Ian is Teaching Fellow, Centre for ICT Law at Auckland Law School. He was, until June 2016, Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Dispute Resolution Initiative at Singapore Management University. He previously taught at Victoria University of Wellington for a number of years. He has been a practising mediator for over 30 years, in commercial, environmental, policy, intercultural, family, online mediation and other fields. He is a member of the Independent Standards Commission of the International Mediation); and a member of the IMI’s Task Force on Intercultural Mediation accreditation, a member of the Global Organising Committee of the Global Pound Conference series, and a Fellow of the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution [http://odr.info/fellows/]. He is co- editor of Ethnic Conflict and Secessionism in South and South East Asia (Sage, 2003); contributing author of Dispute Resolution in New Zealand (OUP 1999), and of Guidelines for Family Mediation (Butterworths, 1995) and contributing author to An Asian Perspective on Mediation. He is editor of Essays on Mediation: Dealing with Disputes in the 21st Century, (Kluwer 2016)
Contact Ian MacDuff
Lost for Words
A few recent observations prompt this blog about language and the world of words that we work with in mediation.
The Power of the Unexpected Question
As mediators, it is great to reflect on the challenge and the power of finding just the right question – usually one that can’t be planned, but one that reflects an intuition about what “tweaks” the conversation could withstand and what might just provide a new direction.
The Mediator as Tourist
I’ve just returned from a week in Vientiane, the capital of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, and that week away gives me both a [slight] excuse for a late blog entry and a couple of reflections on the outsider/observer role of both mediator and tourist.
More on the Global Pound Conference
In this blog, I’ll offer three observations about technology and one about a very non-technological aspect of mediation from the Global Pound Conference.
“Stand by your devices”; or “Access through the [virtual] looking glass”
My university has implemented an Emergency Preparedness Teaching and Learning [EPTL] initiative, as part of the planning for any recurrence of events (SARS, bird flu, etc) that might require the university to be closed for any length of time. This puts a plan in place to negotiate and communicate digitally--and it has been successful.
Laying the Table
In both practice and training, we’ve long operated on some assumed attributes of mediation – confidentiality, neutrality – and a loose consensus on at least the key elements of what mediation looks like, though without offending our other cherished values of pluralism, diversity, mediator autonomy, and context-sensitive design.
On Civility: Mediation and Ethics Part 2
What a broad reading of ethics can also give us is another analytical tool, to enrich one specific resource mediators already have: the practice of framing and reframing.
This blog entry arises not so much from any mediation, but from one aspect of regular social encounters that is all too normal a part of negotiation and mediation. As the title suggests, it’s about the role of inquiry, asking questions – not merely gathering information, but going beyond that in the expression of interest in one’s social contacts and especially the other disputant.
Access to Mediation: Future Mediators
Much of the focus of the previous papers in this fascinating series on the future of mediation have, understandably, been on just that topic - that is, what will, or should, mediation look like. The questions asked have been both exercises in reflection on where we’ve been (after all, the best way to anticipate the future is to understand the past), on the coherence or not of the profession, the risk of our having been distracted from the core values and value of mediation, and - in the end - questions about what mediation really is and what we as mediators really do.
Changing the Architecture of Justice: ODR, Dispute Resolution, and Design
In his 1956 text, The Queen’s Courts, Sir Peter Archer suggested that the development of the Courts was more organic than by design, and – though he doesn’t say as much – more pragmatic than principled. He calls on Topsy’s response to Ophelia in Uncle Tom’s Cabin, to suggest that, like Topsy, they “just grow’d”.
Many companies and their executives have embraced the imperative of sustainability, but it’s that step into a collaborative approach that still seems too hard.
In the early days of personal computing, the development of the “graphical user interface” was accompanied by the acronym, WYSIWYG: “What you see is what you get.” While some frustrated computer users know that this was never entirely true, or might only have been true for the computer boffins who designed the interface, the idea was nevertheless an important one: what was there on the surface was what you had to deal with – folder and files and trash cans were all there on the virtual “desktop.”
Access to Justice v 3.0
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
T.S. Eliot — “Little Gidding” (the last of the “Four Quartets”)