I was delighted to be approached to collaborate on this post by Dima Alexandrova, mediator and attorney-at-Law, founder of AdimaLaw practice in Sofia Bulgaria. She has experience in the ICC Paris and other competitions both as a participant, judge and coach. She has some interesting ideas to assist students in such competitions to make best…

“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…

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…

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…

Sometimes I wonder what the facilitation and mediation work I do is all about. By which I mean what purpose does it perform for clients. What is it that they are asking for from me, and what is it that they actually get? Do they always really want what they are ostensibly asking for? Do…

The introduction of the Singapore Convention on Mediation (SCM) last year has intensified the long-standing debate on professional mediator standards. A previous blog post called for China to streamline its legislation on commercial mediation, and another spoke of the prospects of proliferating and harmonizing standards in the Middle East. The idea of a global mediator…

The process of discerning what to write about in a blog is interesting. Sometimes inspiration comes quickly. On other occasions, there is a barren wilderness, or a hotchpotch of half-formed ideas. This month feels like the last of these. I thought to write about a really excellent new book by the Oxford economists, Paul Collier…

I wrote this piece for Strathclyde Mediation Clinic after a series of conversations with new and learner mediators. Some surprised me with their passivity in the face of parties’ lack of knowledge or understanding. After some probing I learned that many new mediators recognise the problem but believe the model they were taught prohibits them…

The importance of gaze

‘Because you’re distant, forgive me for being a little bit bossy’ (Paddy O’Connell, BBC Radio 4’s Broadcasting House) After plying their trade for a while mediators (and broadcasters) develop a persona, not so much bolted on as inhabited. Once in ‘the chair,’ voice, posture and gestures all coalesce to support their purpose and, with minimal…