One of the privileges and perils of working as a mediator in Scotland is that we get a close-up view of developments in England and Wales. In an ideal world this should allow us (pop. 5 million) to learn from them (pop. 55 million): to pick the best innovations and avoid the failures. As I…

While the world becomes ever faster-paced, litigating business disputes are unchangeably slow. The recently published World Bank’s “Doing Business 2012: Doing Business in a More Transparent World” report shows that state court procedures in most countries remain lengthy, costly and complicated. Although this is not good news for anyone, as a side effect, the flaws…

As globalisation progresses and migration increases, the number of bi-national and bi-cultural relationships and marriages is increasing. This brings a new richness and diversity to our society, but can also bring new challenges and difficulties when those relationships break down. One of the difficulties that can arise is international parental child abduction, where one parent…

This week I came across an article in Forbes magazine (not my usual reading, I hasten to add!) which irritated and inspired me in equal measure. Under the title “The Ten Most Peaceful Countries Don’t Include US” it highlighted the world’s ten most peaceful countries as measured by the “Negative Peace” and “Positive Peace” criteria…

The importance of the multidisciplinary approach and the leading role of the parts. Modernity brought about the fragmentation of knowledge and the emergence of different disciplines as well as diversified specializations in several subject areas. This fragmentation enabled people to deepen their knowledge concerning specific issues and made them feel that they could master their…

Last weekend I was entertained by the “progressive rock” group Caravan, a lesser known group of musicians, the peak of whose glory was 40 years ago, in 1971. These grey-haired men in their mid-60’s displayed enthusiasm, energy and engagement as they took us down memory lane, with deft playing and masterly reconstruction of some of…

This post is dedicated to the memory of Steve Jobs (1955-2011) [Author’s note: I had in mind another subject for this blog post. I was however moved to write this one. It seems fitting that I am writing it on my Mac Book Air.] 5 October 2011 was a sad day. It saw the passing…

They say that you can take the girl out of Australia but that you can’t take Australia out of the girl. So as an Australian living in Hong Kong, let me leave the east-meets-west stories for another time and begin with the very Australian concept of BYO. It’s a long established tradition in Australia to…

Yesterday night, sitting in the theatre and looking at a very sophisticated balance-act of two chinese dancers, I thought of a mediation session this week. I saw myself balancing while walking a tightrope between the parties in the room looking for possibilities if and how this tightrope walking could change into a red carpet welcome…

I recently met an acquaintance of mine whom I have not seen for some time. He asked what I am doing, job wise. I replied that I am now doing mediation full time. “Oh,” he replied “do you do legal mediation or family mediation?” I smiled wearily and launched into my usual explanation of what…