We have just reached the end of the annual marking season (grading for North Americans). The verbal joust of examinations is almost over. Students get their blows in first; teachers’ strike back with marks and comments. It’s a familiar ritual with its own rhythm and reasoning. It can be viewed as arduous by both sides…

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…

‘Justice’, an “all-party law reform and human rights organisation working to strengthen the justice system” launched a new report on April 23rd entitled ‘DELIVERING JUSTICE IN AN AGE OF AUSTERITY’. The report could be described as a plan to deliver justice despite the cuts. It proposes a transformation of the court system in England and…

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. The judiciary in the Big Apple took an important step for promotion of mediation. On July 28, the Commercial Division in New York County Supreme Court introduced a pilot mandatory mediation program. In 1993 New York pioneered in creating a specialized commercial court to handle complex business…

Justice Scales

Intellectual life is beset by ‘gap’ problems. Philosophers wrestle with the ‘mind-body problem’: the gap between material and non-material aspects of human existence. All science can be construed as an attempt to bridge the gap between what is and what we can imagine: an inductive corrective to deductive supposition. Roger Cotterrell describes law’s gap problem…

The recent Ontario Superior Court decision of Healy J. in Southlake Regional Health Centre v. Beswick Group Properties touches on a number of issues arising from settlement at mediation. Briefly, this was a landlord and tenant dispute relating to a Medical Arts Building and other development lands. The full factual background can be read by…

Despite half the country being under water, the first few weeks of 2014 have brought with them some new developments in mediation and related areas. While not all of these developments are welcome, one gets a sense that the need for change in many areas, including the legal system, is being acknowledged and acted upon…

I am indebted to my friend and fellow mediator Mark Lomas QC for sending me the following email recently: ‘I have come across what I think may be one of the earliest recorded mediations in England, and conducted at the highest level. An Italian called Tito Livio dei Frulovisi wrote an account of the life…