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Nudging cross-border mediation forward

How do you get people to eat more fruit and less junk food?

How do you get more people to agree to donate their organs?

How do you get more people to engage in cross-border mediation?

I’ll come back to food and organs shortly. Let’s stay with mediation for a minute.

Within Asia, Hong Kong, Singapore and other centres are positioning themselves as regional leaders in cross-border mediation. Statistically though, there is not an enormous amount of cross-border mediation going on. International arbitration remains the process of choice.

At mediation conferences and other get-togethers, mediators and other ADR advocates ask themselves, why?

Some say it’s the lack of an international lega [...]

What’s in Store for 2014 at the Kluwer Mediation Blog

Dear Readers,
Welcome to 2014. In Hong Kong and the rest of the Chinese world this time of year represents a special type of temporality between the Western and Chinese New Year’s celebrations. This week, when people are wishing me a Happy New Year, I cannot be sure whether they referring to 1 January which has just passed or 31 January which is around the corner, heralding the Year of the Horse. This ambiguous space offers up an ideal time for reflection, not to mention a second chance at New Years Resolutions.

During the first three weeks of 2014, my colleagues at the Kluwer Mediation Blog have posted erudite reflections on the growing sophistication of corridor mediation techniques and [...]

Recommendations to develop International Commercial Mediation in Singapore

So, dear Readers,
This time last year I was telling you about new mediation initiatives in Hong Kong. Well, this year I hope to send you into the festive season with some very exciting news from Singapore.

On 3 December 2013, Singapore’s Ministry of Law unveiled key initiatives to transform and develop its international commercial mediation sector. Based on recommendations of a Working Group established in April 2013 by Singapore’s Chief Justice and the Ministry, the recommendations include the establishment of two new independent mediation entities: a new professional mediation body (the “Singapore International Mediation Institute”), and a new international mediation service provi [...]

Chief Justice of Samoa launches Mediation rules

From the Samoan Observer 28 August 2013

Chief Justice, His Honour Patu Tiava’asue Falefatu Sapolu yesterday launched Samoa’s Mediation Rules 2013 during a gathering at the Samoa Tourism Authority (STA) fale.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi was among Cabinet Ministers and senior government officials present. Also present was the Speaker of the House, La’auli Leuatea Polata’ivao as well as members of the judiciary.
His Honour Patu said the launch yesterday was a significant milestone for Samoa.

“Mediation is something very new but very old in Samoa,” he said. “Mediation has many similarities with the traditional Samoan way of settling disputes through the village [...]

Engineering Peace: Achieving the promise of mediation in the world’s most difficult conflicts

This is the first of a series of four blog postings written by Nadja Alexander , Michael Leathes , Tina Monberg and Irena Vanenkova.

Achieving the promise of mediation in conflicts that threaten the stability of societies and economies is one of the most important challenges of our time. Inspiring progress has been made in the past few years by the UN, and political leaders increasingly perceive mediation as vital for avoiding and resolving conflict at all levels in society, worldwide. Yet in individual cases mediation is rarely used as an avoidance and prevention process, and left until conflicts have escalated to the point that achieving a timely negotiated outcome, or avoiding a catast [...]

India International ADR Association off to an Exciting Start

This month of May witnessed the launch of the India International ADR Association (IIADRA). And what a blast it was! Judicial luminaries, leading lights of the legal profession, business leaders and politicians all descending upon the gorgeous port city of Kochi on the southwestern Indian coast in the state of Kerala.

At first glance Kochi might be the first place you would think of to be the home of the India International ADR Association. I mean, why not the major international Indian centres of Mumbai or Delhi? Interestingly, Kochi although better known today as a tourist destination, has a rich and colourful history with periods of Portuguese, Dutch and of course British occupation. Koch [...]

How is med-arb regulated in Hong Kong?

In a previous posting I looked at Hong Kong’s new Mediation Ordinance, which came into force on 1 January 2013. This legislative activity comes hot on the heels of a major revision of the Hong Kong Arbitration Ordinance which came into effect in 2011.

Given the increasing interest in multi-tiered dispute resolution (MDR) processes such as med-arb and arb-med-arb, I thought it would be useful to consider the application of these two ordinances to MDR practice in Hong Kong.

The Arbitration Ordinance (AO)
One of the underlying intentions of the revised AO was to encourage the use of:
• med-arb where a mediator is appointed to try to resolve the dispute before arbitral proceedings are comme [...]

Hong Kong’s New Year’s Resolution: A Single Mediator Accreditation Body

Well, the New Year is a time for reflections, making new resolutions and fresh starts. In Hong Kong the 1st of January 2013 saw a fresh start for the mediation regulatory regime with the coming into force of the Mediation Ordinance (MO), which I wrote about last month.

But it’s not just the MO, which is likely to inject anticipation and activity into the mediation landscape in Hong Kong in 2013. A new mediator accreditation regime is on it’s way …

You see it all started in 2008 with the Working Group on Mediation, chaired by the then Secretary for Justice Wong Yan Lung. A cross sector body, the Working Group comprised representatives from the DOJ, the Judiciary, the Legal Aid depart [...]

The New Hong Kong Mediation Ordinance: Much Ado About Nothing?

In June 2012 the Hong Kong Legislative Council passed the Mediation Ordinance (MO), the first piece of legislation on mediation in Hong Kong SAR. The MO was a much awaited and highly anticipated law and some mediation advocates have been disappointed in what they see as much ado about nothing. After all the MO appears as a very thin document containing only 11 provisions.

However the MO must be seen as part of Hong Kong’s broader mediation landscape. As a member of the Mediation Taskforce that was responsible for the content of the MO, I can report that the Ordinance was the subject of serious international research and deliberation. It forms the pivotal piece of a broader legal landscape [...]

Beyond mediation: how conflict coaching might help your practice

In this posting I want to reflect on how, as a mediator, I’ve learnt much from the related but independent conflict management process, called conflict coaching. Before I get ahead of myself, however, let me start by offering an explanation of conflict coaching.

Conflict coaching is a service provided by a conflict specialist to a person who is, or may in the future be, involved in conflict. According to the REAL Conflict Coaching model, coaches assist clients to develop the 5 Cs:
CLARITY: Gain clarity about the conflict situation;
COMPREHENSION: Understand their own, and the other person’s, needs and goals;
CHOICES: Identify and evaluate their choices for moving forward;
CONFIDENCE: [...]