This post is in part a roundabout response to Constantin-Adi Gavrila’s recent Kluwer mediation blog, in which he writes about a conversation with a friend who was convinced that all mediators need to be lawyers. The argument goes that to mediate you need to be a qualified lawyer, have legal knowledge of the disputed matter,…

Forty-five years ago, Professor Christopher Stone published a paper entitled “Should Trees have Standing? Towards Legal Rights for Natural Objects”. [45 Southern California Law Review 450–501.] Two years later, that paper had morphed into a book of the same title, with the subtitle, “Law, morality and the Environment” (1974; 3rd ed, 2010; OUP). Stone’s objective…

I have given a little thought as to whether my work as a mediator fits into one of the well-known “styles.” I do not see myself as an evaluative or directive mediator, but I do sometimes tell clients how I see their options. I would say I am a facilitative mediator, but as perhaps most…

Students demonstrating cooperation

Morton Deutsch, the great social psychologist of common sense, explained the difference between competition and cooperation thus: “if you’re positively linked with another, then you sink or swim together; with negative linkage, if the other sinks, you swim, and if the other swims, you sink.”1)Cooperation and Competition. In M. Deutsch, P. T. Coleman, & E….

Raymond Williams, Resources of Hope (published posthumously in 1989), p. 118 I write and will upload this blog on the eve of my departure for Paris and the ICC’s 12th International Commercial Mediation Competition. On the ‘due date’ for this blog, I’ll be somewhere between Auckland and London. Again, it will be my huge pleasure…

From 11th to 14th January 2017, the second edition of Lex Infinitum was held at V.M. Salgaocar College of Law, University of Goa, Panjim, India. Lex Infinitum – law to the max – stands for an exploration of ADR in India, and particularly the promotion of mediation. The event in Goa is a mediation competition,…

This is not a really post about Brexit; but then again I do circle some of the themes that earlier post-Brexit Kluwer bloggers have addressed, in a series of thoughtful, passionate and concerned comments. “Brexit” has become, beyond the decision and its fallout, a placekeeper for a range of other concerns, about community, tolerance, dialogue,…

As ADR practitioners, I think it is important to take a step back every now and then and reflect on the importance of the good work we do: We strive, every day, to bring people together and help them move forward. That’s an amazing thing. As an American, I am currently surrounded by media coverage…

I’ve just returned from a week in Vientiane, the capital of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, and that week away gives me both a [slight] excuse for a late blog entry and a couple of reflections on the outsider/observer role of both mediator and tourist. I should say, too, at this outset, that this is…

As I write this, I am looking across the Gulf of Aqaba at the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, near the place where the Egyptian border abuts Israel, south of the Israeli Red Sea port of Eilat. This morning’s BBC news tells us that Israel is on alert for IS attacks in the Sinai. The accompanying…