“Doubt is not a pleasant condition but certainty is an absurd one.” These words of Voltaire are as apt today as they were when he wrote them in the 18th century. I don’t know about you but this year seems to be a curious mixture where some people purport to deal in apparent certainties, which…

In 1861, the then Secretary to the Education Department, Robert Lowe, addressed the UK House of Commons on the pressing matter of elementary education, in particular on the linked questions of access to education, funding, and quality. His proposal was to introduce a system of “payment for results”, designed both to limit the costs of…

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…

This question emerges from a recent three-way Skype conversation with a couple of mediation colleagues, in anticipation of a US-sponsored conference on ADR, to be held in Brazil later this year. As it transpired, the predominant interest of the conference was and is on arbitration rather than mediation, so that conversation has taken a longer…

With the summer going on, many mediation practitioners are enjoying well deserved holidays. Yet for some of them, even this period of year is time for some pondering over dispute resolution. Should you be one of them, you may find the story of two half-brothers in ancient Greece as an interesting hint. This is the…

I’d like to take this month’s entry to briefly review a book that was launched in Singapore in March 2015. The book is Mediation in Singapore: A Practical Guide published by Sweet & Maxwell. The editors of this book are Danny McFadden and George Lim (Senior Counsel) and boasts an impressive list of contributors ranging…

This year in the UK we are celebrating the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, or “Great Charter”. Signed in 1215, it remains one of the most famous documents in the world, and central to the British constitution. In mediator parlance, it is a “settlement agreement”. It came into being as a compromise between King…

There is by far no other nation that would contribute to European civilisation with such an enormous portion and that would be so easily forgotten as the Etruscans. According to some authors, their influence to nowadays’ Europe culture is at least comparable to that one of Romans or Greeks. And yet, how many people enjoying…

If you were unaware that last week was Cyberweek 2014, you missed a chance to take part in the 17th annual online conference dedicated to innovations and development in Online Dispute Resolution (ODR). Its program included 17 live webinars, 8 discussion forums and a variety of other activities to discuss the integration of technology and…