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…

Writing a post in the aftermath of what happened on Friday, the 24th of June 2016, is an opportunity to reflect on what it takes to conduct an effective mediation process, and above all a constructive dialogue. Clearly this post is an insight on my own personal reflections to date. With the weeks ahead, I…

The Mediator's Ethical Filter

This post was prepared in cooperation with Bogdan Matei. Neutrality is one of the keystone concepts in the mediation process. When the mediator or the parties consider that the mediator’s neutrality is affected, a conflict of interest appears. It is well known that when a conflict of interests appears, in respect to the ethical rules…

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…

I have to say a huge thank you to my colleague and fellow Mediators’ Institute of Ireland Council Member Margaret Considine who delivered the paper on which this post is based for me last week at the World Mediation Summit in Madrid which I was unable to attend. Despite unbearable heat, an airport fire and…

“The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that’s the essence of inhumanity.” The Devil’s Disciple, Act II (1901). G B Shaw I ended my previous blog post [http://kluwermediationblog.com/2015/05/26/the-mediator-as-ethicist/] by saying that there were a couple of aspects of ethics and mediation – beyond the…

“Recall that ‘ethics’ and ‘morals’ have different meanings. Morality is part of ethics, but ethics is a larger and more inclusive notion. Ethics is a response to the question, ‘What sort of a person should I be and how should I live my life?’ while morality is an answer to the question, ‘What are my…

“When you look into the abyss, the abyss looks into you.” (Nietzsche) Relationship breakdown and the resulting fall-out is an abyss most people do not like to look into, even as they tumble into it. As family mediators, our job is to accompany and support people’s navigation into, through and, hopefully, out of the abyss…

I am interested in convergence – of ideas, of behaviour, of trends, of different disciplines. The more I read, the more common themes I discern in the arts, science, spirituality, leadership and in what we do as mediators. A reflection of this is found in the African concept of ubuntu, “the profound sense that we…