“Justice” Report for England and Wales: A Missed Opportunity for Radical Change (6/29/15) Charlie Irvine "Justice," a UK think-tank committed to legal reform, launched a new report in April 2015 entitled "Delivering Justice in an Age of Austerity". It proposes significant changes to the justice system of England and Wales, including a new character, the "Registrar", who would have powers to mediate, provide early neutral evaluation, dismiss cases or refer them to a judge. The article provides a detailed critique of the proposals, concluding that despite great merit, they extend the "shadow of the law" by making early neutral evaluation the default. A more radical and empowering change would have been to make mediation the default, with ENE and adjudication the remedial alternatives.
The 2015-16 Global Pound Conference Series - Prospectus (4/15/15) Jeremy Lack, Michael Mcilwrath “Shaping the Future of Dispute Resolution & Improving Access to Appropriate Justice." The goal of the Global Pound Conference (“GPC”) Series is to improve access to justice around the world by generating actionable data from stakeholders in the dispute prevention and resolution fields to facilitate greater access to appropriate dispute resolution (“ADR”) processes worldwide. Please join our efforts!
Family Mediation - Preface (3/12/15) Lisa Parkinson The Children and Families Act 2014 is focusing more attention on the role of family mediation in the family justice system. Family mediators have been given greater responsibility to encourage consideration of non-court dispute resolution processes before application is made to the family court, and to assess the suitability of mediation in particular circumstances.
Fees of the Successfully Challenged Arbitrator? (1/16/15) Alfred Siwy In its decision of 17.2.2014, the Austrian Supreme Court decided on a claimant’s request for reimbursement of the portion of the fees advanced to the arbitrator whom it had successfully challenged during ongoing proceedings and on his liability for frustrated costs caused by the challenge and the appointment of a new arbitrator.
Non-Judicial Means of Collective Redress in Europe (12/19/14) Beth Graham S.I. Strong, Associate Professor at the University of Missouri School of Law, has published a book chapter entitled Non-Judicial Means of Collective Redress in Europe in Collective Redress in Europe (Oxford University Press, anticipated 2015); University of Missouri School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2014-29. In her book chapter, Professor Strong analyzes large-scale arbitration and other non-judicial avenues for collective redress in Europe.
Harvesting Data to Shape the Future of International Dispute Resolution (9/22/14) Deborah Masucci, Michael Leathes Among the early words of wisdom expressed by Sherlock Holmes was this classic line: "I never guess. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts." And so it is with dispute resolution. There is a paucity of reliable statistics out there to enable users of dispute resolution services, as well as advisers, providers, educators, adjudicators and policymakers, to understand how best to prepare and steer ourselves for the future.
Collaborative Scotland (6/06/14) John Sturrock Scotland is having a referendum on its constitutional future. As I write this, it is only a few months until we vote. Whatever the outcome in September’s referendum about independence for Scotland, in this country we will all need to work hard to ensure that we can live well together after the referendum.
Why Mediate.com? (4/02/14) Jim Melamed After 18 years as CEO of Mediate.com, I know the answer to "Why Mediate.com?" Our purpose from the beginning has been to both reflect and drive the development of valuable mediation services on a global scale.
Mediate is Top Ranked Mediation Website (2/04/14) Mediate.com Mediate.com is ranked the top mediation and dispute resolution website by Alexa in its February 1, 2014 global website rankings. In business since 1996, Mediate.com has over 15,000 searchable mediation articles, blog posts, news items and videos. Mediate.com also hosts the most used mediator directory and offers mobile friendly website development, professional promotional services and cloud-based case management systems.
Scotland Can Provide Secure Forum for Global Disputes (12/06/13) John Sturrock This is a difficult time for the world as we face serious tensions in the Middle East. Thirty years ago, the situation was similar. On 1 September that year, fighter jets from the Soviet Union shot down a South Korean jumbo jet near Sakhalin Island, in the Sea of Japan, killing all 269 people on board. The Cold War was at a peak. Relations between East and West were at a low ebb.
Building Better Business Cultures (10/03/13) John Sturrock A culture shift from conflict to collaboration
is taking place, leading mediators believe, in
handling difficult situations and disputes, not only
in business but in many aspects of public life –
a development which presents fresh challenges
to the legal profession.
Mediation Demonstration - Video (7/13/13)
This full-length role-play mediation video, with explanations, was produced by O'Sullivan Solutions in February, 2013. This mediation role-play was demonstrated live in front of the faculty of law at Griffith College, Cork.
Business As Usual? Mediation and the Justice System (5/19/13) Charlie Irvine This article considers the under-use of mediation in the UK's second largest jurisdiction, Scotland. The article has three sections: a "myth buster" and two questions. The first examines three popular myths about mediation; the second addresses the question, "How does mediation add value to the justice system"; and the third presents the business case for lawyers, "Why does mediation make good business sense?"
ODR in Europe (5/18/13) Graham Ross, Marta Poblet This paper offers an overview of the present situation of ODR in Europe and discusses effective development of ODR deployments to handle online,
offline, national and cross-border disputes in Europe. To do so, we proceed by first defining the scope of ODR and reviewing existing services. We then continue by analyzing the major challenges faced by ODR in Europe and finally conclude by suggesting some future scenarios.
Survey Shows How Mediation can be Successful (4/08/13) Victoria Hall Clarks Legal LLP recently undertook a survey on workplace mediation. The survey looked at the use of mediation and what barriers there might be to the use of mediation as well as success rates and what if any further information or support might be required.
Liability of Counsel in International Arbitration: Any Changes? (3/29/13) Lisa Bench Nieuwveld A week ago today, it was my privilege to participate in the annual UNCITRAL/VIAC/YAAP Joint Conference, addressing hot topics in international arbitration. The conference successfully considered many key topics, including my topic, liability of counsel in international arbitrations. This topic, similar to my recent book topic (Kluwer Law International, Third-Party Funding in International Arbitration), is receiving a lot of attention with limited actual changes.
Online Dispute Resolution for Consumers (3/27/13) Pablo Cortés ODR in the consumer context refers to the use of ICT tools and methods (usually alternative to the court system) employed by businesses and consumers (B2C) to settle conflicts that arise out of economic transactions between the parties, particularly in e-commerce.
Establishing a Global ODR System for Cross-Border Online Transactions for the Sale of Goods (3/16/13) Vikki Rogers For the last couple of decades, Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) experts have been creating protocols, standards and agreements for the creation of ODR systems that could resolve low-value disputes that extend beyond regional borders. To the dismay of many in this community, these various efforts never manifested into a wide-spread program offering redress to parties engaged in cross-border commercial activity.
Mediation in Healthcare in European Union (3/07/13)
HOPE has recently published a report entitled Mediation in Healthcare, which presents the results of a survey aiming at comparing the scope and methodology of conflict resolution in the healthcare sector in the different EU Member States.
The EU Museum Mediators Project (video) (3/05/13)
Eva-Kaia Vabamäe reflects on her experience as a "Museum Mediators" course participant. Afterwards, the European dimensions and challenges arise in the difficult translation of the term "Museum Mediation" to Estonian.
Mandatory Mediation under Threat in Italy (11/05/12) Matthew Rushton Parallel with Italy’s supreme court (the Court of Cassation), the Constitutional Court is the highest court and there is no avenue of appeal. While some have interpreted the ruling as the end of mandatory mediation in Italy, others believe that it is too soon to judge.
Recognition of International Arbitration in Ukraine in Figures (10/26/12) Konstantin Pilikov Arbitration practitioners often put Ukraine below the average ranking of countries in terms of recognition of arbitration. Ukraine’s image of a not-entirely arbitration-friendly jurisdiction is “promoted” because of problematic enforcement of arbitral awards in Ukraine. However, in recent years the Ukrainian legal system demonstrated significant progress in adherence to the arbitration-friendly approach.
UN Guide for Effective Mediation - Video (10/23/12) United Nations With armed conflicts trending upward again and proving increasingly complex, the challenges are also mounting for mediators working to resolve them through negotiations. Newly developed guidance from the United Nations can help them to succeed, providing practical advice for navigating mediation processes effectively. This video describes the 8 UN fundamental guidelines.
Swiss Parliament Initiates Review Process of the Swiss Arbitration Law (10/12/12) Matthias Scherer On 27 September 2012, the Swiss Parliament adopted a motion that had been introduced earlier this year tasking the Government to prepare a report on the Swiss Arbitration Law (chapter 12 of the Federal Act on Private International Law (PILA)). The objective of the report is to further enhance the attractiveness of Switzerland as a place of arbitration.
Peace (10/12/12) Joe Markowitz However shaky the European Union is today, whatever its deficiencies, it still deserved the Nobel Peace Prize, for its contributions to peace over decades.
Mass Claims in The Netherlands (7/23/12) Colin Rule The Dutch ‘Class Action (Financial Settlement) Act [WCAM] came into operation in the Netherlands on 27 July 2005. This post describes the rules of mass claims.
European Parliament Evolves ADR (7/16/12) Colin Rule “The Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection voted this morning on Reports concerning the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and the Online Dispute Resolution (ODR). ODR is an alternative dispute resolution process aided by online technology. This can help solve disputes especially for online purchases, where the consumer and the trader are often located far from each other. The aim of these instruments is to ensure impartial, transparent and effective means which can help consumers resolve disputes with trades in the case of both cross-border and domestic e-commerce transactions, without going to court.
Mediation or Meditation? (5/14/12) John Sturrock Much has been written about the human brain in recent times. Eolene reminded us that the brain has two components, the limbic brain, which developed as homo sapiens dealt with primitive conditions and learned the importance of fight or flight. Later, the neo-cortex, the more rational part of the brain, was formed. But the two were – and are – not united. Our emotions could still override logic, especially under pressure. We are not Mr. Spock.
U.K. Criticizes E.C.’s Proposals for Dispute Resolution for Consumers (4/24/12)
The U.K.’s Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has criticized the European Commission’s proposal for online dispute resolution of consumer disputes and proposed Directive on alternative dispute resolution (ADR) for consumer disputes. The OFT supports the goal of increasing ADR for consumers, but urges mandatory use of ADR in many consumer cases, so that companies don’t simply refuse to participate.
European Union Moving Toward Online Dispute Resolution for Consumers (3/12/12)
The European Commission has set forth a detailed proposal for online dispute resolution (ODR) of consumer disputes to provide better remedies in support of cross-border e-commerce. The ODR proposal is paired with a proposed Directive on alternative dispute resolution (ADR) for consumer disputes. Many ADR entities permit consumers to submit complaints online, but very few currently allow the entire resolution process to be handled online. Establishing ODR systems will encourage consumers to shop online across borders and permit sellers to reach broader markets. The proposal is to establish an EU-wide ODR platform accessible in all EU official languages that provides a single website for those seeking to resolve cross-border e-commerce disputes. A network of ODR facilitators will be established to provide support for the ODR platform. When a complaint is submitted, the consent of the other party will be sought and the dispute transmitted to an existing national ADR entity that will attempt to resolve the dispute within 30 days, possibly using ODR. The ADR entities will apply their own procedures and rules on cost. Confidentiality applies to the ODR process, and the ODR procedures will not deprive either consumers or sellers of their right to pursue matters in court. The timeline proposed shows adoption of the ODR Regulation and ADR Directive late in 2012, with development of the ODR platform to be completed by 2015.
EU Online Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes (2/15/12) European Commission At present, the offer of ADR schemes to resolve consumer disputes related to e-commerce transactions is scattered and incomplete. In addition, while half the existing ADR schemes offer consumers the possibility of submitting their complaint online, very few offer consumers the possibility of conducting the entire procedure online. Handling the entire process online would produce time savings and ease communication between the parties.
The U.K. Government announced that it is establishing two regional mediation networks for small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) in a pilot program to reduce workplace disputes and the number of employment tribunal cases. The mediation networks will be in Cambridge and Manchester, with mediation training of employees at 24 SMEs, as smaller companies are often not aware of the benefits of mediation and rarely use it. Trained mediators will then be able to assist other organizations in their regional network. The government is seeking a provider for the first round of mediation training. The pilot program is part of the government’s reform of the employment tribunal system; in the last two years tribunal claims have risen to 218,000, an increase of 44 percent. The program will run 12 months and expand to other areas if successful.
As European Union and Greek leaders struggle to reach a deal to keep Greece in the Eurozone, the German daily describes Varoufakis’ untucked and non-ironed shirt as “civilian clothes”, above the headline “Intensive Mediation Efforts Before Greece Crisis Summit. read
Tensions are rising in the eurozone and after a day of bitter recriminations between Greece and the EU Commission President, Austria’s Chancellor Werner Faymann, is to go to Athens to make a last-ditch effort to repair relations. read
The family of former Irish billionaire Sean Quinn is set to enter mediation in their legal fight to be released from liability for loans of more than 2.3 billion euros ($2.6 billion), the largest civil court case linked to the nation’s financial collapse. The wife and five adult children of Ireland’s one-time richest man say the former Anglo Irish Bank Corp. illegally gave them loans in 2008 to shore up their investment in the bank and prop up its shares. The family is seeking damages. read
UK businesses should prepare now for settling disputes with consumers through a system of online mediation and anticipate a further shift towards online dispute resolution in future too, an expert has said.Specialist in IT disputes resolution David McIlwaine of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, said it was "reassuring" to see one of the most senior judges in England and Wales focus his attention on the subject of ODR in a recent speech. read
Earlier this month, the Ministry of Justice implemented massive increases in the fees the courts charge to those parties who commence proceedings. Claims for more than £10,000 now attract an issue fee of 5% of the value of the claim up to a limit of £10,000, so, for example, a claim for £200,000 will now cost £10,000 to issue in addition to lawyers’ fees. The recent hike in court fees ought to make more businesses pause before instructing their lawyers to issue proceedings. in any event, there is much to be said for embarking on a mediation prior to the commencement of proceedings. read
We are pleased to inform you that 12 million DKK has been allocated for non-military conflict resolution, dialogue and mediation in the recently adopted Danish finance act for 2015. We therefore launch this call for proposals. The deadline for submission of the project document and supporting documents is 8 April 2015. read
Hungary will not establish a Holocaust memorial without the support of Hungarian Jewish organisations, Minister of State for the Prime Minister’s Office János Lázár has said. The Prime Minister has advised mediation between the government and the Jewish community. read
Pilots at Lufthansa have called for mediation to cover all areas of their dispute with the German airline's management, not only the early retirement row that has resulted in 10 strikes this year. Lufthansa offered last week to enter mediation to resolve the long-running dispute over early retirement benefits, seeking to halt the pummeling it was taking from repeated industrial action. The company estimated this week that labour strikes this year have cost it close to 200 million euros ($247.5 million) in operating profit. read
ROME, Italy—Prevention is better than a cure: that is just common sense. If applied in the field of justice, the slogan could prove once again to be right: the mediation instrument resolves conflicts before they go in front of a judge. Italy is a quarrelsome country, and the engulfed courtrooms are a proof. The European Commission has recently pointed out some serious shortcomings: Italy has the highest number of pending cases in relation to the population – 7 per 100 inhabitants, which means 9 million unresolved cases. Also, it takes more than 500 days to get a civil judgment at first degree (World Bank doubles this number), three times longer than France and Germany, which rank as the best in Europe. “In recent years we have seen how a culture of conflict has spread, rather than one of peaceful confrontation,” says attorney Irene Gionfriddo, spokesman for the Italian Forum of Ombudsmen, a non-profit organization that links a network of lawyers with private companies. read
Russia and Ukraine with the mediation of the European Union launched talks in the trilateral format in Brussels on conclusion of an interim agreement on Russian natural gas supplies, Olga Golant, a spokeswoman for the Russian energy minister, said on Tuesday. Russia and Ukraine met for gas talks on Tuesday to discuss the issue of Ukraine’s gas debt repayment and natural gas supplies to Europe in winter. The EU is seeking guarantees for stable gas supplies in winter. Otherwise, Ukraine may siphon off Russia’s Europe-bound natural gas. Russia also wants to ensure stable gas supplies to European consumers and recover a $5.3 billion debt from Ukraine, which acknowledges only a debt of $3.1 billion. read