Often when I’m mediating a difficult case; the parties, running hot, miles apart and showing no sign of movement, an inner voice whispers softly to me, “it’s just not ripe for settlement.” It’s an attractive concept because it lets me off the hook. Nothing to be done here until the case ripens. I might as…

For students of South-East Asian political struggles (come on, you know you are out there!) last month marked an important landmark. The Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Moro National Liberation Front signed an historic peace agreement intended to bring an end to 25 years of violent conflict. Of course, this is…

Since April 2005 there have been two structural provisions for referral to mediation: via the Legal Desk and via the Judiciary. Besides, conflicting parties can start mediation on their own initiative or after referral by other bodies. Other referring bodies comprise, for instance, occupational health and safety services, social services, youth services, the police, social…

I recall in the early days of mediation practice it seemed like one of the hardest interventions to make – to be standing in front of a room full of people and have to create a coherent whiteboard out of their discussion. The humble whiteboard has been used for every conceivable task in the mediation room –…

ADR in Brazil is a hot issue. The number of courses, events, discussions and debates over the present and future status of mediation is already significant and growing at high rates. For the people who are involved in the field, it looks like mediation booming.

There are reasons for this enthusiasm. The Brazilian Court System may have become an economic bottleneck. Given the slowness of the Brazilian Court System, in theory, there is a demand for quicker, more agile and informal ways of resolving disputes.

The adversarial process built into the Brazilian court system can no longer be the sole or even the preferred way to address disputes. It is expensive, slow and unpredictable. This situation calls (or screams) for the application of ADR. Mediation would seem to be the natural solution to be adopted in most cases.

Additionally, Brazil has already produced a significant number of well-trained mediators, a Code of Ethics following international standards and judges and court staff adequately trained and prepared to identify cases which could be referred to mediation. Despite the theoretically favorable environment, in practice, mediation is still not the preferred way to resolve disputes in Brazil. In fact, mediation in Brazil is adopted in a very small number of cases. Brazil has the need and the means to adopt mediation as a main stream form of dispute resolution, but somehow it has not happened so far.

I was recently given an extraordinary birthday present: a day at the Nick Nairn Cook School (www.nicknairncookschool.com). Nick Nairn is one of Scotland’s most famous celebrity chefs, known for his respect for traditional Scottish fare, and as something of a foody I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday. I wasn’t disappointed….

Yes I do –  and as I stood 4th in line outside Dick Smith’s (read  PC World or Radio Shack) at 5am Friday week ago waiting to get my hands on my first iPad I resolved to make the iPad 3 central to my practice. The guy next to me had been on the TV…

In my capacity as a trainer and educator of mediators, I am frequently asked about entry into the mediation profession: “Once I pass my accreditation assessment, I want to become a full-time mediator…” The mediation training market continues to boom, confirming a continuing strong interest in mediation as a career path. However the supply of…

The mediators are complex personalities. The mediators are part of the world-wide intellectual elite by promoting the purpose, the importance and the usefulness of the collaborative thinking in the pursuit of a vision founded on the quality of life. The mediators are helping people with cleaning the “dust of ignorance” off the human diamante, rediscovering…

Quality standards for the mediator? What conditions are needed for the successful outcome of a mediation? Without parties’ commitment to really resolve the conflict and settle the case, no success is possible. So commitment of the parties is a sine qua non. Still, we must also look at the mediator, who may be essential for…