In late May, Resolution Institute was the venue for the launch of a significant new text on Dispute Resolution – Australian Dispute Resolution – Law and Practice (LexisNexis, Sydney, 2017) authored by Resolution Institute members, Laurence Boulle and Rachael Field.
The launch was significant for academics and practitioners alike for several reasons.
The first was the acknowledgement of the pioneering work of Hilary Astor and Christine Chinkin whose original text, Dispute Resolution in Australia, was the ‘go-to’ resource for academics and practitioners alike. It was outstanding in its coverage and depth. Academics like me drew on it heavily and valued its breadth and the conversations it provoked.
This new text picks up the themes of its predecessor and updates them for todays’ dispute resolution challenges. It was a masterstroke to invite Hilary Astor to make the introductory comments and formally launch the publication. Her presence and script were great reminders of the remarkable scholarship that has been available to us since Dispute Resolution in Australia was first published in 1992.
Respecting where we have come from, as we explore future directions, is an appealing symbol of how we have developed as a dispute resolution community.
At the launch, Rachael and Laurence shared the secrets of their successful collaboration which gave us a sense of how challenging they found the responsibility of filling Astor and Chinkin’s ‘big pair of shoes’.
Laurence chose an unexpectedly poetic approach to describe to us the joys of collaborating with Rachael and I reproduce it below with his permission.
“Fieldsy and Bill
A DR Fairly Trail
Three score and seven months ago this Odyssey began
Intrepid Fieldsy taking charge, with vision and elan,
To turn established text into a third, more sage, edition
ADR, law, identity, much theory in addition.
Too onerous proved this arduous task for authors, young and free,
They forged a brand new first edition – with cover girt by sea.
The text prolapses ADR, and DR comes to fore,
One letter less, efficiency, the modern troubadour
DR is law’s true business, and the future task of lawyers
Though other disciplines bring great skills as DR purveyors.
Rachael creates matrices with fierce analysis
And practice has its rightful place – or better still praxis,
She critiques Priestly’s saintly core with missionary fervour
Though herself is, reverently, a god-fearing verger.
In every field young Fieldsy brings a rigour to the joust
Her style so mellifluous recalls the prose of Proust
Judges are too recalcitrant and theorists far too thin
She trumps them one by one with acerbic verve, and gin,
Bill looks on half-dazed as her libretto forms apace
Just minor emendations to claim his cover place
Disputes twixt Bill and Fieldsy? There were a somewhat few
The comma matter not resolved, it caused a constant blue.
For Rachael, every, word, must, have, its, punctuation, own,
Now here’s a tale not told before, though every word is true,
Bill inveigled Fieldsy long to move to Bond uni
Abandon Brisbane’s creek and drudge and start again anew
Resistance was her sad retort, excuses thickly grew.
The strangest part: once Bill departs for Sydney waters twee
Then Rachael moves to Bondy’s place with stark alacrity
In truth she’s now resolved to move to Sydney Harbour Bridge
Once Bill has used his GPS to reclaim Bogun ridge.
One note of serious concern amidst the frippery
Concerning current happenings with lack of policy
How serious is the plight of those who flee from ravaged lands
Out-trumped by bigotry and fear, excuses weak and bland,
Asylum-seekers, refugees, minorities galore,
The flames are fanned by news corp hacks, the jocks and many more
Where is DR’s noble soul in contexts such as these?
That is a challenge we must face, so join a movement please.
To take on privilege and power, denial atmospheric,
Post-truth, untruth, and spin and sin, every sad heuristic.
But to end on sombre tones might seem a trifle crook
For cheerful lives and value add – you just should buy the book.
Thanks are due to Jocelyn Holmes and to Lexis Nex,
At RI Ellie, Brian and more provided superb flex
Hildegard of Bingham was a prophet most acute
Hilary of Astoralia from whom DR took root
Has graced us with her words and we extend our thanks
For legacy contributions and setting the early pace
I now must end abruptly too these rhymes sore terrible
Lest there be those who shout aloud ‘Enough, far too much bull.’
Congratulations Rachael and Laurence. I look forward to where this text will take our teaching and learning.