Every now and again something happens to cause me to pause and think – or re-think. Recently, I had that experience at a small ruined castle in the heart of Scotland, near a lovely country town called Edzell. Edzell Castle, visited by, among others, Mary Queen of Scots and her son, King James VI of…

Shows forms of dispute resolution and the thick line between mediation and arbitration

Law students are probably familiar with a diagram like the one above. It arranges different ways of resolving disputes according to how much say parties have in the outcome. Much as Felstiner and colleagues (1) famously described disputes being transformed into court cases through ‘naming, blaming and claiming,’ this graphic illustrates a parallel transformation in…

Less than you might think, according to Sir Geoffrey Vos, the newly-appointed Master of the Rolls. The Master of the Rolls is responsible for the administration of civil justice in England & Wales. Sir Geoffrey was sworn in to this post in January 2021. He has spoken several times since then about his vision for…

I was puzzled to get an email from a mediator thanking me for my recent post, which advocated using a unified conceptual framework of unbundled mediation interventions. The puzzling part was that she wrote that it helped to “validate my theory that ‘bundling’ of mediation models can be appropriate and effective in the right case…

It is common to hear people observe, reflecting on the pandemic, that things will never go back to the way they were. There is certainly good reason to believe that virtual meetings are now a fact of life. If you “zoom” you are either moving fast or teleconferencing on Zoom, capitalization optional, according to the…

A quarter century ago, Professor Leonard Riskin published an article describing a grid of mediator orientiations including a facilitative-evaluative dimension.  Despite critiques of this framework, including by Riskin himself, many mediators, trainers, and teachers still use these concepts as mediation models, expressing strong feelings that one model is good and the other is bad. These…

“It’s hard to beat Dark Side of the Moon” he said. “What a piece of music.” I agreed: “Did you ever see Pink Floyd play Dark Side live? I recall being at Earls Court in 1994.” “I was there too!” he exclaimed. For a moment or two, we reflected on the album’s seemingly relevant song…

  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…

ICC’s biggest educational event of the year, its International Mediation Competition, took place from 5 to 11 February 2021 and, for the first time of its history, it was conducted online. It was its 16th edition and 48 universities from 39 countries competed online, via a dedicated platform. It has been an opportunity for us,…

In a few weeks’ time I will come to the end of a two-year mediation engagement in South Eastern Europe. The conflict in question relates to environmental pollution. The issues are complex and heavily contested, and there are many stakeholders – government, city authorities, environmental groups, investors and business, to name a few. It has…