The last day of the year is referred to, in Scotland, as Hogmanay. Hogmanay has for centuries, been a cause for celebration. Many traditions are associated with it, though the ubiquitous singing of ‘Auld Lang Syne’, is fairly recent, having been written by Robert Burns in 1788. One of the more important customs is the…

Stream of consciousness is an amazing proof of mysteriousness of human thinking. So for instance, some thoughts on impertinence of email spammers may remind you to post on Kluwer Mediation Blog results of the Summer Mediation Game. On the first sight, those topics are not related. As you may see in the following lines, they…

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…

In 2006 Frank Sander produced his ‘Mediation Receptivity Index'(22 Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution, 599-618). The MRI would be a way of discerning the extent of ‘mainstreaming’ or ‘institutionalization’ of mediation in different US states. It doesn’t seem to have caught on, but among the questions Sander lists are: PROVIDERS – number of professional…

My wife and I recently spent a very convivial evening at the beautiful home in Sydney of leading Australian mediator Alan Limbury and his wife, Dr. Rosemary Howell, who coaches a team from the University of New South Wales in the annual ICC mediation competition. One topic which stimulated some forthright conversation was the use…

The recent blog entry by Matthew Rushton (23 August) is a reminder of what changes can and do happen across the diverse landscape of mediation, and of the ways in which the “classical” model of mediation is probably as much a fond memory as it is a consistent practice. In both practice and training, we’ve…

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…

The saying “What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas” is one of the most famous taglines in modern tourism, meaning ….. well, you probably know what it means, don’t you ? However, differently from the Vegas perspective, my recent experience in Vienna is one that I definitely want to share with you. In a week…

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…

This week, I have had the genuine privilege of contributing one of the key note addresses at the Annual Conference of the Arbitrators and Mediators Institute of New Zealand (AMINZ) in Wellington. It has been a terrific conference, superbly organized by the indefatigable Deborah Hart. The standard of the many and diverse sessions has been…