Chris Makin’s Blog Posts about ‘Mediation’

Hostage Taking And Mediation – What’s The Difference?

Posted on 12th June 2024 by Chris Makin

You may be tempted to reverse the question and ask what the similarities are between the two. Surely there can’t be any?  But read on. I recently attended the advanced mediation training course run by the Association of Northern Mediators up near Malham Tarn, in the rugged but beautiful North Yorkshire.  It’s been run for […]

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Mediation: Have The Floodgates Finally Opened?

Posted on 19th December 2023 by Chris Makin

On 29 November the Court of Appeal gave its judgment in the long-anticipated case of Churchill -v- Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council [2023] EWCA Civ 1416.  It started life as a simple dispute between an individual and a council over Japanese knotweed but assumed such importance that there were no fewer than seven bodies admitted […]

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Family Inheritance Mediation

Posted on 5th July 2023 by Chris Makin

I want to talk today about a particularly difficult problem which mediators are asked to address, namely disputes over family inheritance. The reason they are so difficult is that it’s seldom about the money, or at least about money alone. Underlying many of these disputes are long-held resentments, questions of self-worth, fairness, and questions of […]

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Is There No Limit To The Powers Of Mediation?

Posted on 28th September 2022 by Chris Makin

A few years ago we saw the funeral of brave Alfie Evans, the terminally ill little boy of 23 months who died despite a campaign to have him treated in Italy, supported by no less an advocate than the Pope, and whose parents had taken his case right up to the European Court of Human […]

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It Really Hurts When You’re Wrong

Posted on 28th February 2022 by Chris Makin

Why do sensible people lose the ability to act rationally when they are in conflict? What makes some families tear themselves apart in petty squabbles so that family members don’t speak to each other for years? Why do neighbours blight their daily lives with bitter and confrontational disputes? And how can otherwise placid people become […]

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Border Wars

Posted on 15th September 2021 by Chris Makin

I have banged on for ages about the stupidity of going to law over border disputes.  And I’m not talking about Russia invading Crimea, or China’s campaign to take over Taiwan.  No, much closer to home, I have in mind the passions which can be aroused when next-door neighbours argue over where exactly the border […]

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There Really Is An Alternative

Posted on 6th May 2021 by Chris Makin

Blood is thicker than water, and a happy family is a wonderful power for good.  Those contemplating legacies to their loved ones will still have rosy memories of the baby twins, the nephews and nieces when young, of dangling a new-born on the knee…wonderful! But when the family falls out, blood curdles and that power […]

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Creative Mediation

Posted on 19th March 2020 by Chris Makin

Mediation is now so well known that any competent lawyer can rattle off the advantages: quick, cheap, confidential, without prejudice, reduced risk of adverse costs, the parties are in charge, and so on.  Today I concentrate on the most interesting aspect, in my view: the ability for the parties to reach an agreement which no […]

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What’s Magic About Mediation?

Posted on 9th November 2019 by Chris Makin

It often seems that the world of litigation lawyers divides into two camps: those who have never mediated, and those who are passionate advocates for mediation.  The third group – lawyers who have tried it and say “never again” – doesn’t exist. Why?  Well, it seems that the blandishments of many senior judges, including Lord […]

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Mediation – Do You Have A Choice?

Posted on 3rd September 2019 by Chris Makin

ADR stands for Alternative Dispute Resolution, being an alternative to formal litigation.  The term implies that parties and their solicitors have a choice: go down the litigation route, or the mediation route. But is there really a choice? I suggest not, on three authorities. First, from the executive summary of Jackson LJ’s Final Report in […]

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You managed to move entrenched parties to address difficult issues and resolve a situation that looked impossible.