Negotiating in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar is an experience to relish. I’ve recently returned from three days in that wonderful city, helping lawyers, judges and mediators to expand the use of mediation in commercial disputes, inspired by the excellent work there led by Asiyan Suleymanoglu and her colleagues. Working with one of the pioneers of mediation…

“Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” (V. Hugo) Slightly over a year ago, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) started working on an instrument to address enforcement of conciliated settlement agreements. Conceived as a mediation equivalent of the 1958 New York Convention, the proposed instrument would put…

When someone asks me to explain what mediation is, I often find it easier to tell them what it is not. Sometimes I will start by asking them if they are familiar with litigation or arbitration, and use those modes of dispute resolution as a point of comparison. I often see workshops and seminars introduce…

Many jurisdictions have grappled with the extent to which their courts should get themselves involved in the mediation of litigated cases. Many different approaches have found favour around the globe, with diverse programs being implemented in courts from Hong Kong to Florida and places in between. Some courts are hands off while others are heavy handed…

3 elements of justice

Regular readers of this blog will know that I am exercised by the question of justice in mediation. I test the concept on people I meet; responses range from “that’s an interesting idea” to “it has nothing whatever to do with it”. At a conference earlier this year a senior lawyer claimed he could count…

In Buenos Aires, the city where I currently practice mediation, mediation is mandatory before suing the other party. Thanks to this system, I was able to start mediating my first cases right after I was certified. After a few cases, however, I began to realize just how overwhelming it can be when parties’ advocates are…

I am a young Lebanese graduate in mediation and currently training to practice in Paris. I frequently get asked the following questions: What is the mediation situation in the Middle East? Is it because your country is a non-mediation country that you are training in Europe? What is the mediation situation in the Middle East?…

It’s not always easy to spot trends. But one that I have noticed over the last year or two is an increase in the number of cases I am being asked to mediate in which litigation or arbitration proceedings have not yet been issued. This produces different challenges. On the upside: • The parties have…

John Nash died this week, in a tragic car accident. John Nash was the Nobel-prize winning mathematician whose theory of non-cooperative games published in 1950 has been described as one of the top ten ideas in economics in the 20th century. His theory introduced and explored the concept of what is known as Nash equilibrium….