Oz, left to himself, smiled to think of his success in giving the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman and the Lion exactly what they thought they wanted. “How can I help being a humbug,” he said, “when all these people make me do things that everybody knows can’t be done? It was easy to make…

In his 1956 text, The Queen’s Courts, Sir Peter Archer suggested that the development of the Courts was more organic than by design, and – though he doesn’t say as much – more pragmatic than principled. He calls on Topsy’s response to Ophelia in Uncle Tom’s Cabin, to suggest that, like Topsy, they “just grow’d”….

“Instructions for living a life.  Pay attention.  Be astonished.  Tell about it.”  Mary Oliver, American poet “Everyone knows what attention is. It is the taking possession by the mind in clear and vivid form, of one out of what seem several simultaneously possible objects or trains of thought…It implies withdrawal from some things in order…

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…

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…

In their article, “The Collaboration Imperative” [Harvard Business Review, April 2014, p. 77], authors Nidumolu, Ellison, Whalen and Billman note that “business collaboration is the great oxymoron of corporate sustainability. Countless efforts by companies to work together to tackle the most complex challenges facing our world today – including climate change, resource depletion, and ecosystem…

This blog entry will take a more personal tone than have earlier ones – though it’s in the nature of blogs and the more informal style that they have all said something of the experience of the writers. I want to explore here the role of mediation in providing the opportunity for reconciliation, and to…

The title of this blog is not as harsh and heartless as it might seem at first sight. True, mediation proceeds largely on assumptions of disputant autonomy and participation; and the expectation is that the outcomes will be those designed by, and with the commitment of, the participants. This comment, however, picks up on two…

“Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves. . . Do not now look for the answers. . . At present you need to live the question.” Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet At the heart of the idea of mediation is the aim of…

The UK’s Civil Justice Council has recently reported (http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/law/civil-justice-council-explores-online-dispute-resolution/5040975.article) on an initiative to promote online dispute resolution, through setting up an Advisory Group. Heading that group is Dr Richard Susskind, one the strongest promoters of ODR and of the role information communication technology (ICT) in the practice of law. In line with the EU’s Directive…