* The views expressed here are entirely my own! Nine years after its conception by the Law Reform Commission, a draft Mediation Law, the Mediation Bill 2017, was officially presented to the Irish parliament by the Minister for Justice this week and the debate on its provisions was thereby initiated. Rafal Morek has outlined what…

When building the Brazilian capital, Brasilia, in the fifties, Juscelino Kubitschek’s expression “50 years in 5” became famous. He was referring to the country’s expected development. Maybe a sort of analogy – ten years in one – could be used to describe the recent developments in alternative dispute resolution in Brazil. If compared to other…

How many of us share the experience I have had – sitting on the last train home, late at night, with a day’s mediating behind me and no settlement? Perhaps even no meaningful progress towards a settlement? Occasionally, no offers even made? And as you do so, perhaps you find that your thoughts veer from:…

“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…

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…

This year, I think I have seen more articles on why and how NOT to make New Year’s Resolutions than making them. I’m not sure what this says about us, or about such resolutions, but, never one to miss an opportunity to make a nice list, I have made some mediation-specific resolutions nonetheless. First of…

“I often draw strength from meeting ordinary people doing extraordinary things … their lives frequently embody a truth expressed by Mother Teresa, from this year Saint Teresa of Calcutta. She once said: ‘Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love’. But even with the inspiration of…

Motivated by the desire to ensure that the dialogue on standards for mediators is informed and underpinned by research, the Mediators’ Institute of Ireland, the professional body for mediators in Ireland commissioned a piece of research on skills and behaviours in workplace mediation in 2015. The success of this project and the value of the…

I have just read Ian Macduff’s recent Kluwer blog (26 November: “Upheaval and resilience: a note from the Shaky Isles”). What a privilege it is, in this blog, to follow Ian’s erudite writing. He captures so well the spirit of the age, with all its uncertainty, tragedy, hope and opportunity. On that theme, my wife…

Rather than use Brexit and the US elections as introductory examples of dramatic change, I’m going to use yesterday’s seismic event in Chicago instead. Yesterday, the Irish rugby team beat New Zealand’s All Blacks for the first time ever (111 years). If that hasn’t changed the landscape of rugby, I don’t know what will. Anyway,…