Brexit negotiations have been hobbled by lack of maturity
Most commentators understandably view the Brexit negotiations from political, economic or social standpoints. The consequences appear potentially catastrophic. How could this happen? Viewed from the perspective of the art of negotiation, arriving at the present position is hardly surprising. The negotiation strategy adopted by the...
Time to make more of resolution option
POSTED ON August 06, 2018 | Comments (0)
We welcome a new Cabinet Secretary for Justice. Among many tasks, he faces the perennial challenge that a significant part of what is referred to as “dispute resolution” in a civil (ie, not criminal) context in Scotland still seems disproportionately costly, time-consuming and uncertain and...
Paddling against the Current: Embodied Conflict
POSTED ON July 28, 2018 | Comments (0)
“I’ve been trying to tell you, but you didn’t listen. You’ve got to go down more deeply and take more time, you’re rushing it and it’s too superficial. You’re hardly disturbing the surface. You’ll make no progress that way. And you are using so much...
To Understand Trump, Study his Mother's Trauma
POSTED ON July 19, 2018 | Comments (0)
President Trump’s visit has provoked much comment on the behaviour and attitudes demonstrated by this most unusual man. Not so much attention has been paid to what lies beneath. Just what makes a man act and speak as he does? An answer may lie in...
The certainties of the past will no longer afford security in the future
POSTED ON June 14, 2018 | Comments (1)
"The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation" - Bertrand Russell It is becoming more and more evident that a binary approach to important political questions is no longer fit for purpose. It is also fairly obvious that the certainties of the past will...
The Edinburgh Declaration of International Mediators, May 2018
POSTED ON May 28, 2018 | Comments (0)
I write this in the aftermath of an extraordinarily uplifting and diverse conference which I had the privilege to host and chair recently in Edinburgh, under the auspices of the International Academy of Mediators. Nearly 120 mediators from over 20 countries attended and shared deep...
Scotland ready to reprise role in thawing Cold War
POSTED ON May 10, 2018 | Comments (0)
In a new book titled “1983: The World at the Brink”, Taylor Downing describes how close we came that year to nuclear war between the US and the then USSR. President Reagan’s Star Wars programme and the shooting down of a South Korean 747 airliner...
POSTED ON May 02, 2018 | Comments (1)
We finished module 2 of our flagship training course last week. One of our participants emailed me the next day: “I was driving up the road yesterday and mulling over one aspect of the mediation exercise we did. I get that we are facilitating adults...
Nelson Mandela, master of mediation
POSTED ON April 23, 2018 | Comments (0)
In just a couple of weeks, over 120 mediators from all over the world will arrive in Edinburgh for the annual conference of the International Academy of Mediators. This is a wonderful occasion and a great opportunity for Scotland. Mediation in the mainstream? Quite a...
Optimising the use of Joint Sessions in Mediation
POSTED ON March 29, 2018 | Comments (0)
Much has been said and written about the demise of the joint meeting in mediation. In my experience, such a view is premature and, I fear, is potentially wasteful of the power that mediation brings for creative problem-solving. I am also aware of how much...