As we in Ireland wait…and wait for our promised mediation legislation one of the topics that featured strongly in the consultative process which preceded drafting of our mediation bill was mediator certification and regulation. Confronted with rather vague requirements not extending beyond mediators giving clients evidence of their qualifications, if requested, in the drafts heads of the legislation (see previous posts), mediators and mediation organisations in particular all agree that more robust regulation is needed. What form that regulation should take, however, is a different matter.
Spurred on by the EU Mediation Directive, and more recently by the requirements of their own national [...]
Regular readers of this blog may recall my 10 tips for participants who took part in the recent ICC Commercial Mediation Competition held in Paris – a wonderful time was had by all but that’s for another post.
One of those tips was about keeping it real and suggesting a ‘steel fist inside a velvet glove’ posture when protecting important interests (aka things that are fundamentally important to you) at the mediation table.
Judging from the feedback at and after the competition that phrase struck a chord – like law student and soon to be lawyer, Lamice Nasr of the Saint Joseph University in Beirut, Lebanon who wrote saying the “steel hand in a velvet glove theory is now a funda [...]
In the early days of personal computing, the development of the “graphical user interface” was accompanied by the acronym, WYSIWYG: “What you see is what you get”. While frustrated computer users know that this was never entirely true, or might only have been true for the computer boffins who designed the interface, the idea was nevertheless an important one: what was there on the surface was what you had to deal with – folder and files and trash cans were all there on the virtual “desktop”.
Shift frames from computing to interpersonal communication, and consider this as a metaphor for at least one cultural style of communication. “WYSIWYG” as a computing acronym might uninte [...]
Greetings from the heart of the Polar Vortex!
Yes, it’s been a brutally cold and snowy winter here in Ontario, Canada, but now, in late February, the lengthening days and (relatively) warmer temperatures remind me of that point in a mediation when it seems that all hope of resolution has forever frozen over and yet, with mediator encouragement and persistence, small cracks appears in the ice, the parties’ attitudes slowly begin to thaw and one can discern the stirring buds of resolution, just below the surface, imbued with nature’s force, striving to burst forth into the sunlight. (Ed. note: enough, surely!)
Section 11 of the Limitations Act (Onta [...]
ADR is sleepwalking globally. It needs to be shaken out of its slumber. There is a way to do it. A truly Global Pound Conference!
Mediation growth has stalled.
Mediation is established as part of its dispute resolution structure in a few countries like the U.S., Canada, the Netherlands, Singapore and the U.K., but even in these countries the use of mediation is not endemic and there is a huge opportunity for expansion and more effective use of the process. An uncomfortably high proportion of litigation and arbitration lawyers favor mediation only at the end of a dispute’s life cycle or, in common law countries, after extensive discovery is completed, protecting against what ADR means to them [...]
Mediation of wage and hour matters, particularly class action cases, has developed dramatically over the past 10-12 both on a process and legal basis. New cases seem to come out weekly dealing with class certification, and companies have had to adjust their workforce management to make sure they comply with the highly technical laws that are driving this movement. Recently I was asked to participate in a radio interview with two other sought after mediators, Mark Rudy and Peter Lichtman. The podcast of the radio show can be accessed here.[...]
I have written before in this blog about Scotland’s slow pace of change (http://kluwermediationblog.com/2012/05/12/mediation-in-scotland-some-practical-questions-and-a-nudge-in-the-right-direction/). A naturally cautious nation, our ‘old world’ response to new ideas has generally been ‘what’s wrong with the old ones?’ I was comforted by Constantin-Adi Gavrila’s recent post on this blog which underlined that Scotland is not the only European nation whose legal profession is lukewarm about mediation.
So it is pleasing to be able to report a small but important sign of progress from this jurisdiction. In November 2013, the Law Society of Scotland published new guidance (Dispute Resolution, [...]
Presenting recently the results of the study on ‘Rebooting’ the Mediation Directive, Giuseppe de Palo talked about the “European Union mediation paradox” – the existence of a “highly acclaimed, efficient, effective process that very few people use”, in his own words – and the need of “rebooting” the implementation of mediation process in the EU in the light of the limited effects of current legislation upon the number of civil cases mediated.
The same situation can be seen on the other side of the Atlantic, in the US, where a number of prominent experts have pointed to the fact that, after alm [...]
Despite half the country being under water, the first few weeks of 2014 have brought with them some new developments in mediation and related areas. While not all of these developments are welcome, one gets a sense that the need for change in many areas, including the legal system, is being acknowledged and acted upon and that the country is generally turning itself around and steering into slightly less choppy waters, even if this is not being reflected in the weather…
One less happy development, for mediators anyway, is the further, unexplained and frankly unexplainable delay in publication of the final draft of the Mediation Bill 2012, a piece of legislation which is expected to make si [...]
Like many of us, I listened with rapt attention to the reporting from Geneva of the Syrian peace talks last week. So much is at stake. And so much of it feels very familiar to me as a mediator.
One particularly interesting item was a radio interview last Saturday with a Syrian media officer who appeared to have been very present and involved in the talks, though I don’t recall in what capacity. The interview was followed by coverage of a press conference with Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN-appointed mediator. From what the two of them had to say, I was reminded of a number of things central to what we do as mediators:
1. The humanising effects of talking, or even just being in the same ro [...]