Young Mediators’ Blog February 2019 – Jemima Roe
ICC International Commercial Mediation Competition 2019
Each year, during the second week in February, several hundred excited, hopeful and slightly nervous law students brave the Parisian winter to participate in one of the highlights of the annual mediation calendar - the ICC International Commercial Mediation Competition!
Teams of up to four students and two coaches, arriving from 66 universities from around the world, are joined by over 150 professional mediators who volunteer their time. Some professionals act as judges, whilst others take the opportunity to join the students at the table as mediators. The mock scenarios, drafted by an esteemed team of global mediation superstars, reflect real-life commercial disputes and give the students - who divide themselves into the roles of counsel and client - a genuine experience of problem solving in business, albeit limited to an 85-minute window.
The students are encourages to practice interest-based negotiation, with points awarded for demonstrating interest exploration, option development, collaboration and cross-cultural awareness. No points are available for reaching settlement, instead, the competition aims to teach participants the importance of the process.
Alongside the 150+ mediation sessions that take place over four rounds of preliminary competition and four rounds of knock-out finals, there is a plethora of educational seminars, networking event and cocktails parties in some of Paris’ most exquisite venues. For the professionals, the ICC harnesses the rare opportunity of having so many industry-leading minds in the same place, to host the annual Mediation Round Table. This event is an interactive half-day workshop that encourages knowledge sharing on a range of topics, from breaking deadlock to cross-cultural mediation, from process developed to mediation tips and tricks, and everything in between. In addition, in 2019, we were treated to a lively debate on the impact of the Singapore Convention - a divisive topic of interest to many around the world.
In what will no doubt be a memorable week for all involved, the 2019 competition saw the teams discuss, communicate and collaborate on issues such as the ethical advertising requirement of a hardcore vegan band, region-controlled naming rights of cheese, malfunctioning sports stadium seating and the intricacies of spaceflight. The final came down to the University of Auckland and the York University (Canada), and after an exceptional performance from both teams, the Kiwis took the crown.
If you are interested in getting involved in the ICC International Commercial Mediation Competition as a mediator, judge, university team, sponsor, or volunteer - the details are available on the ICC website here.
ICC Mediation Competition Volunteer (2015-2019) and Competitor (2014)
Associate, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Clifford Chance London
Co-Chair, Young Mediators’ Group