Good Offices
International & Sophisticated Crime

The IDR Group and Dispute Resolution
The IDR Group’s interest in international dispute resolution concentrates on international arbitration: both in the commercial and “inter-State” spheres.
But the Group’s membership includes those who also have an interest in ADR – Alternative Dispute Resolution (or Amicable Dispute Resolution): in particular mediation / conciliation (in the area of commercial disputes) and “Good Offices” (in the area of inter-State disputes).
And within the Group there are members with expertise in International and Sophisticated Crime.

The commonest form of ADR is probably mediation – also called conciliation. The process involves the resolution of disputes by a third party “neutral” whose aim is to bring the parties to a settlement on terms acceptable to them. The neutral or mediator has no power to impose a settlement on the parties: the mediator is neither an arbitrator nor a judge.

Good Offices
Good Offices describes the informal and facilitative process conducted by a third party – often behind the scenes – to assist parties in dispute to establish contact and to begin to explore ways to reach an amicable settlement. Such ways might include more formal procedures such as mediation or arbitration.
The Good Offices process often tends to be used in disputes between States. The third party neutral in those circumstances is likely to be a respected international figure experienced in dealing with inter-State disputes.

International & Sophisticated Crime
In addition to expertise in the areas of Good Offices and Commercial Mediation, two of the Group’s Consultants – Brian Michael Jenkins and Captain P. Mukundan – are experts in the fields of commercial fraud and sophisticated crime. This expertise reaches into areas such as maritime crime – including piracy – and aviation crime.
Lawyer Andrew Berkeley – whose background is in the petroleum industry – has advised international organisations on the negotiation of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Convention on bribery, and advised on the legislative proceedings leading to the new UK Bribery Act.

Accountant Arthur Harverd has long-standing and wide-ranging experience in major fraud trials and investigations.
At first sight, international crime may seem far removed from Mediation and Good Offices. But Sir Donald McKinnon’s Good Offices involvement in hostage negotiations is in a field of activity not very far removed from Captain Mukundan’s involvement with piracy.

The IDR Group’s Mediation, Good Offices and
International & Sophisticated Crime Section

Mediation: The creation of this Section setting out the mediation experience of members is a recognition of the importance of mediation in today’s world. There is now almost universal agreement that, whilst mediation is not a panacea (there are types of dispute where the decision of a national court or the award of an arbitral tribunal is the required outcome), mediation nevertheless has much to offer.
And that is so both in the use of mediation in its own right, and in its use as part of a multi-tier or “stepped” dispute resolution process. In such a process the parties may have contractually agreed to attempt to resolve disputes first by mediation, resorting to arbitration only if the mediation process fails.
Good Offices: One of the great benefits of the IDR Group is that we have within our membership not only those with mediation experience. We also have members who have experience in the wider political and diplomatic fields: experience ranging from inter-State disputes to hostage negotiations. Members of the Group with such experience are able to provide assistance by way of Good Offices.
International & Sophisticated Crime: Group expertise in this field completes the three linked areas.

Click here for a brief description of members of the Group who have experience in the fields of Mediation/Conciliation and Good Offices, and in International and Sophisticated Crime. For the full CVs please go to the Members and Consultants sections of the website.