“I think the EU will need to move significantly on both those key points because they’re points of principle.” (Dominic Raab, UK Foreign Secretary, speaking on the BBC this morning) The Brexit negotiation, despite its dizzying stakes, has triggered a fair amount of wry humour. I’ve poked gentle fun at the protagonists myself: Brexit Irritators:…

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions” was a saying I heard quite a few times while growing up, as another childhood wheeze bit the dust. I returned to it while reading Michal Sandel’s recent book ‘The Tyranny of Merit’, in which he takes a very critical look at the notion of meritocracy….

Dear Young Mediation Enthusiast, Thank you for writing to me and expressing your great interest in mediation after going through the 40-hour training and passing the accreditation assessments with flying colours. I am grateful to you for raising several important issues relating to the practice of mediation and how a mediator should charter the way…

I write this in the aftermath of yet another mediation in which the protagonists exhibited symptoms of having been seriously traumatised by the litigation process to which they had been exposed. Depression, suicidal thoughts, anger, loathing, destroyed relationships, large amounts of money spent with no discernible value. And this was a commercial situation, not a…

“Half moons ago people were hollowed-out tablets of stone spaces were given them according to spaces they left . . . some spaces were filled with darkness no light would shine there . . .” – From “Afkasi” by Dr Selina Tusitala Marsh, former poet laureate of New Zealand Many of you will be familiar…

The question recently occurred to me whether we would have reached the kinds of online worlds of work we now have in many fields without the need to do so due to Covid-19. Would it have happened anyway, just more slowly and perhaps with different nuances? Would we be spending so much time in home…

Covid is the gift that keeps on giving. It has provided a wonderful focus for blame that has let us off the hook for a lot of things. It has coincided with significant changes in our mediation experiences and again has been seized on as the culprit when mediation sessions go ‘off piste’. The new…

In theory, we expect the parties’ opening statements to be swift, persuasive and forceful. At least, this is what I teach my students in ADR classes. In my mediation room, sadly, this occurs rather sporadically. The communication at the table is, unfortunately, not faultless. I guess every mediator has witnessed long, ambiguous monologue instead of…

What mediators do with words

‘The world is made, not found’ (W. Barnett Pearce) (1) I just spent an intensive weekend on Zoom with my students, helping them navigate their early steps into mediation practice. So much has changed. I have never met most of them face to face; we sit at home on our screens; there are no coffee…

Just recently (November 4th), hackers attacked Brazil’s Superior Court of Justice (Superior Tribunal de Justiça – STJ). Not only they had access to the Court’s system and encrypted its entire database but also demanded ransom money to restore it. In other words, they succeeded in hacking one of the most centralized courts in the Brazilian…