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Posts Tagged ‘Harvard’

Boston Police Department Creating Mediation Program for Complaints Against Police

Just Court ADR, May 14th, 2015

The Boston Police Department is in the last stages of creating a program to address citizen complaints against police officers. The program would attempt to resolve disputes through mediation. Organizers hope to improve police/citizen relations, and to help clear some of the backlog of citizen complaints in Boston that may take 400 days or more to resolve.

The program is anticipated to involve the police department, three police unions and the Harvard Mediation Program at Harvard Law School. At this time, the unions still need to approve the program policy. Mediators would include Harvard Law School students and local residents trained in dispute resolution. They would handle moderate disputes from the Boston PD Internal Affairs department, such as “rudeness, unprofessional conduct and abusive language.”

Mediations would take place on neutral territory away from the police department. Most cases would conclude in a day, and the Harvard Mediation Program would supply mediators at no charge. Internal Affairs would continue to manage more serious complaints.

Police departments in several other major cities including Washington DC, New York City, Denver and San Francisco already have similar third-party mediation programs.

Honoring Roger Fisher, ADR Leader and Innovator

Just Court ADR, August 29th, 2012

Most law school or business school students will, at some point, be asked to read, “Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In.” Written in 1981, the ideas the book espouses form the basis for much negotiation and mediation theory taught today. Any ADR practitioner, whether they’ve read the book or not, can give thanks for the life of Roger Fisher, Professor Emeritus at Harvard Law School and co-author of “Getting to Yes,” who passed away August 25, 2012.

Roger Fisher’s experiences in World War II prompted him to look for another, better way to resolve conflict without sacrificing people’s individual needs and interests. Thus, along with William Ury and Bruce Patton, Mr. Fisher developed the principle that people can be moved from focusing on their positions to identifying their underlying interests and coming up with creative solutions to have those interests met. The authors also co-founded Harvard’s Program on Negotiation and wrote extensively on negotiation theory and practice.

His ongoing work to promote peace through understanding each other’s true needs will forever shape the landscape of ADR. His passing is a loss to us all.

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