The German Mediation Act was passed five years ago on 21 July 2012, after nearly all EU member states were required by a 2008 EU Directive to implement mediation legislation. I took the opportunity to talk about the Act and its effects with two experienced mediator-judges working in German courts. Anne-Ruth Moltmann-Willisch has been 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…

It was fifty years ago at the end of May that the Beatles launched the album (or LP as it was then called) “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” on the world – and the world was changed forever. 1967 was quite a year. It was the “Summer of Love”. Revolution was in the air…

Have you ever wondered who mediators are helping? The parties, obviously! Well, not so obvious to our critics. In this blog I consider worries about mediation’s approach to manifest injustice before making the case for understanding the mediator as co-creator, with the parties, of outcomes. I argue that co-creation enhances the prospects for justice. Stories…

Speaking recently with a lawyer friend about the way that mediation is impacting the traditional justice mechanisms, I was happy to observe more openness towards ADR than the usual “allergy to it”, yet the honest reply included “[…] unfortunately, not only lawyers can provide mediation services, and this will hurt the quality”. Of course, this…

Do you remember mediating your first mediation? In this blog I share my early mediation experiences, calling upon the veterans amongst you to travel down memory lane and rummage around in all those dusty, nostalgic moments. I invite you to share them with those of us who are yet to slay that first mediation dragon…

What is it about disputes in regulated sectors that make them suited to mediation? Regulated sectors are ripe for disputes. Whether it’s the energy, financial or telecoms sector, there are often incumbent players that own key infrastructure that is essential for delivering services to customers. At the same time new entrants may be vying for…

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….

In the first of a series of blogs on the business of mediation, Stephen Walker, author of Setting Up In Business As A Mediator (Bloomsbury Dec 2015), discusses whether mediation is a business at all. Is Mediation A Business? The short answer is yes, if you want it to be. But should it be? Not everybody…

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….