John and David Sturrock 1. Introduction Several years ago, while travelling back with my son David to Oxford where he was studying as an undergraduate, we discussed my work as a mediator and his study of economics, particularly the learning for us both from Game Theory. I (John) had been familiar with The Prisoners’ Dilemma…

Despite some scepticism about the value of “roleplay” most mediation training involves asking people to run a pretend mediation session. I’ve tried various euphemisms to ease trainees’ anxiety – “skills practice”, “simulation”, “sitting with conflict” – but none seems to make it any less daunting. You can read about this activity, watch others do it,…

“Caminante, no hay camino, se hace camino al andar” “Traveller, there is no path, the path must be forged as you walk.” Antonio Machado, as quoted and translated in Daring Greatly, Brene Brown Those were two very long and eventful days. Though the prospect of reaching an agreement appeared remote – at best – at…

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…

John Nash died this week, in a tragic car accident. John Nash was the Nobel-prize winning mathematician whose theory of non-cooperative games published in 1950 has been described as one of the top ten ideas in economics in the 20th century. His theory introduced and explored the concept of what is known as Nash equilibrium….

I have never been a great fan of mediator’s proposals. I took the view that the mediator’s job, done well, was to help the parties to come to a solution themselves. Party autonomy and all that. Achieving a satisfactory outcome, I thought, shouldn’t require a specific suggestion by the mediator. I have changed my view….

I write here about two contrasting experiences which have, for me, underscored the richness of the mediation process. In one mediation, involving business partners with an ongoing management issue, one of the protagonists (A) suggested bringing in another partner (D) who was not perceived to be a part of the present problem, simply to observe,…

My December blog was centred around a 15th Century occurrence. This month, I am in the final two years of the 14th Century. Last night, I went to see Shakespeare’s Richard II at the Barbican Theatre in London. The title role was played (quite brilliantly) by David Tennant – a piece of trivia for all…

I am indebted to my friend and fellow mediator Mark Lomas QC for sending me the following email recently: ‘I have come across what I think may be one of the earliest recorded mediations in England, and conducted at the highest level. An Italian called Tito Livio dei Frulovisi wrote an account of the life…