This is not a blog about the novel and films that might have captured the “grey” zone in public imagination. Rather, it’s about uncertainty, both within and about mediation. These notes also owe much to conversations with mediation colleagues at the ICC’s mediation competition in Paris in early February, over coffees and the occasional glass…

I begin with two poetic images. One is from an 8th century Taoist poem – I asked the boy beneath the pines. He said, “The master’s gone alone Herb-picking somewhere on the mount, Cloud-hidden, whereabouts unknown.” [Chia Tao (777-841)] And the other, more recent, from W H Auden’s poem “Law Like Love”: And always the…

On 15 February 2016, the European platform for solving disputes arising out of online purchases (https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/odr)the ODR Platform, based on EU Regulation 524/2013 (the Regulation) was officially launched. The platform enables EU consumers and traders to settle their disputes by putting them in touch with the ADR providers selected by Member States. This platform is…

In this blog, I’ll follow up on Deborah Masucci’s overview, and in doing so I’ll offer a three observations about technology and one about a very non-technological aspect of mediation. First, on the technology: as those who were there will know only too well, and those who have followed at arm’s length will appreciate, the…

“Stand by your devices”; or “Access through the [virtual] looking glass” I take the first phrase of this blog title from a throw-away line in one of the recent comments by a student in my current Negotiation and Mediation class. The context is this: my university has implemented an Emergency Preparedness Teaching and Learning [EPTL]…

To the extent that a mediator’s job involves listening to people complain and engage in negative behaviour, mediators face a serious mental health hazard. Research shows that listening to ongoing negativity impairs the brain function of the listener. Yes! Listening can be bad for you if you have a whinging party in the room, and…

‘Justice’, an “all-party law reform and human rights organisation working to strengthen the justice system” launched a new report on April 23rd entitled ‘DELIVERING JUSTICE IN AN AGE OF AUSTERITY’. The report could be described as a plan to deliver justice despite the cuts. It proposes a transformation of the court system in England and…

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”….

If you were unaware that last week was Cyberweek 2014, you missed a chance to take part in the 17th annual online conference dedicated to innovations and development in Online Dispute Resolution (ODR). Its program included 17 live webinars, 8 discussion forums and a variety of other activities to discuss the integration of technology and…

The title of this blog is not as harsh and heartless as it might seem at first sight. True, mediation proceeds largely on assumptions of disputant autonomy and participation; and the expectation is that the outcomes will be those designed by, and with the commitment of, the participants. This comment, however, picks up on two…