Developing essential skills for mediating across dispute contexts and cultures – An Interview with Tony Whatling

“Disputes inevitably test mediators’ skills to the limit. They are also a powerful reminder of what I refer to in some detail in the book: namely that they should never be applied outside of a framework of appropriate professional values, attitudes and cultural sensitivity and awareness. Skills, strategies and professionals practice can never be value-free.”

Equipping Young People to Choose Non-Violence

“The continued need for comprehensive and co-ordinated policies to address the disadvantaged and troubled familial, social and cultural experiences of many young people will always be critical in dealing with many aspects of societal violence. To expect individual young people to be able to always choose ‘non-violent’ approaches just through individual work without cognisance being given to the bigger picture of their lives is unrealistic.”

Belinda Hopkins on the healing power of Restorative Justice

“Many people equate justice having been done with the administering of a punishment, and in schools and residential child care contexts a similar expectation prevails, or is believed to prevail. The logic is that if somebody does a bad thing then a bad thing needs to be done to them. […] A restorative response, with its focus not on blame, punishment and alienation but on repair and re-connection, encourages a wrongdoer to take responsibility for the harm they have caused, and gives them an opportunity to repair the harm…”