dedicated to innovations and development in Online Dispute Resolution (ODR). Its program included 17 live webinars, 8 discussion forums and a variety of other activities to discuss the integration of technology and…

The title of this blog is not as harsh and heartless as it might seem at first sight. True, mediation proceeds largely on assumptions of disputant autonomy and participation; and the expectation is that the outcomes will be those designed by, and with the commitment of, the participants. This comment, however, picks up on two…

Many of us have been hearing about Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) for years but haven’t quite got round to using it. It sounds like a nice idea when face-to-face mediation isn’t an option through distance and/or cost. And yet I suspect that for most mediators the ‘gold standard’ is being in the same room as…

The UK’s Civil Justice Council has recently reported (http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/law/civil-justice-council-explores-online-dispute-resolution/5040975.article) on an initiative to promote online dispute resolution, through setting up an Advisory Group. Heading that group is Dr Richard Susskind, one the strongest promoters of ODR and of the role information communication technology (ICT) in the practice of law. In line with the EU’s Directive…

In my previous entry, I wondered about high and low context communication, and what this might mean at the mediation table when we’re not always aware of what is NOT being said. Here, I continue the speculation, this time about and taking that communication and mediation online. The “here” of my title is the world…

One of the many challenging aspects of mediating cross border cases is the fact that by definition, the parties tend to be in separate countries (and often the mediators too). One way of getting over this hurdle is by using one of the many information and communication technologies there are available these days. This month,…