plainenglish

A few months ago I painted a not-terribly-flattering picture of Scottish justice as experienced by small claimants – (Oiling the Wheels of the Justice System). Seen through the eyes of a mediator (and ex-lawyer) the language, practices and architecture seem calculated to confuse those most in need of assistance and clarity like unrepresented parties and…

[A talk given at the recent “100 cases” event in Glasgow to celebrate two years of small claims mediation provided by Strathclyde Mediation Clinic. Judges in Scotland are known as “sheriffs”.] I’ve been rather enjoying my belated return to the small claims court. Like a kind of slow theatre, each Friday afternoon unfolds with impeccable…

We have quite a heavy topic before us, but before we get into the weightiness of it, I’d like to begin with something more light-hearted. There is a TV commercial going around which begins with flashes of hard-hitting questions such as: what is the age of the universe? What is the meaning of life? Etc….

11 January 2016 saw the opening of the Singapore Legal Year. As is tradition, the Chief Justice of Singapore, Mr. Sundaresh Menon delivered his address to the legal fraternity. In his address, there were a number of initiatives relating to mediation which the writer would like to provide readers an update on. The Chief Justice…

Many jurisdictions have grappled with the extent to which their courts should get themselves involved in the mediation of litigated cases. Many different approaches have found favour around the globe, with diverse programs being implemented in courts from Hong Kong to Florida and places in between. Some courts are hands off while others are heavy handed…

It’s not always easy to spot trends. But one that I have noticed over the last year or two is an increase in the number of cases I am being asked to mediate in which litigation or arbitration proceedings have not yet been issued. This produces different challenges. On the upside: • The parties have…

I’d like to spend this month’s blog entry providing an update on a Singapore development. On the 4 March 2015, there was the launch of the State Courts Centre for Dispute Resolution by the Chief Justice of Singapore, Mr. Sundaresh Menon. At the same time, Thomson Reuters also launched their book “Mediation in Singapore: A…

In his 1956 text, The Queen’s Courts, Sir Peter Archer suggested that the development of the Courts was more organic than by design, and – though he doesn’t say as much – more pragmatic than principled. He calls on Topsy’s response to Ophelia in Uncle Tom’s Cabin, to suggest that, like Topsy, they “just grow’d”….

A couple of years ago in January I wrote a post on likely developments in Ireland in the New Year which, if I recall correctly, had the expression “High Hopes” in the title. Those hopes related primarily to the publication of a new, comprehensive piece of legislation on mediation and the impact it might have…