The year is nearly over, and here in the West of Ireland it is cold, wet windy and dark for what seems like most of the day, so I think it is time for a little moan about the frustrations those of us working particularly in family mediation are experiencing. (I promise I’ll start 2014 on a more optimistic note..!) This moan relates specifically to the challenges of mediating issues relating to children in a cultural and legal system that still takes a haphazard and fragmented approach to putting children and their voices at the centre of family law.
Admittedly, these are turbulent times in Ireland’s family justice system. Over a year after the Irish people voted in favour of a Constitu [...]
The new ICC Rules of Mediation were unveiled this week at a global launch in Paris.
Coming into force on 1 January 2014, the new ICC Rules will replace the ICC ADR Rules that have been used for amicable dispute resolution worldwide since 2001. The new Rules have been adapted to help parties resolve even the most complex cross-border disputes quickly and reliably. Changes include the setting of mediation as the default technique, as well as increased support from the ICC International Centre for ADR, the body administering the new Rules.
Hannah Tuempel, Senior Counsel and Manager of the ICC International Centre for ADR, noted the positive response from business: “The new ICC Rules of Mediatio [...]
Recently I had contact with the Design Thinking process, which is a creative problem solving approach that attempts to bring together tools and techniques from several disciplines and apply them to real problems or challenges.
Although it follows no real pattern, as each situation requires unique approaches and solutions, a simple framework can be applied in order to provide an introductory line of thought to the subject.
In my view, Design Thinking can be seen as a technique capable of bringing “empathy and logic” to the overall nature of the Mediation process. As such, by being creatively placed at the center of the problem, with the additional neutral assistance from professionals fro [...]
The destruction of Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons was a major event that happened in the world this year and is a testament to mediated negotiations in which words trumped force in getting the job done.
Secretary of State John Kerry set things in motion when he said the Syrian government could avoid a military strike by turning over its entire chemical arsenal, while concurrently indicating that he didn’t expect President Bashar Assad to agree to such terms. According to Kerry, “I purposefully made the statements that I made in London, and I did indeed say it was impossible and he won’t do it, even as I hoped it would be possible and wanted him to do it. The language of diplo [...]
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 time to time.
Some time ago I conducted an employment-related mediation. The case did not settle on the day of the mediation and, as is usually my practice, I followed up with a “double-blind” mediator proposal following the mediation. The “double-blind” proposal is a mediator tool whereby the mediator makes a settlement proposal, asking each side to consider the p [...]
The “Italian mediation explosion” attracted a lot of attention from the international mediation community. The mediation explosion came to a sudden halt in December 2012, when the Italian Constitutional Court ruled that the provisions had been unconstitutional. Just recently, on September 20, 2013, a new regulation came into effect, again opting for mandatory mediation, but with several important modifications.
The history of this program dates back to 2009, when the Italian legislature implemented Law No 69/2009. The Law delegated a mandate to the Government to introduce a regulation of civil and commercial mediation. The Government fulfilled it by legislative decree 28/2010, which int [...]
First, a confession. Next, a suggestion.
At the beginning of every mediation session, I am not sure which hat I will be wearing. Will it be the role of the poker player who is dealing for dollars? The priest who listens to his parishioners’ penitence? The bartender who tells stories? The judge who tells the parties what to do? The philosopher who shares thoughts about the way of the world? Some days I wear all those hats. Other days I might wear just one.
As my experience over many years has developed, there is one hat that I find myself wearing more often, the Village Elder.
The village elder is considered the highest ranking and most respectable leader in the community. The elder represe [...]
According to the National Council of Justice, there are close to 90 million lawsuits currently in course in Brazil. On average, it takes around 10 years for a lawsuit to reach closure after all appeals have been exhausted.
In an effort to face this almost unbearable situation, the Brazilian court system has been fostering several forms of partnerships with entities such as the Brazilian Bar Association, Law Schools, NGOs, among others. These initiatives seek alternatives to expedite the resolution of these backlogged cases. One of the pillars of this new problem solving approach is to stimulate the use of mediation, negotiation, arbitration, and conciliation.
In order to also improve the le [...]
Sorry (as we Canadians tend to say a lot). I’m A few days late with this post as I’ve been vacationing in London U.K. with my wife and 14-year old daughter. (Wonderful time, thanks). Today is my first day back in the office after the two weeks away and I’m sure readers will know what that’s like. Thankfully I have a week before I start a full schedule of mediations starting in September. But already the Briefs are piling up and there’s a predictable increase of emails from anxious legal assistants.
On top of that today is my 60th birthday. They say it’s the new 40 but I’m not so sure about that. As you’d expect the prospect of the busy fall schedule combined with a change in the first number [...]
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Settling class action cases is typically a distributive negotiation where there is a fixed pie that gets divided up. While there is some room for creativity, for the most part it is a zero sum game in which a litigant’s gain (or loss) is balanced by the losses (or gains) of the other litigants. If the total gains of the parties are added up, and the total losses are subtracted, they will equal zero. This sets the stage for a very competitive negotiation.
Usually when there are only two partie [...]