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 Bond University Faculty of Law, and Co-Director of the Bond Centre for Dispute Resolution and Bond’s Centre for Professional Legal Education. Her areas of teaching and research expertise include dispute resolution, family law and domestic violence, lawyer and law student well-being and legal. Rachael has published widely in the dispute resolution field and completed a PhD on mediation ethics in 2011. Amongst other works, she is the author of Australian Dispute Resolution (2022) and co-author with Laurence Boulle of Mediation in Australia (2018). Rachael founded the Australian Wellness Network for Law and co-founded the ADR Research Network. She has been involved with Women’s Legal Service, Brisbane since 1993 and is now an Ambassador for the Service. In 2013 Rachael was named Queensland Woman Lawyer of the Year and in 2020 she was elected to be a life-long Honorary Academic Bencher of the Inner Temple in London.

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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