. . . [more]
To make clear the necessity of privacy as a context for respect, love, friendship and trust is to bring out also why a threat to privacy seems to threaten our very integrity as persons. …
Charles Fried, “Privacy,” (1968) 77:3 Yale Law Journal 475–493
Article 1: Human dignity is inviolable. It must be respected and protected.
Whereas respect for the dignity of human beings, equality of women and men, and recognition of their rights and freedoms constitute the foundation of justice, liberty and peace;
4. Every person has a right to
Archive for the ‘Dispute Resolution’ Columns
I just returned from a glorious 3-week summer break and am now trying to catch up on my accumulated emails. A few things caught my eye that I thought may be of interest to other SLAW devotees:
- IAALS events – I have followed the Institute for the Advancement of the America Legal System for some time. It is a U.S. leader in the analysis and reform of the U.S. justice system, including through unbundled legal services. Two events to note:
- Redesigning Legal Speaker Series: The next session is on August 24, 2021 and is entitled “Legal Tech –
In mediation, it is always a delicate question how much the mediator should try to shape an agreement, or leave it entirely to the parties.
This is especially true when the parties the parties are very close to agreement and reach an impasse. I think most mediators would agree that the impasse can often be broken by challenging the parties’ assumptions – and their assessments of positions and interests – that lead them to say: “This far and no further.”
Maybe one side feels that it has been making more concessions than the other. And, usually, each side believes its . . . [more]
The divergence between the law on the books and the law as applied — and the uncertainty and unpredictability that result — exacts a price paid in the coin of injustice. ….
R. v. Ferguson, 2008 SCC 6 at paragraph 72
The Rule of Law requires that the law be accessible and “so far as possible intelligible, clear and predictable” (Lord Bingham). Daniel Kahneman, Oliver Sibony and Cass R. Sunstein have written an important book on the unexplained inconsistencies that get in the way of predictability in decision-making: Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgement. This is . . . [more]
I have an advice monster – there, I said it! I admit that when people share their challenges and problems with me, I feel compelled to jump in and provide advice i.e., “here are some things you could do to fix this”.
I can already hear objections from my legal profession colleagues: “Isn’t that why people come to us, for our advice?” That was certainly my first reaction. I’m asking you to hold that thought and read on. I think there is much more to this.
My mediation training taught me the power of questions and coaching, as well as . . . [more]
In a previous column, I looked at some principles behind awards of legal costs and expenses in Canadian domestic arbitration.
In international arbitration the general rule is that the unsuccessful party pays the successful party’s costs. The question, usually, is how much?
The high cost of international commercial arbitration is the main source of complaint by users of the system, according to a series of surveys by Queen Mary University of London between 2013 and 2018. Costs have continued to increase steadily. In large commercial and in investor-state disputes, they can be in the millions (or tens of millions) . . . [more]
In my view, the simplest answer to this issue [videoconference or in-person] is, “It’s 2020”. We no longer record evidence using quill and ink. In fact, we apparently do not even teach children to use cursive writing in all schools anymore. We now have the technological ability to communicate remotely effectively. Using it is more efficient and far less costly than personal attendance. We should not be going back.
Justice Frederick L. Myers, Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Arconti v. Smith, 2020 ONSC 2782
What will be the place of virtual hearings in a post-pandemic world? Can . . . [more]
Conflict management professionals have struggled for many years whether to take a “facilitative” or an “evaluative” approach in mediation. This either/or analysis is much too simplistic and grounded in false assumptions. We need a more nuanced approach, drawing on a wide variety of “styles” and tools which are tailored to meet the needs of the situation and the parties. Professor John Lande recently published a concise and helpful article advocating for such an approach.
My mediation training was based in the facilitative approach, but I found this difficult in practice because of my legal training and experience. It seemed to . . . [more]
A recent decision in British Columbia supports the proposition that, in commercial arbitration at least, the successful party may expect to fully recover their reasonable legal costs and expenses. Do recent changes in the B.C. Arbitration Act reinforce that principle?
In Allard v. The University of British Columbia, 2021 BCSC 60, Madam Justice Karen Douglas says that “the “normal rule” in arbitrations is that the successful party is entitled to “indemnification costs unless there are special circumstances that would warrant some other type of costs.” [Paragraph 78]
“Indemnification costs” are a party’s actual legal costs and expenses, and contrast . . . [more]
It is very difficult to read about the suffering of someone you admire and care about. And yet, when I finished Julie Macfarlane’s new book, “Going Public”, the story of her experiences of sexual abuse and violence, I felt enlightened and uplifted.
Why? I think it is because Julie is vulnerable about her experiences AND uses her professional wisdom, insight and experience to put her stories into a larger context.
“Vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage.” Brené Brown
This book is important for many people and groups, including:
- Survivors, their families and those supporting them
“Sometimes it’s important to stop whatever break you’re taking and just do the work” – New Yorker Cartoon by Bruce Eric Kaplan
“Why, then, do so many experts insist that they’ve found the one true and right way? It’s a fact about human nature: when getting advice, we love to receive a precise, standardized template for success, and when giving advice, we love to insist that the strategy that works so well for us will surely work for others. But each of us must find our own way”.
Gretchen Rubin, Outer Order, Inner Calm
The working life of an . . . [more]
A recent decision of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench, in the judge’s words “highlights the perils of not having a dispute resolution mechanism built into a contract.”
Madam Justice Loparco described the lawsuit in North Pacific Properties Ltd v Bethel United Churches of Jesus Christ Apostolic of Edmonton as a “Jenga tower.”
The case involved a very complicated real estate deal (119 paragraphs summarizing the evidence). The saga started in 2006, with an agreement to sell property to a developer and transfer of part of it back to the Bethell church. The original buyer assigned the purchase agreement to . . . [more]