About Dr Susan (Sue) Douglas

Sue is a lecturer in law at the University of the Sunshine Coast. She teaches Business Law and Employment Law and her research interests are primarily ADR and Employment Law. Sue is committed to access to justice and volunteers at the Suncoast Community Legal Service.

ADRRN Roundtable: Extension for submission of paper proposals to Friday 10 August

Thank you to those who have submitted paper proposals to the ADR Research Network Roundtable. In response to requests from potential contributors, the due date for paper proposals for the 7th ADR Research Network Roundtable is hereby extended to Friday August 10th.

Final draft papers are remain due by 31 October for distribution to commentators. This date in October remains firm given the need for commentators to prepare before the Roundtable.

The Australian Dispute Resolution Research Network is pleased to be hosting its seventh annual research round table in Queensland. The roundtable will be held from Monday 3rd and Tuesday 4th Decemeber at the University of the Sunshine Coast in South East Queesnland (just north of Brisbane and accessed from Maroochydore/ Sunshine Coast airport). Details of the venue and of accomodation options will be provided to those you wish to attend.
The Network welcomes proposals that consider dispute resolution from a scholarly, critical and/or empirical perspective. We particularly encourage submissions from postgraduate students and early career researchers. All proposals will be considered. Papers must not have been published or submitted for publication, as the focus is work in progress. A panel will select round table papers from abstracts submitted. The aim is to be as inclusive as time and numbers allow.

Paper proposals of up to 300 words plus a short bio should be emailed to the adrresearchnetwork@gmail.com/

The following selection criteria will be applied:
• Papers taking a scholarly, critical and/or empirical perspective on an area of dispute resolution;
•  Inclusion of a spread of participants across stages of career; and
•  Presntation of  well-balanced range of work in order to provide diversity, to develop the field and to enable stimulating discussion.

Attendance at the Round Table is limited to individuals who are contributing to the scholarly discussions by presenting a paper, or commentating and/or chairing a session. Participation is on a self-funded basis.
For further information, please:
• Read the original call of papers on the ADR Network blog of 11 April 2018
• Contact the conference convenors Sue Douglas and Lola via adrresearchnetwork@gmail.com (monitored twice weekly)

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Restorative Justice in Mediation: A study of Police Complaint Systems: by Mary Riley PhD Candidate USC

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is the way of the future given the cost, delays and personal toll that litigation through the courts can take on individuals. Civil law disputants have and continue to benefit from ADR by resolving their conflict via facilitated dialogue. Conversely, when disputants take the litigation road their often subjective issues are objectively dealt with and the outcome does little to repair or enhance the parties’ relationship. Why is this important? Well, humans are social creatures. We survive and thrive because of our relationships with others. If a civil dispute involves individuals who know each other, either personally or through business dealings, then establishing understanding and peacemaking is vital to their future interactions. So, the question is: can ADR take the resolution of disputes a step further – to heal the parties involved? Restorative justice (RJ) offers a way to do that.

The RJ principles of encounter, respect, open dialogue and agreement, through independent facilitation, have been applied in criminal justice mediation and conferencing for some time. RJ addresses the needs of those involved, in a way that is meaningful to them. It gives individuals a ‘voice’, so the harms caused by wrongdoing, which can be debilitating and life altering, can be expressed. The transformation that can occur in RJ mediation often results in changed attitudes and material and symbolic reparation.

I am about to embark on a study of the mechanisms for dealing with civilian complaints against police in Australia and elsewhere. I want to find out whether there is a place for RJ in the resolution of this type of conflict which is civil in nature but sits in a criminal justice context. Given that the police interact with the community in the course of their law enforcement duties it is not surprising that disputes occur and that these can result in large numbers of complaints. But the way these complaints are handled (i.e. against police but managed by police) may not lead to the restoration of what is a very important relationship – the police and in the community. An initial scoping exercise has revealed that in most parts of the world, complaints against police are dealt with via an internal process. However, there are a growing number of international examples of RJ mediation being used to resolve these disputes. The expected outcome of my research is a best practice model for the resolution of civilian complaints against the police, which could be implemented in Australia and elsewhere, including guidelines for successful implementation.

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An ADR Research​ Network Roundtable Success Story

An invitation to submit a paper for the 7th ADRRN Roundtable on the Sunshine Coast in December this year was posted on our blog in April.  The function and aims of Roundtable are described in the invitation as:

The Australasian Dispute Resolution Research Network brings together leading dispute resolution scholars and provides a collaborative environment to foster, nurture and enrich high quality research and scholarship. The Network is inclusive and forward-looking and seeks to bring together emerging, mid-career and established scholars to build excellence in the field and provide peer support. Network activities are expressly designed to provide a supportive and collegial presentation environment in which meaningful discussion and constructive feedback are provided to the presenter.

I have been fortunate to attend 5 of the 6 Roundtables to date. There are many positive outcomes of the Roundtables, not least of which is the opportunity to meet and engage with people of like interest who are dedicated to the principles and objectives of ADR. The atmosphere is informal and decidedly collegial. Of critical importance is the opportunity to present a paper for supportive and constructive feedback. Papers are expected to be works in progress and not finished products already accepted for publication. In this respect, the Roundtable presents a golden opportunity to gain input from other scholars in a non-competitive and pointedly helpful environment. Those who give feedback are expected to do so respectfully and constructively. It is a particularly helpful opportunity and environment for HDR students, many of whom have attended Roundtables to date.

I can give you an example. I had put together a paper about the meaning of impartiality in mediation based upon interviews with mediators. I thought it was interesting and useful but it was rejected when submitted to a peer reviewed journal. I thought “don’t they get it?” and then “what do I need to do to improve it?” Apart from rethinking the choice of journal, I became aware that the paper lacked an explicit theoretical framework. I presented the paper at the Roundtable. I was able to ask questions about how it could be improved and in particular what theoretical framework I could use to ground the data I had collected. I was given excellent feedback. A reviewer suggested that to them the central issue and possible framework was justice in mediation – how obvious! Yet I had been too close to the material to see this perspective. In addition, I was able to hear and gather ideas from wider discussions which helped me place my work within other current themes considered by researchers. I reviewed and rewrote my paper. I then presented it at the Non-Adversarial Justice Conference in 2017 and became eligible to submit it to the Journal of Judicial Administration. It was accepted:

Susan Douglas, ‘Constructions of Impartiality in Mediation’ (2017) 26 Journal of Judicial Administration 232.

A researcher’s work life can mean long hours of inward focus – reading, thinking, reading, thinking, talking to one’s self. A HDR student’s lot can feel isolating and daunting.  I have always come away from the Roundtables feeling invigorated by the discussions and nurtured by the collegial atmosphere. I encourage you to send in a proposal for a paper. See details below and …. flowers from Dunedin where the 2017 Rountable was hosted by Otago University.

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Deadline for paper proposals: 13 July 2018

(300 word maximum plus short bio, to adrresearchnetwork@gmail.com)

Date for notification of acceptance: 31 July 2018

Draft (full) papers + blog post due: 30 October 2018 (to send to participants early Nov.)

For further information, please contact:

Conference Convenors and 2018 Network Presidents:

Sue Douglas and Lola Akin Ojelabi via adrresearchnetwork@gmail.com(monitored twice weekly)

7th ADR Research Network Roundtable 3-4 Dec 2018: Call for Papers

7th ADR RESEARCH NETWORK ROUNDTABLE

MONDAY 3rd and TUESDAY 4th DECEMBER 2018

UNIVERSITY OF THE SUNSHINE COAST, MAROOCHYDORE, QUEENSLAND

Call for Paper Proposals

The Australasian Dispute Resolution Research Network is pleased to be hosting its 7th annual research roundtable on 3-4 December 2018.

The roundtables are designed to encourage a collaborative and supportive research environment in which papers are work-shopped and discussed in detail. Papers in draft form are distributed one month ahead of time to participants, to enable thoughtful and constructive quality feedback.

We welcome proposals that consider dispute resolution from a scholarly, critical and/or empirical perspective. We particularly encourage submissions from postgraduate students and early career researchers. All proposals will be considered. Papers must not have been published or submitted for publication, as the focus is work in progress.

There will be a limit to the number of papers able to be part of the roundtable discussions. A panel will select roundtable papers from abstracts submitted. The aim is to be as inclusive as time and numbers allow. The following selection criteria will be applied:

  • Papers take a scholarly, critical and/or empirical perspective on an area of dispute resolution;
  • The roundtable will include a spread of participants across stages of career; and
  • A well-balanced range of work will be presented at the roundtable to provide diversity, to develop the field and to enable cohesive discussion.

Participation is on a self-funded basis.

In 2018 we will also be asking you to draft a short (1,000 words max) blog post about your paper prior to the roundtable. On the day, speakers are given up to 30 minutes for presentation, with 30 minutes for feedback and discussion. Two primary commentators will be appointed for each paper.

Attendance at the Round Table is only open to individuals who are contributing to the scholarly discussions by presenting a paper, or commentating and/or chairing a session.

Deadline for paper proposals: 13 July 2018

(300 word maximum plus short bio, to adrresearchnetwork@gmail.com)

Date for notification of acceptance: 31 July 2018

Draft (full) papers + blog post due: 30 October 2018 (to send to participants early Nov.)

For further information, please contact:

Conference Convenors and 2018 Network Presidents:

Sue Douglas and Lola Akin Ojelabi via adrresearchnetwork@gmail.com(monitored twice weekly)

About the Australasian Dispute Resolution Research Network

The Australasian Dispute Resolution Research Network brings together leading dispute resolution scholars and provides a collaborative environment to foster, nurture and enrich high quality research and scholarship. The Network is inclusive and forward-looking and seeks to bring together emerging, mid-career and established scholars to build excellence in the field and provide peer support. Network activities are expressly designed to provide a supportive and collegial presentation environment in which meaningful discussion and constructive feedback is provided to the presenter.

Network activities include maintaining the ADR Research Network blog at www.adrresearch.net on Twitter and conducting annual scholarly round tables of work in progress since 2012.

Guest blog post proposals are always welcome. Contact blog editor Becky Batagol, at Becky.Batagol@monash.edu.

Membership of Australasian Dispute Resolution Research Network

We don’t like hierarchies or unnecessary administration, so we don’t have any membership list or legal organisational framework.

The way to become a member of the ADR Research Network is to subscribe to the blog. This is our primary means of communication.

Subscription will mean that every time a post is made on the blog you will receive a notification alert to your email address. Other ways to follow blog activity is through Facebook “ADR Research Network” and Twitter, but engagement on these platforms is not necessary to keep track of blog activity.

6th ADR Research Roundtable 2017

**submission date for abstracts extended until 3 July 2017**

The ADR Research Network is pleased to announce details of:

The 6th ADR Research Network Round Table

Monday 4 December to Tuesday 5 December 2017

Hosted by the Legal Issues Centre, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

Call for Paper Proposals

The Australasian Dispute Resolution Research Network is pleased to be hosting its sixth annual research round table on 4-5 December 2017. This year we are very excited to be expanding across the Tasman to New Zealand, to be hosted by the Legal Issues Centre, University of Otago, Dunedin. The round table will be held two days immediately prior to the Law and Society of Australia and New Zealand Conference at University of Otago, 6-9 December 2017.

The round tables are designed to encourage a collaborative and supportive research environment in which papers are workshopped and discussed in detail. Papers in draft form are distributed one month ahead of time to participants, to enable thoughtful and constructive quality feedback. In 2017 we will also be asking you to draft a short (1,000 words max) blog post about your paper prior to the roundtable. On the day, speakers are given up to 30 minutes for presentation, with 30 minutes for feedback and discussion. Two primary commentators will be appointed for each paper.

We welcome proposals that consider dispute resolution from a scholarly, critical and/or empirical perspective. We particularly encourage submissions from postgraduate students and early career researchers. All proposal will be considered. Papers must not have been published or submitted for publication, as the focus is work in progress.

There will be a limit to the number of papers able to be part of the round table discussions. A panel will select round table papers from abstracts submitted. The aim is to be as inclusive as time and numbers allow. The following selection criteria will be applied:

* Papers take a scholarly, critical and/or empirical perspective on an area of dispute resolution;

* The round table will include a spread of participants across stages of career; and

* A well-balanced range of work will be presented at the round table to provide diversity, to develop the field and to enable cohesive discussion.

Participation is on a self-funded basis.

Attendance at the Round Table is only open to individuals who are contributing to the scholarly discussions by presenting a paper, or commentating and/or chairing a session.

Deadline for paper proposals: 3 July 2017 (300 word maximum plus short bio, to adrresearchnetwork@gmail.com)

Date for notification: 31 July 2017

Draft (full) papers + blog post due: 30 October 2017 (to send to participants early Nov.)

For further information, please contact:

Conference Convenors and 2017 Network Presidents: Sue Douglas and Becky Batagol via adrresearchnetwork@gmail.com (monitored twice weekly)

About the Australasian Dispute Resolution Research Network

The Australasian Dispute Resolution Research Network brings together leading dispute resolution scholars and provides a collaborative environment to foster, nurture and enrich high quality research and scholarship. The Network is inclusive and forward-looking and seeks to bring together emerging, mid-career and established scholars to build excellence in the field and provide peer support. Network activities are expressly designed to provide a supportive and collegial presentation environment in which meaningful discussion and constructive feedback is provided to the presenter.

Network activities include maintaining the ADR Research Network blog at http://www.adrresearch.net on Twitter and conducting annual scholarly round tables of work in progress since 2012.

Guest blog post proposals are always welcome. Contact blog editor Dr Becky Batagol, at Becky.Batagol@monash.edu.

Membership of Australasian Dispute Resolution Research Network

We don’t like hierarchies or unnecessary administration, so we don’t have any membership list or legal organisational framework. The way to become a member of the ADR Research Network is to subscribe to the blog. This is our primary means of communication.

Subscription will mean that every time a post is made on the blog you will receive a notification alert to your email address. Other ways to follow blog activity is through Facebook “ADR Research Network” and Twitter, but engagement on these platforms is not necessary to keep track of blog activity.

Power in mediation

Traditionally, as we all know, mediators were identified as neutral third parties and mediation itself was defined as involving the intervention of a third party neutral. Neutrality has been widely criticised to the extent that it no longer appears as a  defining feature or even an ethical requirement in the National Mediation Accreditation Standards (NMAS). An early construction of the idea of neutrality was that it meant mediators exercised no power in mediation.

We have come along way from this early view about power in mediation. Scholarly critique and practitioners’ reflections have debunked the idea that mediators have no power. Questions remain however about the sources of mediator power and the proper limits of its exercise. Traditionally mediators attributed power to the process of mediation itself, and constructed the parties’ voluntary consent to engaging in the process as giving them authority (legitimised power) to control that process. This approach was consistent with constructing mediators as neutral as to the content of mediation but in control of the process.

The distinction between process and content in mediation no longer appears in the NMAS. This change is consistent with the development of ‘newer’ models of mediation, namely, narrative and transformative models, extending the traditional  problem-solving (facilitative and evaluative) models. Postmodern constructions of power are more consistent with these later models. At the same time facilitative and evaluative models are the most commonly practised, with practitioners’ sometimes incorporating ‘aspects’ of narrative and transformative approaches.

Authority to mediate is increasingly mandated by legislation. But the scope of mediator power is only loosely delineated in the broad definitions of mediation itself. Questions about the mediator’s role in ensuring substantive fairness in addition to procedural fairness raise further questions about the scope of mediator power and its proper exercise. Questions of mediator ethics equally pose questions about how much power mediators should have and how they should exercise it.

What is the basis of mediator power? What is its proper scope? How should it be constrained and directed?

What are your thoughts?

Some food for thought (a few selected,but not an exhaustive list of relevant,references):

Astor, H. 2005, “Some Contemporary Theories of Power in Mediation: A Primer for the Puzzled Practitioner”, Australasian Dispute Resolution Journal, Vol. 16, pp. 30-9.

Bagshaw, D. 2003, “Language, Power and Knowledge”, Australasian Dispute Resolution Journal, Vol. 14, pp. 130-41.

Bayliss, C. and Carroll, R. 2002, “The Nature and Importance of Mechanisms for Addressing Power Differences in Statutory Mediation”, Bond Law Review, Vol. 14, pp. 285-318.

Bayliss, C. and Carroll, R. 2005, “Power Issues in Mediation”, ADR Bulletin, Vol. 7, no. 8, pp. 134-38.

Field, R. 1996, “Mediation and the Art of Power (Im)balancing”, QUT Law and Justice Journal, Vol. 12, pp. 264-73.

Field, R. 2000, “Neutrality and Power: Myths and Reality”, The ADR Bulletin, Vol. 3, No. 1, pp. 16-20.

Mayer, B. 1987, “The Dynamics of Power in Mediation”, Mediation Quarterly, Vol. 16, pp. 75-86.

Wade, J. 1994, “Forms of Power in Family Mediation and Negotiation”, Australian Journal of Family Law, Vol. 6, pp. 40-57.

Emotional intelligence in mediation practice

James Duffy published a valuable piece in 2010 probing the value of emotional intelligence for mediation practice. Emotional intelligence (EI) is an established conceptual framework for harnessing the impact of mediator’s emotions in a purposive and positive way in practice. What is EI? It is a conceptual framework emanating from positive psychology and made popular by the work of Dan Goleman. EI emphasises reflective practice in relation to the emotional dimensions of intra and interpersonal experience.

EI has great potential as a framework for incorporating existing practice in relation to the emotional experiences of mediators and parties. It’s reflective emphasis resonants with established practice and developing theory about reflective practice in mediation. Its inclusion of intra and inter personal dimensions enable consideration of both a mediator’s reflection on his/her own emotional responses and the interplay of emotions within mediation sessions.

There are several models of EI. Goleman’s model is the most accessible in terms of its relative succinctness and practical application. The five components of EI developed by Goleman are depicted in the table below, which identifies them according to two dimensions and includes Goleman’s definitions.

  COMPONENTS OF EI  
Intrapersonal dimensions Self awareness The ability to recognize our moods, emotions and drives and their effect on others.
  Self regulation The ability to control or redirect disruptive impulses and moods

The propensity to suspend judgment – to think before acting

  Motivation A passion to work for reasons that go beyond money and status

A propensity to pursue goals with energy and persistence

Interpersonal dimensions Empathy The ability to understand the emotional make up of other people

Skill in treating people according to their emotional reactions

  Social skills Proficiency in managing relationships and building networks

An ability to find common ground and build rapport

Table 1: Adapted from Goleman (2004: 3)

 

Whatever model is ascribed to, emotional intelligence is foremost about feelings. To be emotionally intelligent signals an ability to monitor feelings our own and those of others, and to use this information to respond in appropriate and effective ways.  EI is recognised as a set of learned skills that can be incorporated into educational programs, including mediation training. It’s food for thought !

 See

Goleman, D. 2004. ‘What Makes a Leader?’ Harvard Business Review, January: 1.

Goleman, D. 1998. Working with Emotional Intelligence. New York: Bantam.

Goleman, D. 1995. Emotional Intelligence. New York: Bantam.

Duffy, J. 2010. ‘Empathy, Neutrality and Emotional Intelligence: A Balancing Act for the Emotional Einstein’ 10 (1) Law and Justice Journal  44-61.