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. 3 Comments
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. 2 Comments
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.
Mediation Works, But Will it Play in Macedonia? (1/23/12) Michael Diliberto The article describes the status of mediation in the Republic of Macedonia and the cultural issues that affect whether or not the Macedonian judicial system should adopt compulsory mediation. The article also provides persuasive alternatives from other jurisdictions that are used to encourage mediation.
Mediation in Italy (Part 2) (12/12/11) Alessandro Bruni Alessandro Bruni discusses the status of mediation in Italy. This article, the second in a two-part series, examines specifically the consequences of a government-regulated approach to mediation.
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
The question of whether the 4 Valleys will or will not be operational for the coming ski season remains uncertain. The operators on two sides of the giant ski area, one of the world’s five largest, have so far failed to reach agreement on a way forward, with the key to their disagreement being revenue share, and mediation has so far not worked. “The agreement that ensured a smooth connection for skiers between the various ski areas of the 4Vallées (Verbier, Nendaz, Veysonnaz and Thyon) was terminated by Téléveysonnaz as per 30 June 2014." read
Norwegian oil workers and employers will start mediation talks tomorrow to bridge differences and avoid a strike that threatens to halt about 115,000 barrels of oil a day. The mediation deadline is set for midnight tomorrow and involves two unions that broke off wage talks last month over pensions, according to the parties involved. Talks frequently run beyond the deadline. “We naturally hope for a solution,” Sverre Simen Hov, a spokesman for the Norwegian Organization of Managers and Executives, said by phone on June 13. It’s “very difficult” to predict the outcome, he said. read
SIMFEROPOL, June 2 (RIA Novosti) — Crimea's state council called on Ukrainian authorities Wednesday to stop bloodshed immediately in the southeast of Ukraine, withdraw armed forces from the hostile regions, and involve international intermediaries, including Russian, to settle the conflict in the country. "The State Council of the Republic of Crimea declares: only immediate cease of bloodshed, the withdrawal of armed forces from the regions of military action, and involvement of international mediators, including from the Russian Federation, for peaceful settlement of the conflict may become the starting point for the stabilization of the situation in the south-east of Ukraine," said in the local parliament statement, which was approved by 79 out of the present 80 lawmakers. read
The German government is considering setting up arbitration courts to weigh in on what information people can force Google Inc. and other search-engine providers to remove from results. Following a European Union court decision this month granting consumers the “right to be forgotten,” the Interior Ministry in Berlin would seek to establish “dispute-settlement mechanisms” for consumers who file so-called take-down requests. If search providers introduce automatic deletion, public information would be at risk, the ministry said. “Politicians, prominent figures and other persons who are reported about in public would be able to hide or even delete reports they find unpleasant,” it said in a statement. The ministry suggested that the removal of information shouldn’t be left to company algorithms. read
There are reports of some progress in the dispute between Russia and Ukraine over gas prices which has been a further source of tension between the two countries. During talks in Berlin, the two governments are said to be considering payment by Ukraine of $2 billion of back debt by Thursday with a further $500 million to be paid in June. Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak appeared up-beat about the proposal: “Our side is prepared, when we receive the payments, to continue negotiations until Friday about prices for future supplies to the Ukrainian site..” read
EU foreign affairs ministers launched a new institution on Monday called European Institute for Peace, an initiative that aims to contribute to the global peace agenda of Europe. 9 European countries have committed to fund the first 3 years of the Institute's life. According to the members, recent developments in Ukraine have shown the need for Europe to do more to build peace. 'The European Institute of Peace has the main objective to complement the global peace agenda of Europe and of the EU through operational mediation and informal dialogue with state and non state actors.' said Executive Director of EIP Staffan De Mistura. read