We agree sometimes to engage in a simple dialogue or in a mediated conversation with other people, but do we necessarily mean the same thing when thinking about dialogue? Are there significant process impacts induced by our perspectives and expectations? And could the dialogue process be more effective should these differences are clarified beforehand? What…

On 6 July I attended the finale of the Global Pound Series held in London, the last in the series of events held worldwide to an audience of over 2000 over 30+ events. I will say now I am not a mediator, I know you are asking why did I get asked to write a…

This post riffs on Elvis Costello’s “What’s So Funny Bout Peace, Love and Understanding?” to probe the usefulness of the words “trust” and “respect” in mediation. Invitation Mediators the world over are taught to invite their clients to speak. We’re not there to tell people what to do; rather to ask them what they want…

“An action-oriented citizenship is, first and foremost, engaged with other people in the creation of shared social spaces and in the discourse that such spaces make possible. Through participation and conversation, we reproduce our social meanings through time: that is what culture is. Squares and institutions, walkways and stadiums, these are the places where the…

(This is a ‘letter to self’ about court ADR research sent from the American Bar Association Dispute Resolution Conference, San Francisco, April 2017.) Do Litigants Know Their Options? It’s always fascinating to come to a country where mediation is business as usual. There are some downsides to this, but the upside that immediately strikes a…

I recently carried out New Zealand’s first empirical research on the users of commercial mediation. This is Part Three of a three-part study (Part One = the mediators, Part Two = the gatekeepers/lawyers). Getting to grips with what users think of commercial mediation is the Holy Grail for mediation professionals. Until now in New Zealand,…

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…

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….

I (Bill) remember doing my first commercial mediation. I was 29, and in the presence of the four parties and their advisers I felt even younger. It was not lost on me that (as Suzanne Rab recently noted in Do You Need Grey Hairs to Mediate?) people expected someone older to walk into the room….

Mediation is already here, and it came to stay. Each day there are more and more supporters of mediation – from legislators to public institutions, and professionals who are gaining more awareness about the potential of mediation. However, it also has a long way to go. Those who decided to start working in the field…