Mediators deal in words – not exclusively, but a great deal (and perhaps sometimes too much, but that’s another blog). So it pays for us to think carefully about what words really mean. A couple of years ago, I came across an article entitled “US facilitation yes, mediation no: Omar”. It detailed how Pakistan, through…

Its interesting to me that when you Google “lying” and “mediation” you are redirected to “lying” (as in lying down) and “meditation”. Recently my attention was drawn back to the old issue of deception in mediation. It’s an issue that mediators, lawyers and parties engaged in mediation or negotiation do well to reflect on from…

Here is a confession. I have a theory (in the best traditions of Monty Python). It is totally untested. I am pretty certain that it would not survive rigorous, double-blind trials. It may, however, contain some seeds of insight. My theory – wait for it – is that mediations where one or more of the…

On 4 September 2010, Christchurch – gateway to New Zealand’s scenic South Island – suffered a major 7.1 earthquake and before it could recover a further 6.3 earthquake shook the city on 22 February 2011 killing 185 people and damaging well over one third of the buildings in the CBD and tens of thousands of…

[Author’s Note: I am grateful to Ms. Melissa Teo whose journal ruminations led me to the random thoughts that follow] I teach mediation skills at the National University of Singapore Faculty of Law and it has always been something that I have found tremendously fulfilling. Apart from influencing generations of lawyers to consider the resolution…

Recently, during a lull in the action in a tort mediation, I was drawn aside by an insurance representative I see frequently. He had concerns about my “style” as a mediator. “Every mediation it’s the same thing”, he said. “It’s almost like everyone knows where the case is going to settle in advance so why…

Over the past few weeks I have been following a discussion on LinkedIn around mediator certification which has been going on non-stop for no less than four months. The question of whether the regulation of mediators is good, bad or indifferent seems to go straight to the heart of issues surrounding our identity as mediators…

Professions (and hence professionals) are both blessed and cursed with high expectations. The upside is clear: the public expects high standards, expertise and care, and in return is prepared to pay handsomely. The downside typically involves disciplinary sanctions against those not measuring up to those standards, although issues of probity rather than competence tend to…

As you would expect, judges are appointed for their ability to adjudicate, often untested at the time of elevation to the Bench. Once appointed, many jurisdictions around the world then ask their judges to suspend their adjudication skills in favour of mediating controversies coming before the court, often in an effort to reduce backlogs. And it seems…