Some Questions at the Turn of the Year...
POSTED ON January 04, 2021 | Comments (0)

There are times when one is not sure what to say or do, especially if one aspires not simply to repeat or anticipate what others might say or do. What do you say when you don’t know what to say? What do you do when...

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Recognising Trauma: Litigation and Politics are Harming Us
POSTED ON November 30, 2020 | Comments (0)

I write this in the aftermath of yet another mediation in which the protagonists exhibited symptoms of having been seriously traumatised by the litigation process to which they had been exposed. Depression, suicidal thoughts, anger, loathing, destroyed relationships, large amounts of money spent with no...

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Reflections on the US Election 2020
POSTED ON November 16, 2020 | Comments (0)

Perhaps it’s time for a re-frame. The world’s best attempt so far at democracy has been the subject of much criticism. We may have seen the best and worst of democracy in action. Certainly, we have seen a massive turnout of voters, largely in a...

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Mediators' Green Pledge will form foundation of sector's response to climate change
POSTED ON November 03, 2020 | Comments (0)

In these pages two weeks ago, Alison Macnab and Gillian Mawdsley from the Law Society of Scotland wrote about the role of lawyers when it comes to climate change. They noted the crucial United Nations COP26 conference in Glasgow, now rescheduled for November 2021. The...

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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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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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Keep Mediation and Arbitration Separate?
POSTED ON August 28, 2015 | Comments (33)

My wife and I recently spent a very convivial evening at the beautiful home in Sydney of leading Australian mediator Alan Limbury and his wife, Dr. Rosemary Howell, who coaches a team from the University of New South Wales in the annual ICC mediation competition....

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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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Key Learning Points from Recent Mediations
POSTED ON May 14, 2015 | Comments (69)

"What's been going on in recent mediations", asked a colleague. "Any highlights?" The trouble with doing anything on a regular basis is that you can omit to reflect on the learning from each occasion. So, for me, here are some takeaways from the past few...

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