One of the principles of mediation as it is trained and practised around the world is that participation is voluntary. The parties decide for themselves if they wish to mediate their dispute. The mediator is only needed if that is what they decide. Of course, this is not quite that clear cut, and there are…

The German Mediation Act was passed five years ago on 21 July 2012, after nearly all EU member states were required by a 2008 EU Directive to implement mediation legislation. I took the opportunity to talk about the Act and its effects with two experienced mediator-judges working in German courts. Anne-Ruth Moltmann-Willisch has been a…

Imagine you are a university lecturer, teaching courses in negotiation and mediation. Imagine you are also teaching a course in legal English for non-native speakers, which closely shadows a course in English private law, taught by a professor of law. One of the things you do in the latter class is support the students in…

This post is in part a roundabout response to Constantin-Adi Gavrila’s recent Kluwer mediation blog, in which he writes about a conversation with a friend who was convinced that all mediators need to be lawyers. The argument goes that to mediate you need to be a qualified lawyer, have legal knowledge of the disputed matter,…

I have given a little thought as to whether my work as a mediator fits into one of the well-known “styles.” I do not see myself as an evaluative or directive mediator, but I do sometimes tell clients how I see their options. I would say I am a facilitative mediator, but as perhaps most…

This blog comes (almost live) from the Berlin Global Pound conference, held on 24 March 2017. This was the 13th in a series of 39 coordinated events on commercial dispute resolution mechanisms around the world. The name goes back to the 1976 Pound conference in St. Paul, which marked a key moment in the advent…

Mediating inside companies and organizations with teams involves a number of challenges. It can also be very rewarding. Much of my work in this field is in the public sector, which has its own particular parameters too. Here are some thoughts. It Is Usually Late in the Day Team mediation is usually asked for when…

From 11th to 14th January 2017, the second edition of Lex Infinitum was held at V.M. Salgaocar College of Law, University of Goa, Panjim, India. Lex Infinitum – law to the max – stands for an exploration of ADR in India, and particularly the promotion of mediation. The event in Goa is a mediation competition,…

I doubt if there is anybody who has reached a certain age who has never wished for forgiveness from another person. That certain age is certainly not high. Forgiveness from school friends, family members, spouses and partners, colleagues, bosses, subordinates, and complete strangers. Forgiveness for a wrong word, a heated moment, not listening, a lack…

There was a prominent mediation case that hit the headlines in Germany in October and November this year. The mediator was none other than former head of government, ex-Chancellor and former Social Democratic Party leader Gerhard Schröder. The present leader of the Social Democratic Party, Sigmar Gabriel, is minister for the economy and had given…