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The Mediator as Ethicist

“Recall that ‘ethics’ and ‘morals’ have different meanings. Morality is part of ethics, but ethics is a larger and more inclusive notion. Ethics is a response to the question, ‘What sort of a person should I be and how should I live my life?’ while morality is an answer to the question, ‘What are my duties and responsibilities to others (and perhaps to myself too, on some views)?’ One’s morality flows from one’s ethics, and reciprocally influences its character; but its scope is narrower.”

A C Grayling, Friendship, [Yale UP, 203], 187 

I have had the good fortune, in recent years, of spending as much time in reading and teaching ethics and moral philosophy as I have in focussing on mediatio [...]

Teaching Mediation in a Non-mediation Country: From the Fully Laid Table to Irish Beer…

Within this blog, we would like to familiarise you with the procedure of drafting and creating a complex mediation curriculum both from the inside and outside. Martin Svatos is one of the founders of this curriculum at the Charles University in Prague, and Sabine Walsh has accepted the invitation to give the final speech within this curriculum and to appraise the outcome of the effort.
Charles University mediation

Martin:
It all started with LinkedIn discussion couple month ago when I posted a question: What is your favourite mediation book and why? Well, at the time, I did not aim to gain the participants preferences and opinions about the best mediation books that should be used in the mediation training. The purpose [...]

The 2016 Global Pound Conference Series!

Global-Pound_mid_-resolution_finalIn April 1976, an event now known as the Pound Conference ignited modern ADR in the USA, launching discussion of what may have become the “greatest reform in the history of the country’s judicial system”.1 Forty years later, all stakeholders in the dispute prevention and resolution fields around the world are being invited to participate in a series of unique thought leadership events around the globe under the auspices of a Global Pound Conference (“GPC”) series.

The GPC has a remarkable goal: to shape the future of dispute resolution and access to justice in the 21st Century.

An invitation to shape the future of dispute resolution

The bold program, which will generate debate an [...]

Book Review – Mediation in Singapore: A Practical Guide

I’d like to take this month’s entry to briefly review a book that was launched in Singapore in March 2015.

The book is Mediation in Singapore: A Practical Guide published by Sweet & Maxwell. The editors of this book are Danny McFadden and George Lim (Senior Counsel) and boasts an impressive list of contributors ranging from legal practitioners, mediators, trainers, academics, judges and policy makers.

This is a timely publication in view of the developments (both recent and continuing) in mediation in Singapore and that the mediation movement in Singapore is now over 20 years old.

The purpose of this tome is best expressed by its General Editors in their Preface.

“This book will pro [...]

“Justice” Report for England and Wales: A Missed Opportunity for Radical Change

Justice

‘Justice’, an “all-party law reform and human rights organisation working to strengthen the justice system” launched a new report on April 23rd entitled ‘DELIVERING JUSTICE IN AN AGE OF AUSTERITY’. The report could be described as a plan to deliver justice despite the cuts. It proposes a transformation of the court system in England and Wales, supplementing its venerable adversarial system with a more inquisitorial approach. Unfortunately the proposal, while altering both personnel and process, leaves untouched the mindset and philosophy of the justice system.

The report opens with a critique that it is “increasingly difficult for ordinary people to navigate an adversarial justice syst [...]

Negotiation and Memory

Is it true that as we get older, we tend to forget things more easily? Or is it that some things are just less important?

As negotiators and mediators, we often deal with complex layers of information that appear all too much for any one person to recall. So we enter the negotiation room burdened with our big folders or sporting our slim iPads laden with mega data containing all the information that we might possibly need. I wonder though, if we sometimes rely too much on the documents when we could be structuring and presenting information and issues in ways that would maximise the negotiation experience — for everyone.

Let’s start with an overview of memory. From my reading there seem to [...]

From Emotional Intelligence to Emotional Competence – A key issue for professional development for Young Mediators

I was twenty-five years old when I joined Young Mediators’ Initiative (YMI) and first participated at the Andalusian System for Labour Conflict Resolution (S.E.R.C.L.A) as an official mediator. At SERCLA, we normally have an average of ten people at the mediation table. Sometimes, not only am I by far the youngest person in the mediation table, but sometimes I am also the only woman. Having just turned twenty-eight years old, I still mediate at SERCLA and I still believe I can consider myself a young mediator, both in age and in experience. When the YMI Team invited me to contribute to this blog, I thought of what I would like to read about.

Two questions came to my mind:

“How to manage emo [...]

New Winds from Brazil

In the late 90’s in Brazil, a sudden interest in Mediation started to develop under the influence of the newly enacted Argentinean legislation (1995). Unfortunately, just until a few years ago, mediation had grown at a very slow pace, with a few advocates effortlessly lobbying for its widespread implementation and for a local legislation. Finally, after some years of debates on the pros and cons of a local legislation, the hard effort of this group has finally paid off, as the New Civil Procedural Code (CPC) inserted mediation in the Brazilian legal system in 2015.

However, the first signs of the “new era” started in 2010, when the National Council of Justice, the agency that controls [...]

Reading for Mediators…..

It’s funny how one thing leads to another. Regular Kluwer blogger Ian Macduff posted a great blog earlier this week on the importance of asking questions. That reminded me that I had intended to get hold of a book by Edgar Schein entitled “Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling”. So, I downloaded it last night and found that I could skim read it fairly quickly (These days I find that, if I read the introduction, the references at the back and then from the back of the book to the front, I can get through the significant parts more quickly – and the highlighter on the Kindle function is ideal for emphasising key points). Schein’s is a well-written book. For man [...]

On inquiry

This blog entry arises not so much from any mediation, but from one aspect of regular social encounters that is all too normal a part of negotiation and mediation. As the title suggests, it’s about the role of inquiry, asking questions – not merely gathering information, but going beyond that in the expression of interest in one’s social contacts and especially the other disputant. This note also arises from several recent and typically frustrating experiences with people – perfectly regular, friendly, non-combative people – who in, their various ways, exemplified the apparent inability to ask questions.

We’ve all met them; and of course we’ve all seen them in mediations, and if we [...]