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April 10, 2010

Different folks: Witness demeanor in international disputes.


In international arbitration and mediation, first-language barriers can be the least of your client's difficulties. How does a mediator or arbitrator arrive at a true--and fair--consensus on the meaning of ordinary verbal and non-verbal conduct by a witness? What is the significance of the "delayed answer" to a question? In one culture, delay means hesitancy and evasiveness (e.g., to most Westerners). In another, delay may denote careful consideration of the question--and a sign of respect to the questioner.

In IDN No. 61, GE's in-house counsel Mike McIlwrath interviewed Australian mediator Joanna Kalowski for the second time (see IDN No. 44). Kalowski, who works out of both Australia and Paris, shares how she became a mediator and lessons that come directly from her work. Kalowski has also trained mediators in Australia, New Zealand, India, Singapore, Italy, Thailand and Hong Kong. Their 25-minute discussion, "Public Consensus Across Cultures", taped on February 13, 2009, is part of McIlwrath's award-winning interview series on International Dispute Negotiation sponsored by the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution, or CPR.

Posted by Holden Oliver (Kitzbühel Desk) at April 10, 2010 12:50 AM


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