For me, one of the benefits of our new online world has been an increase in opportunities to get to work with people over distance, without having to travel that distance. While I have not physically left an area within a radius of some 60 kilometres since early 2020, I feel connected around the world,…

Graffiti commenting on truth and its usefulness today

I started mediating in my early 30s, surely old enough to know the difference between truth and fiction. Yet after a couple of years I began to say, first to myself then to my friends, that the concept of truth was ‘no longer useful’ in my work. What did I mean and how did I…

  The International Commercial Mediation Competition made a brave online appearance this year – the 16th year in which the ICC has delivered the most important competition of its kind in the world. For 15 of these 16 years it has been my privilege to be part of this experience as the coach for my…

University of Strathclyde, host to Learning by Doing, mediation clinic conference

By the everyday miracle of Zoom, Carrie Menkel-Meadow spoke from her LA office to a Glasgow conference with a worldwide audience. Wrapping up ‘Learning by Doing,’ the UK’s first conference devoted to mediation clinics, her keynote described the inspiration for a whole career: a colleague in her legal aid office in the 1970s. While Carrie…

Given the confidential nature of mediation, it is a rare set of circumstances that allow us to catch a glimpse into the mediator’s craft. The current review of the professional standards governing Australia’s accredited mediators provides one such opportunity, The review seeks, to the extent permissible, to uncover what practitioners are actually doing, including the…

Anna Howard’s first book, ‘EU Cross-Border Commercial Mediation: Listening to Disputants – Changing the Frame; Framing the Changes’ (published by Kluwer), is an important contribution to the literature about the practice and promotion of mediation. It deserves a wide readership among academics and practitioners alike and I hope that potential readers will not be deflected…

The Street of a Thousand Blossoms by Gail Tsukiyama tells the story of a family living in Tokyo over 30 years. Two brothers, one a sumo wrestler and the other a maker of Noh theater masks, are forced to adapt their lives to changes in society in order to succeed in their traditional professions. In an…

Note: This was co-authored with Samuel Teo and I would like to acknowledge his significant contributions to the preparation of this entry. In past entries, I have highlighted a peer mediation initiative called the Peacemakers Conference which seeks to teach 13-16 year olds how to resolve conflicts amicably in a workshop cum competition format. As…

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…

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…