‘Mediating’ your way through Christmas…

By | 13 December 2018

In the interest of ‘research’ for this blog post I thought I better look back and browse through some Christmas TV Specials.

For this I turned to a very useful tool called ‘Box of Broadcasts’ affectionately known as ‘BoB’.  The official description of this service is as follows:

Box of Broadcasts is an on demand TV and radio service for education. It allows staff and students at subscribing institutions to search an archive of over 2 million broadcasts, record programmes from over 65 free-to-air channels, and create their own playlists, clips and clip compilations. Content includes BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Four, ITV, Channel 4, Film4, 10 foreign language channels, BBC Shakespeare Archive content dating back to the 1950s, and more.

Access BoB via SOLO from here. (You need to register the first time you use it.)

So, on here, I can access my programmes and pull out any relevant clips for my reader.  In the link below I’ve chosen Ben’s practical, but unsuitable, Christmas present choice from the sitcom ‘My Family’ to illustrate the point of choosing wisely this Christmas!

My Family Christmas Special

‘Clip from My Family Christmas Special: Have a Unhappy Christmas’, My Family Christmas Special, Have a Unhappy Christmas, 21:00 17/12/2012, BBC1 London, 60 mins. 00:04:38-00:06:01. https://learningonscreen.ac.uk/ondemand/index.php/clip/138347 (Accessed 08 Dec 2018)

On  a more serious note we are accessing it under our ERA Licence (Educational Recording Licence) and we can therefore only use the content for non-commercial educational purposes.

It could be a very useful way of incorporating videos into your lecture slides without risking breaching copyright laws.  It is simple to use and comes with embed codes and how to cite your video.  So if I typed ‘Brexit’ into the search box it would bring back inevitably hundreds of ‘hits’ sorted initially by relevance, though I can change this to date if I wish:


It will also show you forthcoming relevant programmes using your keywords.

(If you are on ‘BoB’ and are looking for more TV Specials of a slightly dysfunctional family Christmas, then I heartily recommend ‘Cuckoo’ for a little light relief!)

Perhaps some of these couples may have to go down the ‘family mediation’ route once Christmas is over – although arguably unlikely, in no small part due to the fictional nature of these characters…

However if they did (and stay with me on this) then they may wish to consider the mediation resources they can access.  A simple SOLO subject search yields the following useful results;

I could alternatively browse the shelves at KN 173

On my voyage of discovery through SOLO, using the subject searching facility and applying  the ‘one good record’ rule, I stumble across the following book:

Walker, S. (2018). Mediation advocacy : Representing clients in mediation (Second ed.). London.

Recently published, in fact at the time of writing it hasn’t quite made it to open shelves, (although readers should always note they are still able to consult it, we would just need to retrieve it for you), this book has a very useful section on Family Mediation.  Inevitably one procrastinates a little and turns to Chapter 5 to play the ‘What sort of Negotiator are you’ game – fearful that one might be a ‘turtle or a shark’ it is probably wise to move swiftly on…

If you would like to see what other new books are arriving in the Law Library then please check out our New Books Bulletin

Returning to the subject of ‘family mediation’  I might wish to consult the Family Law LibGuide written by our helpful Librarians.  Indeed, this has a separate tab with useful links solely on ‘mediation’.  These LibGuides also provide very useful links to external, freely accessible resources, for example the website of the ‘Family Mediation Council’.  So it might cut your ‘googling’ time a little to see where the LibGuide directs you in the first instance.  TopTip: LibGuides are a great way of quickly assessing what are the relevant resources for your practice area or your jurisdiction.  Find the list here.

Having whetted my appetite for mediation, I may now want to acquire some more practical advice and could perhaps turn to the database ‘Practical Law’, formerly  known as PLC.  It helpfully provides a very clearly written Practice Note entitled ‘Family Mediation: overview’  describing it as :

“An introduction to family law mediation, including the roles of participants, the stages in the process and its benefits as an alternative dispute resolution process.”

This practice note highlights the need to attend, or at the very least give serious consideration to attending, a  ‘MIAM’, a ‘Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting’.  Cue another Practice Note dedicated to these meetings and a link to the relevant standard form.  There’s a checklist to help you find a family mediator that links you to various family mediation organisations.  Also by following the ‘legal updates’  I can see that the Civil Justice Council working group on ADR has published its final report.  It’s worth checking these legal updates and legislation/case trackers in your practice area to ensure you are aware of the latest developments.

A similar theme in my chosen Christmas TV special is the need for ‘on fleek’ negotiation skills for dealing with teenagers – and I apologise if I have now  downgraded the phrase ‘on fleek’ by using it in a Law Librarian’s blog!  My eye is immediately drawn to a slightly incongruous looking book in our reserve collection:

Malhotra, D., & Bazerman, M. (2008). Negotiation genius : How to overcome obstacles and achieve brilliant results at the bargaining table and beyond. New York.

From this I pick up several handy hints from the chapter on ‘Negotiating from a position of weakness’. (If you are spending Christmas with teenagers do not delude yourself into thinking that you are negotiating from any other starting point!)  So,

Tip 1: Don’t reveal that you are weak

Tip 2: Upset the balance of power by perhaps building a coalition with other weak parties – in this context younger siblings?!

Tip 3: Attack the source of the power – surely this is a direct reference to the WiFi password?

Armed with this somewhat dubious advice, hopefully you are now fully prepared for Christmas.  Please do check out our opening hours and do remember we are always here to help you find the resources you need.

Merry Xmas!