Communication more important than ever
POSTED ON March 30, 2020 | Comments (0)

I have been writing articles for the Scotsman law pages for many years. Occasionally it has been difficult to find a topic or a theme. But this must be the most difficult of all. What does one say which has any meaning at a time...

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The only thing which will redeem mankind is cooperation
POSTED ON March 17, 2020 | Comments (0)

The only thing which will redeem mankind is cooperation “The only thing which will redeem mankind is cooperation” said the philosopher Bertrand Russell. Perhaps only a real crisis will enable us truly to appreciate what this means and what it takes. The impact of the...

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The World Mediators Alliance on Climate Change?
POSTED ON February 03, 2020 | Comments (0)

The World Mediators Alliance on Climate Change?   “The ground is so wet; it wasn’t like this in the past. We can’t get started on this year’s soil preparation.” In a recent mediation involving farmers, this was the response to my early inquiry about how...

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Can lawyers do their jobs and still act with 'kindness'?
POSTED ON February 03, 2020 | Comments (0)

Recently, I had the privilege of facilitating a session at Scotland’s Citizens Assembly at which politicians from four political parties took the opportunity to discuss with the Assembly members (more than 100 people randomly recruited from across Scotland) their vision for the future of the...

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We Can Each Make a Difference in 2020
POSTED ON December 28, 2019 | Comments (0)

One of the most enjoyable aspects of the festive season is receiving and reading books that one might not have come across otherwise. This year, I have been enjoying two quite contrasting works of literature. The first is a Manual for Spectrum Agents (Haynes Publishing) providing “detailed...

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Post Election Reflections
POSTED ON December 18, 2019 | Comments (0)

The Scotsman newspaper asserted in its editorial on Saturday 14 December that “Humility, respect and compromise can be good politics”. That is surely a welcome reflection on what now seems essential in our national life. Whatever our perspective, we must accept that, under the present...

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Civility in politics should not be too much to hope for
POSTED ON December 10, 2019 | Comments (0)

As many of us wrestle with the question of where to place our cross on Thursday, perhaps we need to approach our choice differently. Suppose we believe that the biggest concern is how we do politics, rather than any particular policy. Suppose we wish to...

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Belief in excellence will take you far
POSTED ON December 09, 2019 | Comments (0)

My title is World Class Advocacy: Achieving Excellence in what we do. I’m grateful to my latest successor as Director of Training in the Faculty of Advocates, Neil Mackenzie, for prompting this title by commenting on the energy, passion and values which he experienced in...

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If it looks like mediation? And other ramblings....
POSTED ON November 28, 2019 | Comments (0)

What to write about this month? There is a lot on the go: General Election in the UK, Citizens Assembly in Scotland, Climate Change reports predicting the worst. What about mediation? That is an interesting question. I have been asked recently to act as an...

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Citizens Assembly Underway
POSTED ON November 01, 2019 | Comments (0)

As a member of the Stewarding Group of the Citizens Assembly, I felt honoured to attend the first sessions of the Assembly on 26 and 27 October in Edinburgh. Walking into the venue, it had the feel of an historic occasion. And so it turned...

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