October 14, 2010
The Problem of 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 2009, GE's in-house counsel Mike McIlwrath interviewed Australian mediator Joanna Kalowski, who works out of both Australia and Paris. Kalowski discusses how she became a mediator and lessons that come directly from her work. She has also trained mediators in Australia, New Zealand, India, Singapore, Italy, Thailand and Hong Kong. Their 25-minute discussion, "Public Consensus Across Cultures" (IDN No. 61), taped on February 13, 2009, is part of McIlwrath's highly regarded interview series on International Dispute Negotiation sponsored by the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution, or CPR Institute.
Posted by Holden Oliver (Kitzbühel Desk) at October 14, 2010 11:59 PM