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Working on Water

Some 20 years ago, as part of a nostalgia trip (for me) and introductory trip (for my wife) to my childhood haunts in Malaysia, we visited the coastal town of Lumut and the offshore island, Pangkor. This was probably a bad idea. I’d last visited those place as a child, with my family, in the 1950s, when the sum total of Lumut – now a naval base – was two houses and Malay kampong, and on Pangkor there was nothing but jungle. Now Pangkor is a resort island. But, the world moves on, and memories aren’t in the place but in our perceptions of them. What was important at the time was to get back into the limpid waters of the bay near our resort: that was the second bad idea. As I waded out, l [...]

7 Ways to Make Your Next Mediation Successful

On 24th September Kluwer and the International Academy of Mediators (IAM) hosted their inaugural mediation webinar – ‘7 Ways to Make Your Next Mediation Successful’. Attendees joined from all over the world. Don’t worry if you couldn’t attend on the day – we’ve posted the webinar on YouTube, and it can be viewed here.



a. Internal (client) v. External (counsel)

i. What does tomorrow look like if dispute resolved?

ii. Discuss client’s fantasies about case/outcome

iii. Justice?

iv. Rewrite the past?

v. Mourning process

b. Selection of mediator

c. Have mediator talk to other side

d. Identify who is attending from each side

e. What materials might be useful [...]

Singapore Developments – the Singapore International Mediation Institute and the Singapore International Mediation Centre

Author’s Note: I would like to thank Ms. Eunice Chua, Deputy Chief Executive Officer for her contribution to this entry.

5 November 2014 was a momentous day for mediation in Singapore. It saw the launch of two mediation-related bodies, the Singapore International Mediation Institute and the Singapore International Mediation Centre.

In April 2013, Singapore’s Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon and the Ministry of Law (MinLaw) appointed the International Commercial Mediation Working Group which was co-chaired by George Lim (Senior Counsel) and Edwin Glasgow (Queen’s Counsel) and comprised academics, practitioners, in-house counsel and other stakeholders in the mediation field.

The remit of the [...]

Giving Children a Voice

“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”
(Nelson Mandela)

The inspiration for this piece has come from a two very different sources. First the extraordinary event that was the World Conflict Resolution Day conference in Stafford in October which focused on children and conflict resolution, and second a conversation I had with a 10 year old boy recently.

We like to think we have come a long way in Ireland in recognising the rights of children and the importance of hearing their voices in decisions that affect them, and to some extent we have made progress, but it only takes an attempt at implementing these ideals to cause one [...]

Cyberweek 2014: Innovations and development in ODR

If you were unaware that last week was Cyberweek 2014, you missed a chance to take part in the 17th annual online conference dedicated to innovations and development in Online Dispute Resolution (ODR). Its program included 17 live webinars, 8 discussion forums and a variety of other activities to discuss the integration of technology and dispute resolution.

The Cyberweek was created by the team of the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution (NCTDR) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, led by its Director Ethan Katsh, one of the founding fathers of ODR. Since 2010, Cyberweek has been hosted on the website, and facilitated by the Werner Institute at the in t [...]

The Urgent Need for Data: Are the Needs of Users and the Dispute Resolution Market Misaligned?

and Michael Leathes

Seismic tremors emanating from London’s Guildhall on October 29th 2014 are set to send change-inducing shockwaves, around the international dispute resolution community. It is widely known that dispute resolution’s customers, the disputants, have different needs and interests from the supply side of the market such as external counsel, ADR providers, and educators. The shock comes from the initial data generated at this Convention, suggesting just how far out of alignment the supply side may be with the views and needs of the users. Additional data is needed on an international scale.

A high tech Convention on Shaping the Future of International Dispute Resolution hosted [...]

How do we consider mediation?

This article may be helpful particularly if you consider settling a case as a party or as an advisor.

There are many perspectives that one can consider when looking at mediation. One example is that our current mediation culture is still in development. Therefore, sometimes, parties ask me, the mediator, to invite the other party to mediation. Actually, this is happening more than I would prefer and it may be related to the society’s education, acceptance and respect towards mediation. In these cases I get to send a letter and communicate with the other party.

I was recently talking with a client’s lawyer about the possibility of mediating a commercial case and he respectfully denied th [...]

Scotland: The Final Word?

“The key to doing well lies not in overcoming others,
but in eliciting their co-operation.”
Robert Axelrod

“Although negotiation takes place every day, it is not easy to do well. Standard strategies for negotiation often leave people dissatisfied, worn out or alienated…..”
Roger Fisher and William Ury

For probably the final time, I am writing about the referendum which was recently held in Scotland. Now, a Commission has been set up to address the need for additional powers, which the “No” vote has prompted.

Collaborative Scotland and Core Solutions have submitted views. These may be of interest to all of those who are pondering how the future of politics and our mediation work may i [...]

Spreading the word

This brief comment arises from genuine curiosity and contains a question for my co-authors and anyone else who happens to read this blog. The situation is this: I’ve recently finished reading the first instalment of the learning journals for my Negotiation and Mediation class, which is a device I’ve used for the more than 20 years I’ve been teaching such a course. I’ll usually acknowledge at the outset to the class that this is probably an unusual component for a law school, but it is well-established in comparable courses and is probably something many professionals do as a way of maintaining their own reflective practice. The format has certainly changed over the years, from hand w [...]

Have your say on international commercial mediation


For one more week only you have the chance to have your say on the enforcement of cross-border mediated settlement agreements. I encourage each and every one of you to offer your input.

Two surveys will be gathering input from dispute resolution professionals and others on the challenge of enforcing settlement agreements across borders.

The surveys are intended to provide empirical data to aid the decision making process for the proposed UNCITRAL settlement convention on the international enforcement of settlements reached in mediation.

IMI Survey of Corporate Needs

The first survey is just four questions, and is from the International Mediation Institute. It is focused on the l [...]