Tribute to Miryana Nešić

The sudden death was announced in Australia on April 17, 2011 of Miryana Nešić, a leading international mediation educator, trainer, skills assessor, author, thinker and practitioner.

Miryana was part Serbian, part Australian, and proud of both. A Rhodes Scholar, Miryana developed her legal skills at Allen & Overy and Barclays but in the early 1990s focused on mediation, joining the ADR practice at Hammonds in London. She became involved in mediation projects in the United States, South Africa, Asia and Australia and wrote a book on designing ADR systems, in particular court-annexed and corporate mediation schemes.

Miryana was a natural trainer. Her effusive and tactful, but tough and resourceful, personality endeared her to many trainees on mediation courses with CEDR, Core and other leading mediation bodies and she was in great demand. She worked with judges and governments to introduce legal and court reforms embracing ADR and assisted the Law Society of England & Wales to set up its Civil/Commercial Mediation Panel. Miryana strongly promoted high professional standards and competency criteria, and was one of the first members of the IMI Independent Standards Commission. She contributed to the design of IMI’s Olé online evaluation tool for assessing disputes for the best way forward (, memorably valuing RATNAs over WATNAs and BATNAs.

Miryana was highly articulate, in spoken and written words, and an engaging presenter and accomplished author. Her books with co-author Professor Laurence Boulle – Mediation: Principles, Process and Practice (2001, revised edition 2006) became essential reading for those undertaking basic training programs. Their most recent work, Mediator Skills and Techniques: Triangle of Influence won the CEDR Award for best publication in 2010.

Less well known were Miryana’s articles, which she could use to challenge institutional dispute mechanisms. Her

piece: International Trade Disputes – The WTO Regime: What happened to the mediation option? chastised the WTO system for being obsessed with an unnecessarily litigious approach to the settlement of international trade disputes.

In addition to being a highly valued mediation trainer and skills assessor, Miryana was also an experienced mediator. She also worked on programs sponsored by the European Union in Mid-East and North African countries and advised a British Council sponsored program on e- commerce ADR in China.

In May 2011, Miryana Nešić was due to lead a Master Class for practicing mediators as part of the Advanced Mediator Training Program co-sponsored by Mediation and Training Alternatives and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Miryana Nešić was world class, one of the best and most respected mediation experts. A true Master of mediation.

The loss of this outstanding professional will be felt by many, in many countries and in many cultures. But her wisdom and influence, enshrined in her writing, will endure.

Publications by/featuring Miryana Nešić

United Kingdom’s Experience Backs More Mediation Use in Multiparty Litigation
By Miryana Nešić
Alternatives to the High Cost of Litigation (newsletter), CPR Institute (Vol 22, No. 9, October 2004).

Resources and Data: How Mediation Is Practiced in Europe
Alternatives to the High Cost of Litigation (newsletter), CPR Institute (Vol 23, No. 6, June 2005).

Mediator Skills and Techniques: Triangle of Influence 
Miryana Nesic and Laurence Boulle (2009)

To read a tribute to Miryana Nešić by CEDR, click here

To read Bond University’s tribute to Miryana Nešić, click here

Personal Tributes

“We are all shocked by this tragic news. Miryana worked with us in many of Core’s events and was with us in our most recent mediation training course just three weeks ago. She brought vitality, good humour, flair, insight and rigorous thought and analysis to all that she did. She was a close personal friend of mine and we shared many an hour reflecting on the mediation path and the development of conflict resolution. Miryana was undoubtedly one of the pioneers in mediation and was far ahead of many of us in her understanding of its potential. This is a very great loss. Our thoughts are with her family at this time, especially her parents.”

John Sturrock QC
Founder & CEO
Core Solutions Group

“Dear and appreciated Miryana,

How unbelievable that you are not on this earth anymore.

I always enjoyed working together and can’t imagine International ADR gatherings without you. In the 7 years that I was working as Chairman of International Affairs of the NMI, we had very inspiring and thought provoking conversations.

You played an important role in creating a culture in which the system of dispute resolution could change. A new system (thinking) that makes amicable solutions available to everybody.

Thank you Miryana

Dear family of Miryana, on behalf of the New Resolution Group and other Dutch mediators Miryana worked with, I offer you my heartfelt condolences.”

Annette M van Riemsdijk
Former Chairman International Affairs NMI
Lawyer and Mediator (vFAS, IACP, NMI, IMI certified)

“Miryana was, typically of her chosen profession, generous and articulate in her thoughts and wishes to those she encountered, and she left a legacy not just in her many published works but in the details of how she did things.  For nearly a decade I’ve had on my desk a wonderful little box that contained chocolates she gave to speakers at a mediation conference in London.  Its three drawers are elegantly labeled “litigation, arbitration, mediation”.  I’ve kept it to show my colleagues that there are always different drawers we can think of when trying to resolve disputes (Miryana’s intention), and also as a reminder to myself how a little creative thinking can leave a lasting impression.  To people like me, Miryana was an inspiration in the truest sense of the word.”

Michael McIlwrath
Senior Counsel-Litigation, GE Oil & Gas
IMI Chair 2009

“I’m deeply shocked and saddened by the loss of my dear friend and colleague Miryana.  She was a vibrant and energetic person who always gave 110% to everything she did.  Her contribution to the mediation field has been enormous.  On a personal level she was extremely generous and kind, and unfailingly supportive and encouraging to others.  I will miss her very much and her passing is a huge loss both personally and to the field.”

Liz Rivers
Mediator and Coach
CEDR Faculty Alumni

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