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…

It is perhaps rare for a piece of legislation to receive enthusiastic cross-party support in any legislature. However, that is just what has happened in Scotland with the very recently passed Apologies (Scotland) Act 2015. Over more than two years, Margaret Mitchell MSP has piloted this legislation through the Scottish Parliament with skill and tact….

On the last day of the year, like many of you, I find myself reflecting on the events of the past 12 months, the highs and lows, the tensions and the takeaways. Here is one of the takeaways. In January this year I spent a day hiking through some spectacular scenery in Hong Kong. We…

I have written before on this blog about ‘mediating from the neck up’: my conviction that I was taught (and teach) a rationalistic, even cerebral, process that privileges thought over emotion and language over movement (see http://kluwermediationblog.com/2013/12/13/mediating-from-the-neck-up/ ). As I acknowledged at the time, having this insight and doing something about it are two quite…

The last few weeks have seen a failure to apologise result in a political crisis, a senior police official being forced to resign, and our Minister for Justice’s already wobbly pedestal threaten to give way entirely beneath him. The coming weeks and months will tell whether the “Minister for Borrowed Time” as he has become…

This week I spoke to a group of young legal practitioners here in New Zealand. I aimed low and went back to source. I suspect I got more of a kick out of it than anyone at the session. So, mediators, look away. There is nothing new here. But users, occasional or repeat, I hope these three…

In the last year I have had the privilege of joining a group of mediators for their monthly CPD (continuing professional development). We are all loosely in the commercial sector, which can include workplace, family business and public sector disputes. This being Scotland (see previous posts on judicial resistance to mediation) no-one is making their…

Mediation is often portrayed as a useful vehicle for disputes between equals, where parties can be expected to speak for themselves and neither has significant power over the other. Critics, and even supporters, become more sceptical when it comes to less symmetrical situations. Complaints against professionals are one such category. The professional is seen to…

I find myself writing this blog from South Africa, at the annual conference of the International Association of Conflict Management – http://www.iacm-conflict.org/. It is a fantastic melting pot of ideas, bringing together a range of cultures and identities. Cultures, at first sight, seem to describe national and group identities: South African, American, French, Dutch, Tanzanian,…