Reflecting on Purpose
POSTED ON September 28, 2020 | Comments (0)

The process of discerning what to write about in a blog is interesting. Sometimes inspiration comes quickly. On other occasions, there is a barren wilderness, or a hotchpotch of half-formed ideas. This month feels like the last of these. I thought to write about a...

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Westminster needs to brush up on the art of negotiation
POSTED ON September 22, 2020 | Comments (0)

It is so frustrating. Whatever the political merits and demerits of saying you will not observe an agreement already reached with another party if it no longer suits you, such a tactic is arguably a really poor negotiation strategy. It is almost bound to produce...

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They Said It Couldn't Be Done - Mediation Training Online
POSTED ON September 15, 2020 | Comments (0)

They said it couldn’t be done. I said it couldn’t be done. Six months ago, running our (normally residential) flagship Summer School (“Using Mediation Skills as Leaders and Professionals”) online while sitting in my study at home would have been unthinkable. I was not in...

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How SPFL dispute could have avoided going to court
POSTED ON July 28, 2020 | Comments (0)

The arbitration panel has issued its decision. The legal arguments have been analysed and adjudicated upon. In many ways, the whole process has been a defining moment for the sport. There may be a danger that the bad feelings created will linger. But was there...

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Legal action can be costly, but there are alternatives
POSTED ON July 20, 2020 | Comments (0)

“Isn’t it incredible where you end up in a situation where the small guy cannot take on the big guy because they cannot afford the legal action?” “That’s an incredible situation – no justice can be served unless you can afford it.” These are words...

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Abraham Lincoln sought compromise. So should we.
POSTED ON May 26, 2020 | Comments (0)

“Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbours to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser, in fees, expenses, and waste of time. As a peacemaker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There...

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World leaders must set aside rivalry to fight this scourge
POSTED ON April 21, 2020 | Comments (0)

“The only thing which will redeem mankind is co-operation,” observed the philosopher Bertrand Russell. Perhaps only a real crisis is enabling us truly to appreciate what this means and what it might take. What if one of our world leaders wrote to their counterparts in...

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

“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 things were going, generally. These days, I find...

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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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New Horizons: Keynote Address to Arbitrators' and Mediators' Institute of New Zealand
POSTED ON July 24, 2015 | Comments (93)

I posed these questions in my keynote address to the annual conference of the Arbitrators' and Mediators' Institute of New Zealand recently, in the context of the conference theme of New Horizons: What if the way in which we have sought to resolve difficult disputes...

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