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Centre for Commercial Law Studies

Dr Debbie De Girolamo, PhD (LSE); LLM in Alternative Dispute Resolution (Osgoode Hall Law School); LLB (University of Windsor); BA Hons. (University of Toronto); Barrister and Solicitor (Ontario, Canada)


Reader in Law

Room Number: Lincoln’s Inn Fields


Debbie De Girolamo joined Queen Mary University of London in September 2012 where she teaches in the LLM programme at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies and also in the LLM programme in Paris, in particular Alternative Dispute Resolution and Negotiation Theory and Practice. Debbie is also the Academic Director of the Postgraduate Diploma Course (taught by distance learning) in International Mediation and also for the Postgraduate Diploma Course in International Dispute Resolution (Mediation). Prior to joining Queen Mary as a full-time lecturer, she was the Course Convenor for a combined Queen Mary and University College London LLM ADR course at CCLS and she taught Introduction to the Legal System at the LSE.

Debbie is a qualified Barrister and Solicitor in Ontario Canada where she practised prior to coming to England to commence her doctoral studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science. While in Canada, she obtained her LLM in Alternative Dispute Resolution from Osgoode Hall Law School and began teaching mediation, negotiation and general dispute resolution courses at law schools in Ontario and also for professional development programmes while continuing her law practice. She also trained as a mediator and became a community mediator in Toronto.

Debbie has written in the area of negotiation and mediation. Her book, The Fugitive Identity of Mediation: Negotiations, Shift Changes and Allusionary Action was published by Routledge in Spring, 2013.


Research Interests:

Dispute Resolution Processes including negotiation, mediation, arbitration, litigation; Conflict Theory and Conflict Management; Civil Procedure; Advocacy; Justice and Society; Legal Systems and Methods; Research Methods; Legal Anthropology; Legal Education and Experiential Learning.


  • The Fugitive Identity of Mediation: Negotiations, Shift Changes and Allusionary Action (London:  Routledge, 2013).
  • “Seeking Negotiated Order Through Mediation:  A Manifestation of Legal Culture?” (2012) 5 Journal of Comparative Law 118 and in D. Nelken, ed., Using Legal Culture (London:  Wildy, Simmonds & Hill, 2012) 153.
  • “A View from Within: Reconceptualizing Mediator Interactions” (2012) 30(2) Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice 103.
  • “The Negotiation Process:  Exploring Negotiator Moves Through a Processual Framework” (2013) 28(2) Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution 353.


Debbie would be happy to supervise research on any of the issues that fall within her expertise and current research interests.

Public Engagement

Research and Speaking Activities for 2013

  • Invited to present paper “The English Experience: Civil Justice and Mediation” at a conference entitled “Negotiations, Mediation and Arbitration – Effective Tools of Dispute Settlement in Economic Circulation: A Legal Comparative Analysis and Directions of Change” organised by The Catholic University in Lublin, The Research Centre for ADR ‘Law and Economy’, the Polish Ministry of Justice and the Polish Ministry of Economy, Lublin Poland, November 2013
  • Attended as invited observer at the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, Working Group Meeting for Online Dispute Resolution, Vienna Austria, November 2013
  • Invited to speak at a workshop entitled “On Mediation: Forms, Models and Theories” by the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, in Halle Germany in October 2013 on the research results of my empirical study conducted of commercial mediation and set out in my book, The Fugitive Identity of Mediation: Negotiations, Shift Changes and Allusionary Action (Routledge, 2013)
  • Invited to speak at CIArb 6th Annual Mediation Symposium, London in October 2013 as panel member for keynote address, “Mediators: Fit for Purpose?” and in particular, to present the results of my research on mediator interactions during mediation based on the findings set out in my book, The Fugitive Identity of Mediation: Negotiations, Shift Changes and Allusionary Action (Routledge, 2013)
  • Invited to guest lecture in Advanced Negotiation and Mediation at the London School of Economics and Political Science, Summer School Programme, Law Department, August 2013
  • Invited to present a workshop on Negotiation Theory and Practice to Association Francaise des Juristes D’Entreprise, Paris France, June 2013
  • Presented Paper “A Search for Justice in Mediation: Is Procedural Justice the Answer?” at Law and Society Association Annual Conference, Boston USA, June 2013
  • Presented Paper “Shift Changes – A Need to Reconceptualise Mediator Interactions” at the Socio-Legal Studies Association, Annual Conference, York, England, March 2013
  • Invited to speak as panel member at Civil Mediation Council Seminar Series, “ADR in Legal Education” [PDF] London England, April 2013
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