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New ADR Guidelines for Scottish Lawyers: a constructive step

Law Society of Scotland
I have written before in this blog about Scotland’s slow pace of change (http://kluwermediationblog.com/2012/05/12/mediation-in-scotland-some-practical-questions-and-a-nudge-in-the-right-direction/). A naturally cautious nation, our ‘old world’ response to new ideas has generally been ‘what’s wrong with the old ones?’ I was comforted by Constantin-Adi Gavrila’s recent post on this blog which underlined that Scotland is not the only European nation whose legal profession is lukewarm about mediation.
So it is pleasing to be able to report a small but important sign of progress from this jurisdiction. In November 2013, the Law Society of Scotland published new guidance (Dispute Resolution, [...]

What’s in Store for 2014 at the Kluwer Mediation Blog

Dear Readers,
Welcome to 2014. In Hong Kong and the rest of the Chinese world this time of year represents a special type of temporality between the Western and Chinese New Year’s celebrations. This week, when people are wishing me a Happy New Year, I cannot be sure whether they referring to 1 January which has just passed or 31 January which is around the corner, heralding the Year of the Horse. This ambiguous space offers up an ideal time for reflection, not to mention a second chance at New Years Resolutions.

During the first three weeks of 2014, my colleagues at the Kluwer Mediation Blog have posted erudite reflections on the growing sophistication of corridor mediation techniques and [...]

Socially Responsible Companies Create Value to their Shareholders

It is almost a consensus nowadays that large and small companies, regardless of their business activity or industry segment, must integrate in their corporate and operational strategies a variety of social, economical, and environmental elements in order to not only effectively satisfy all stakeholders, but also to remain sustainable and competitive in the long run.

This trend started a few years back when financial investors, in addition to looking into their traditional investment tools (ratios, financial analysis), decided to add a social element into their decision making process, creating sustainability ratios in order to measure and evaluate other dimensions which, until then, had been [...]

Recommendations to develop International Commercial Mediation in Singapore

So, dear Readers,
This time last year I was telling you about new mediation initiatives in Hong Kong. Well, this year I hope to send you into the festive season with some very exciting news from Singapore.

On 3 December 2013, Singapore’s Ministry of Law unveiled key initiatives to transform and develop its international commercial mediation sector. Based on recommendations of a Working Group established in April 2013 by Singapore’s Chief Justice and the Ministry, the recommendations include the establishment of two new independent mediation entities: a new professional mediation body (the “Singapore International Mediation Institute”), and a new international mediation service provi [...]

ADR 2.0

This fall, I taught a course on “Managing Litigation for Corporations” at the Straus Institute. The following post is a summary of some insights that came out of the experience. I felt that this was important to share with you, as it evidences attitudes of those about to enter the field and the challenges in ADR today.
The Straus class was comprised of 19 students – roughly half pursuing their J.D., a handful of MBA students and a few more hailing from the LLM program. It was a diverse group, in terms of gender, race, cultural background, age and experience. This made for tremendous conversation, and certainly an inspiring learning experience for their professor.
As a springboard for [...]

Solving Complex Problems Thinking out of the Box

As mentioned in a previous post, this month I will briefly talk about two high profile cases from the corporate sector which helped to improve mediation awareness in Brazil and, due to its widespread coverage, provided the general public clear examples of how it is possible to fix complex legal problems by not letting our pre-conceived perceptions and emotions interfere in our decision making process, keeping open all different problem solving possibilities.

The first case is a Dispute System Design (DSD) project created to provide an efficient and just system to compensate the victims of an airplane crash which occurred in Brazil in 2007 (TAM flight 3054), when 199 people lost their lives.

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The culture of mediation: How can we create more impact?

In the past 20 years or so, we witnessed an intensification of the litigation rate as the world became more globalized and people saw lawsuits as the only real alternative to a negotiated agreement. That created high caseloads, extended periods of time until final judgments, discouraging high litigation costs, dissatisfaction with the outcomes and lack of trust in the judiciary in some countries.

In order to adapt to these new challenges, there were created new dispute resolution methods as alternatives (ADR) to the only known path – the lawsuit. The mediation activity is a form or ADR that is still in the process of identifying a world-wide accepted definition.

Although it exists today i [...]

Corporate Mediation is becoming mainstream in Brazil

After a long wait, Corporate Mediation is slowly becoming recognized as an important settlement tool outside the small circle of current practitioners and enthusiasts, reaching a widespread audience which was unimaginable in Brazil not long ago.

Among other evidence, a regulatory framework for Corporate Mediation is currently being debated at the Brazilian Senate, the traditional ICDR Annual Arbitration Event has, for the first time, incorporated Mediation in their panels and Willian Ury’s “Interested Base Process” has reached the local business newspapers and magazines for the positive role it played in helping the settlement of one of the biggest shareholders’ disputes in Brazil [...]

Engineering Peace: Achieving the promise of mediation in the world’s most difficult conflicts. Part 4.

This is the fourth and final posting in a series written by Tina Monberg, Irena Vanenkova, Michael Leathes and Nadja Alexander. In the last posting we discussed two factors that we think are critical to changing mindsets and increasing the systematic use of mediation in intractable, politically-charged and violent conflict. They are:
1. Bringing more awareness to the need for sophisticated convening skills to bring parties to the negotiating table.
2. Fostering a real understanding worldwide of what mediation is and how and why it works.

Today we talk about a third factor — instilling confidence among stakeholders and potential users in the quality of professional mediators to engage in the [...]

Engineering Peace: Achieving the promise of mediation in the world’s most difficult conflicts. Part 3.

This is the third in a series of four postings written by Irena Vanenkova, Tina Monberg, Nadja Alexander and Michael Leathes. The previous posts appeared on the 17th and 20th August on the Kluwer Mediation Blog. Previously we noted that the UN and world political leaders increasingly perceive mediation as vital for avoiding and resolving conflict at all levels in society. Yet mediation has not taken off in the practice of peace. In this posting we begin a discussion on changing mindsets.

Changing Mindsets

Three fundamental factors are critical to bridge the gap between the strong collective policy demand for peace mediation on behalf of almost every country and the systematic implementation [...]