Professor Bernie Mayer’s Opening Keynote: ADR Research Network 10th Annual Roundtable 2022

Welcome to the ADR Research Network’s 10th Annual Roundtable 2022.

Due to the current Omicron COVID situation and its impact on Network members, this year’s Roundtable is being held through the Blog instead of face-to-face via Zoom on 7-8 February 2022 (as had been originally planned).

We are excited to have agreed on this creative solution with our presenters and our esteemed Keynote Speaker – Professor Bernie Mayer.

This first post for the Roundtable is our Opening Keynote Address (followed by a brief discussion with Bernie and some Network members). It is the first in what will be a series of 20-minute presentations posted by Network members in the coming weeks. We are aiming to add one presentation a week.

The Blog provides opportunities for comments and discussion. You are invited to be as interactive and responsive in your feedback and contributions to discussions as possible.

We are hoping this will provide a flexible, Covid-safe, asynchronous way to proceed with the Roundtable which will also be of benefit to the authors in terms of disseminating their work to a wider international audience.

We are delighted to have Professor Bernie Mayer as our Keynote Speaker for this 10th Anniversary Roundtable of the ADR Research Network. Bernie needs little introduction to dispute resolution scholars, students, practitioners and enthusiasts as he has been an internationally influential thought-leader on dispute resolution theory and practice for many decades. He is speaking in his Keynote about his new book – co-authored with Jackie Font-Guzman – entitled The Neutrality Trap – Disrupting and Connecting for Social Change. Please do post comments, thoughts and responses to the keynote via the Blog.

We look forward to collegial and robust Roundtable discussions this week – and in the weeks ahead – as this new format for the Roundtable unfolds. We look forward to engaging with you online.

With our warmest wishes

Professors Rachael Field and Jonathan Crowe

Co-Convenors of the ADR Research Network and the Roundtable for 2022

Faculty of Law, Bond University

This entry was posted in Dispute resolution by Dr Rachael Field. Bookmark the permalink.

About Dr Rachael Field

Rachael is a Professor of Law in the Law Faculty of Bond University. Her key teaching and research interests are in legal education and dispute resolution. Rachael was awarded an Australian Learning and Teaching Council Citation in 2008 and was made an ALTC Teaching Fellow in 2010. In 2010 Rachael worked with Professors Sally Kift and Mark Israel on the development of the Threshold Learning Outcomes for Law. In 2013 Rachael and Prof Nick James published a first year law text entitled "The New Lawyer". Rachael has been a member of the First Year in Higher Education Conference organising committee since 2007 and now chairs that committee. She was awarded the 2013 Lexis Nexis Australasian Law Teachers’ Association Major Prize for Teaching Excellence and Innovation jointly with her colleague James Duffy. In 2014 Rachael was awarded an Office of Learning and Teaching national Teaching Excellence Award. Rachael has also been a member of the Women’s Legal Service, Brisbane Management Committee since 1994 and has been President of the Service since 2004. In 2010 Rachael, along with the Women's Legal Service Brisbane, was commissioned by the Federal Attorney-General to design a model of family dispute resolution for use in matters where there is a history of domestic violence. This model was implemented in 5 locations around Australia for 18 months and was evaluated by the Australian Institute of Family Studies. In 2011 and 2012 Rachael was invited by the Australian Human Rights Commission to contribute to their International Program by presenting the model to bi-lateral workshops with the All China Women's Federation. Rachael completed her PhD through the Faculty of Law at the University of Sydney under the supervision of Professor Hilary Astor in 2011. Her thesis explored the notion of neutrality in mediation and offers an alternative paradigm based on professional mediator ethics. Rachael was named Queensland Women Lawyer of the Year for 2013. Research Interests • Dispute Resolution • Women and the Law • Restorative Justice • Family Law • Legal Education

7 thoughts on “Professor Bernie Mayer’s Opening Keynote: ADR Research Network 10th Annual Roundtable 2022

  1. Jon and I are just re-posting this wonderful Keynote to ensure as many people as possible are aware it is available. Warmest wishes Rachael

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks Rachael. I’m just getting to listen to the keynote now so hope the re-share will help others to find it. I’ve shared through to my network and encouraged people to subscribe to your email list.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! Bernie’s message is so important I really hope we can disseminate further and really appreciate your sending onto your networks Joanne! Rachael


  3. Thanks so much for posting and reposting, Rachael and Jon. As you know, I had the pleasure to participate in Bernie Mayer’s Opening Keynote Address and subsequent discussion. Like the others who participated, I was intrigued by Bernie’s idea that conflict resolution specialists may have the power, and – as I understand – also a duty to promote social change as part of their work. I have been thinking about Bernie’s call to act as social change agents and have some thoughts and questions that I would like to share here. I haven’t read the book yet, so Bernie might even address these questions in his book. One question that I would like to raise is if we would need to make our dedication to social change transparent to our clients, so that we don’t face a potential ethical dilemma when acting with a hidden agenda (even if we believe that this agenda is for the greater good)? Or do we assume that the goal to advance social change and address systemic issues should underpin the work of a conflict resolution practitioner anyway, so that we don’t need to address this with clients prior to our engagement? I would be interested in hearing what others think.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Really thoughtful and important questions Judith. Thank you for posting and for being part of the keynote! Rachael


    • Hi Judith, I have been thinking about this a lot lately. I agree with Bernie that strict neutrality merely advances / maintains the status quo. I also haven’t read the book yet, but I’m wondering whether a social justice approach to dispute resolution is simply grounded in delivering participant self-determination? A social justice approach is not, therefore, anything special or different – it is required as a matter of best practice. What do you think?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I for one absolutely agree with you Ana! I think an ethical commitment to delivering participant self-determination creates an imperative for a social justice approach.


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