The 2015 Amsterdam Forum holds special memories, as it was – although little were we to anticipate that – the last Forum to be attended by two very special people. Colin J. Wall, Co-President of the World Forum of Mediation Centres, passed away just over a month after vary actively participating.

And Eberhard van der Laan, the beloved Mayor of Amsterdam, and former Minister who solemnly our Forum, has also passed away since.

At the Amsterdam Forum, I chaired the session called “Mediation in Public and Administrative Matters: May the Netherlands Show the Way?”. In an era where authority is no longer accepted by itself, and citizens have become more critical, and actions by public authorities are increasingly contested, often resulting in procedural battles, The Netherlands had been early in putting forward participation and alternative forms of dispute resolution, e.g. mediation. The session provided an anthology of these initiatives, both in matters where government sees itself hindered to perform tasks of general interest, as in matters where citizens may consider themselves let down.

Due to my specific qualifications as a mediator in public and governmental matters, I acted as moderator and Speaker, and was joined in this session by Alex BRENNINKMEIJER, The Netherlands’ former National Ombudsman, member of the European Court of Auditors in Luxembourg, and Dick ALLEWIJN, Senior judge in The Hague District Court, as well as Mediator and Trainer, The Netherlands

Pics of the Forum can be found here

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