A few years ago, the mediation world was alight with gossip about the proposed launch of IMI, the International Mediation Institute (see www.IMImediation.org if you have never heard of it). Proponents and opponents in equal measure gathered either to welcome a fresh initiative, or to man the barricades against an attack on cherished turf. The strength of feeling in some quarters was truly remarkable.
As these things so often do, the initial furore died down. IMI came into being. Those welcoming it joined, those opposing it presumably didn’t. And no doubt a few of the “don’t knows” jumped on board just in case.
The purpose of this blog is not to re-ignite that debate (heaven [...]
Last Sunday in Edinburgh I took part in a panel on the subject of Intractable Conflict. The principal speaker was Oliver Ramsbotham, Emeritus Professor of Conflict Resolution at the University of Bradford, and author of ‘Transforming Violent Conflict: Radical Disagreement, Dialogue and Survival’ (Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2010). He described a familiar, if depressing, phenomenon in which the best efforts of all parties, including mediators, negotiators and politicians, appear to leave conflict untouched. Indeed, in the case of Israel/Palestinian it seems to get worse every year.
I make no claims to expertise regarding that conflict. However, listening to others with great passion and kn [...]
In a previous posting I looked at Hong Kong’s new Mediation Ordinance, which came into force on 1 January 2013. This legislative activity comes hot on the heels of a major revision of the Hong Kong Arbitration Ordinance which came into effect in 2011.
Given the increasing interest in multi-tiered dispute resolution (MDR) processes such as med-arb and arb-med-arb, I thought it would be useful to consider the application of these two ordinances to MDR practice in Hong Kong.
The Arbitration Ordinance (AO)
One of the underlying intentions of the revised AO was to encourage the use of:
• med-arb where a mediator is appointed to try to resolve the dispute before arbitral proceedings are comme [...]
Mediator is New Premier in Ontario
Following my rant last month about the need for more mediators in public policy-making, the Liberal Party of Ontario has chosen a former mediator, Kathleen Wynne, as their new leader and, consequently, as the first woman Premier of Ontario. I had no idea this Blog had so much influence. See the full story here.
Unsurprisingly Premier Wynne began her tenure with a “conciliatory” Throne Speech (that’s the way we get the government rolling here in Ontario) appealing for “common ground” with opposition parties and others embroiled in disputes with her government.
Stay tuned to see how that works out.
P.S. – It seems that Premier Wynne is following in [...]
Mackerel has recently been taken off the ‘Fish to Eat’ list of the Marine Conservation Society (MCS). Due to overfishing, MCS has downgraded its rating of this popular oily fish. The society believes that international arguments about mackerel quotas mean it is no longer a sustainable choice. MCS advises that mackerel should now only be eaten occasionally and that consumers should opt for herrings or sardines. The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, which advises governments on fishing issues, has also warned that the stock is being overexploited.
Mackerel quotas have been the source of a dispute among the European Union, Iceland, Norway and the Faroe Islands since at lea [...]
Here, no one agrees on anything – even the monks from various Christian denominations (Greek Orthodox, Armenians, Catholics and others) responsible for The Church of the Holy Sepulchre where Christ was crucified, argue amongst themselves on almost everything from cleaning duties to repairs. A wooden ladder has remained on a ledge just above the main entrance (see it ?) since the 19th Century – because no one can agree who has the right to take it down.
But, ironically, peacemaking is clearly big business in Jerusalem.
As we all know, if there were to be a sudden outbreak of peace [...]
I once had the honour to meet the first woman in Space, Valentina Tereshkova. She said something that has always stuck in my mind: “Once you have been in Space you appreciate how small and fragile the earth is”. She meant that Space is a good place to be if you want put things into perspective. So that’s where I went, in an imaginary Sputnik, when I was asked to present some thoughts on international trends in mediation at the 2012 Asian Mediation Association Annual Meeting.
From the higher vantage point, I quickly found that there are established trends, emerging trends and fads, and that no trends are established everywhere. Likewise, some emerging trends are nowhere in most pl [...]
As much as we might like mediation’s fluid and often intangible nature, every now and then it can be of benefit to come across some research which enables us to take a step back and look at the impact our work is having on our clients, even long after the execution of the Memorandum of Understanding. One such piece of research which is not getting nearly enough press is Reunite’s study on An Evaluation of the Long Term Effects of Mediation in Cases of International Parental Child Abduction, authored by Trevor Buck, published in June of this year. It is one of only very few studies I have come across recently which evaluates the impact of mediation beyond “success” or “failure” i [...]
(Foreign) investor – (host) State disputes are for many reasons an intriguing and fast developing part of legal and dispute resolution practice. Since the late 1990s, the number of such disputes has increased sharply: In 1997, 19 known cases were brought against states. By 2007, there were over 250 known cases, and more than 450 by the end of 2011.
Some of them are enormous in terms of the amounts at stake and potential impact on the parties to the dispute. Others are just large. In the history of ICSID (International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes), the lowest awarded amount ever was US$ 460,000 (Asian Agricultural Products Ltd. v. Sri Lanka, ICSID Case No. ARB/87/3, Award [...]
The location was the Old Post House in Stafford, a traditional English, allegedly haunted, building with excellent conference facilities, good food and awful coffee. The occasion was World Conflict Resolution Day, this year on 18th October. About 45 mediators from around the world had gathered for a day of lectures on workshops on mediation.
The day began with the keynote address by Dr. Mohammed Keshavee, a specialist in cross-cultural mediation, due to publish his book on mediation among diasporic Muslim communities shortly. In a truly inspirational lecture, entitled “Gandhi, Mandela and Martin Luther King – Precursors to Transformative Mediation, he reminded us of why many of us got in [...]