The European Parliament has called for the immediate launch of a new EU mediation mission "at the highest political level" to secure a peaceful outcome to the current crisis in Ukraine. This is stated in a European Parliament resolution on the outcome of the Vilnius Summit and the future of the Eastern Partnership, in particular as regards Ukraine, which was voted during a plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Thursday. "[The European Parliament] calls for the immediate launch of a new, fully fledged EU mediation mission at the highest political level, to achieve, and assist in, roundtable talks between the government and the democratic opposition and civil society and to secure a peaceful outcome to the current crisis," reads the resolution. In addition, the European Parliament expresses its full solidarity "with those demonstrating for a European future; and calls on the Ukrainian authorities to fully respect people's civil rights and the fundamental freedom of assembly and peaceful protest."
A local radio ad has called attention to mediation and its advantages — or disadvantages. Contrary to the advertisement’s claims, mediation frequently results in a better understanding of dispute issues and legally binding agreements, at less emotional and financial cost than litigation. Mediation uses an impartial third-party to help people discuss their disputes, decide next steps and come up with solutions. Mediation is increasingly considered the appropriate dispute resolution process due to its cost-effectiveness, efficiency and ability to help people make decisions while resolving conflict constructively.
The federal regulations for Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) includes many provisions to protect the rights of parents and their child with a disability while also giving families and school systems means by which to resolve disputes. These rights are known as procedural safeguards. Parents have specific rights under this law to mediation under 34 CFR &200.506. Your school district must make mediation available to allow you and the school to resolve disagreements involving any matter under Part B of the IDEA. This includes matters which may have come up prior to the filing of a due process complaint. Mediation is available to resolve disputes whether or not you have filed a due process complaint requesting a due process hearing. If you have filed a due process complaint, mediation is typically offered as a potential way to settle these disagreements.
Model helps resolve conflicts between family members and clinicians. A new project by the Medical Mediation Foundation, aimed at breaking down tension between family members and health professionals when there is a disagreement about a child's course of treatment, is in full swing at Evelina London Children's Hospital, The Guardian reported. Noting the importance of communication between caregivers to a child's recovery, the Evalina Resolution Project offers mediation at the request of parents or staff members, and trains hospital personnel in stress management techniques. It also teaches staff how to recognize triggers for conflict and ways to rebuild trust when a situation deteriorates, the article states. More than 90 staff nurses have completed training sessions, with doctors set to begin training this month. The sessions help staff think about issues from the parents' perspective and reflect on how their actions impact them, according to the article.
Lord Justice Briggs says that: “This case sends out an important message to civil litigants, requiring them to engage with a serious invitation to participate in ADR, even if they have reasons which might justify a refusal, or the undertaking of some other form of ADR, or ADR at some other time in the litigation. To allow the present appeal would, as it seems to me, blunt that message. The court’s task in encouraging the more proportionate conduct of civil litigation is so important in current economic circumstances that it is appropriate to emphasise that message by a sanction which, even if a little more vigorous than I would have preferred, nonetheless operates pour encourager les autres.”
Escalating conflicts have the potential to impact on care of patients and all others on a unit. A project run by the Medical Mediation Foundation and funded by the Guy's and St Thomas's charity aims to prevent conflicts escalating into crises. The project was launched at the Evelina London children's hospital in January, to support families and health professionals where there is disagreement, tension and anger surrounding a child's medical care.
In the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution, mediators, among other things, help people in dispute come to a mutually acceptable resolution about issues they do not agree on. Each party typically holds a disparate perspective from the other on what constitutes an appropriate settlement. By the time they get to talk it out in the mediation process to see if they can resolve matters, they have often become entrenched in their positions and the relationship is suffering.
Professor S.I. Strong, Associate Professor at the University of Missouri School of Law (and a friend of this blog) has published “Beyond International Commercial Arbitration? the Promise of International Commercial Mediation,” 42 Washington University Journal of Law and Policy, 2014, Forthcoming; University of Missouri School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2013-21. In her article, Professor Strong examines the role of mediation in international business disputes.
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Mandela – A Titan Remembered (12/07/13) Art Hinshaw With the death of Nelson Mandela, without doubt the most significant political leader in my lifetime, lots has been written about his impact not only on South Africa but also on the world. And plenty is still to be written. 1 Comment
The Promise of International Commercial Mediation (12/07/13) Beth Graham Although international commercial arbitration has long been the preferred means of resolving cross-border business disputes, the international corporate community has become increasingly concerned about increasing costs, delays and procedural formalities. As a result, parties are looking for other means of resolving cross-border business disputes.
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.
What is Your Best Alternative? (12/06/13) Tony Dempsey Negotiation 101 tells us that we must develop a clear understanding of what our best alternative is to negotiating an agreement (“BATNA”) in advance of the negotiation in case the impasse cannot be overcome. A negotiator’s BATNA is the course of action or, if you like, the path he/she will take if a resolution to the impasse cannot be reached through direct negotiation. 1 Comment
To Move or Not To Move an Elder (12/06/13) Halee Burg This article concerns the important decisions that often face caregivers or other family members concerning where an elder family member will live, the strong emotions that are evoked in families contemplating a possible elder move, the important questions that should be considered in considering a move, and how mediation can support families in having a productive discussion concerning this important, complex and highly emotional issue.
So, You Want to be a Mediator? (12/04/13) James Melamed I find myself regularly asked “what do I need to do to become a mediator?” While I do not pretend to have all of the answers, here are some suggestions for beginning your journey.
Who’s Been Getting More From Mediation? (12/03/13) Katherine Graham In many organisations, mediation plays only a limited part, and is done as an activity to resolve a specific conflict. But mediation is more than a specific process. It’s also a set of tools designed to help people let go of their anger and pain and arrive at win-win outcomes; and it’s a collection of values and beliefs which determine how we go about responding to conflict.
Recommendations to Develop International Commercial Mediation in Singapore (12/03/13) James Melamed On December 3, 2013, Singapore’s Ministry of Law unveiled key initiatives to transform and develop its international commercial mediation sector. Based on recommendations of a Working Group established in April 2013 by Singapore’s Chief Justice and the Ministry, the recommendations include the establishment of two new independent mediation entities: a new professional mediation body (the “Singapore International Mediation Institute”), and a new international mediation service provider (the “Singapore International Mediation Centre”).
In Memory of Mediator Jennifer Lynch (11/30/13)
A trusted and well-respected lawyer, mentor, and advisor to her friends and colleagues around the world, Jennifer will be fondly remembered for her knack of connecting and supporting people, for livening up meetings and events with her warmth and humor and for generously providing her wisdom and knowledge.
Parent Conflict After Separation: Taking a Closer Look (11/27/13) Joan B. Kelly, Ph.D. High conflict is often described as the most damaging factor in the post-separation adjustment of children and adolescents. High conflict that continues in the years after separation is indeed a major risk factor for children’s longer-term well-being. However, more recent research has demonstrated that it is only one of several important factors creating risk and potential detriment. The quality of parenting after separation and divorce, for example, is now recognized as equally important, if not more so, because competent and warm parenting acts as a protective barrier against the effects of high conflict.
The Mediator's Checklist (11/27/13) David Laufer Preparing a Mediator’s Check List (“MCL”) of Key Legal and Factual Issues will assist the Mediator to focus on the issues she must master during the Mediation Process (“MP”) to facilitate a voluntary settlement of the dispute.
The Disappearing Opening Statement (11/27/13) Robert A. Berlin The disappearing opening statement is a disservice to the parties, by not giving them a heads-up as to what’s about to occur. By going to immediate problem solving without the parties getting the mediation process blueprint may inhibit their full participation. This, in turn, may deny their self-determination: “That to which they give birth, they will support.”
Bringing Oxytocin into the Room (11/27/13) Kenneth Cloke While people in conflict commonly make reference to the facts, behaviors,
feelings, personalities, or events surrounding their conflicts, for the most part
they ignore the deeper reality that these experiences are all processed and
regulated by their nervous systems, and are therefore initiated, resolved,
transformed, and transcended by their brains. Yet only recently have mediators
begun to consider how our brains influence our conflict behaviors. 2 Comments
NAFCM Releases the 2013 State of Community Mediation Report Supplement (11/26/13) Matthew Phillips On October 25, the National Association for Community Mediation (NAFCM) will release its 2013 State of Community Mediation Report Supplement to its membership. Building upon the groundbreaking 2011 report, the State of Community Mediation 2013 focuses in on inspiring, concrete examples of where community mediation has grown during tough economic times. The report provides a rare, inside look at successful community mediation centers from diverse geographic locations and center sizes. The report will be made available to the public on December 3, 2013 on the NAFCM website www.nafcm.org.
REVIEW of Ellen Bruno’s DVD, “SPLIT: Divorce Through Kids’ Eyes” (11/26/13) Donald T. Saposnek Ellen Bruno’s new film, Split takes us to a whole new level in understanding the effects of divorce on children. The movie is 28 minutes long and consists 100% of interviews of real children (no adults were harmed used in the making of this film) telling about their experiences going through their parents’ divorces. I strongly encourage you to view this lovely film and discover ways to integrate it into your work of supporting families going through divorce. 1 Comment
Internal Dispute Resolution at International Organizations (11/26/13) Joshua Javits Over the past forty years, globalization has made its impact on the law by enhancing the international nature of domestic laws and by heightening the relevance of international organizations. As international organizations have expanded in number and prominence, the traditional boundaries of domestic legal systems have been re-examined. The expansion of employee rights and benefits has exerted upward pressure on international organizations, whose jurisprudence tends to evolve in tandem with domestic law. Thus, international law has increasingly recognized employee rights.
“Private Caucusing” In Civil Pretrial Mediations (11/22/13) Jessica Grynberg, Jeffrey Makoff Two California litigators-mediators challenge the dominant "private caucusing" mediation method, based upon principles and best practices now being taught at the Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation. The authors observe that private caucus mediation or "shuttle diplomacy" is often ineffective in achieving early settlements and argue that skillfully-conducted joint sessions should replace private caucusing in most cases. 3 Comments
Grief, Anger, and Fear (11/22/13) Joe Epstein Family law mediation is laced with raw emotions. Emotional pain, sorrow,
sadness, regret and remorse are encountered in circumstances that call for
courage, calm and control. Family law mediators are called upon to ferret out
motivations, interests and needs in what are often trying circumstances. Such
mediators must be prepared to deal with the four basic emotions of grief, anger
fear, and love. 2 Comments
Complex Civil Appeals (11/22/13) Jerome Falk More than 90 percent of civil cases are settled without trial. By contrast, most civil appeals are briefed, argued and decided by the court. In complex cases when large amounts of money are at stake, settlements pending an appeal seem to be the exception: such appeals frequently go forward to decision without a serious attempt to settle.
The Last Gap in Negotiations. Why is it Important? (11/15/13) John Wade The aim of this paper is threefold. First, to summarise some basic principles concerning negotiation; secondly, to reflect on the reasons why the last gap in negotiations is difficult to cross; and thirdly, to set out in problem solving fashion a number of methods or options to anticipate and cross the last gap. 1 Comment
Avoiding Conflict in the Workplace (11/15/13) Katherine Graham No employee wants to become embroiled in a workplace dispute. If conflict at work isn’t resolved, it can cause stress, frustration, loss of sleep, a bad temperament, illness or other issues for individual employees.
The Key to Mediation is to Find the Real Issue: A Congress Case Study (11/08/13) John Sturrock Identifying all the possible ways forward and assessing these rationally is the hallmark of good mediation, says John Sturrock. The stalemate in the US Congress, now resolved temporarily, has attracted much comment from those interested in how disputes can be resolved. The US press had openly called for mediation to be used, leading to discussion about what mediation could achieve and how it actually works.
Lessons in Mediation from Nelson Mandela (11/08/13) Jacques Joubert In 1964, George Bizos, a young lawyer, probably saved his client and good friend Nelson Mandela’s life by persuading him to change his now famous speech at the Rivonia treason trial. This speech helped to usher in skills of peace and negotiation.
Mandatory Mediation Strikes Back (11/08/13) Martin Svatos The question of mandatory mediation is an interesting issue per se. According to some, the fundamental principles are at stake once discussing the forced attendance of parties in mediation procedure. The Italian legislator is obviously of different opinion having reintroduced the “mandatory mediation” to its legal system. One has to add – for the second time. 1 Comment
Behind Bars and Behind the Gun (11/04/13) Ken Johnson Behind bars and behind the gun: Answers for America's juvenile justice problem and catabolic ommunity-based conflicts. With a rise of deaths, abuse cases, and other atrocities in the Juvenile Justice System there has been questioning as to whether the present paradigm of understanding is the most appropriate solution available for handling issues of wrong behavior by adolescents. Ultimately, the author urges communities to become more involved in the justice system to urge Collaborative Justice-based solutions in juvenile justice issues.
Why Couples Are Choosing Mediation in Divorce Cases (11/04/13) Bruce Provda If you are contemplating a divorce or having trouble settling divorce issues with your spouse, mediation might be the best choice. Mediation is a great setting for you and your spouse to settle your divorce issues in a more amicable fashion with less stress on you and other family members, including your children. Being able to settle issues quickly helps children and other family members adjust to the situation as well.
La Resolución de Conflictos: ADR & ODR--en Espanol (11/01/13) Alberto Elisavetsky El trabajo de los operadores de conflictos se ha visto sustancialmente modificado en los últimos años, más precisamente a finales del siglo XX, como consecuencia de la irrupción en la práctica profesional de las Nuevas Tecnologías de Información & Comunicación (NTIC).
Ten Tips for Developing and Drafting Effective Parenting Plans in Mediation (10/31/13) Donald T. Saposnek A mediation process that is thoughtful, respectful, and paced to fit the communication style and needs of the parents will increase the chances of crafting a clear and comprehensive parenting plan. Such a process offers a supportive and cooperative context, promotes direct communication between the parents, empowers the parents to make their own decisions, remains sensitive to their unique couple dynamics, and maximizes a tone of flexibility for future modifications to their agreement. While this context is very important, even more is needed to develop an effective parenting plan. The following ten tips will ensure a well-drafted product. 3 Comments
Crisis in the Courts: Making a Virtue out of a Necessity (10/25/13) Joe Markowitz Crisis grips the California court system.
In Los Angeles County, budget cutbacks
have forced the courts to do away
with court reporters, reduce clerical staff,
close 10 courthouses, and assign personal injury
cases to a master trial calendar system.
At a time when ADR might be considered
one of the solutions for relieving
the increased burdens on the civil trial
courts that these changes will impose, the
Superior Court in Los Angeles instead
took the surprising step of closing its
entire court-connected ADR program.