10th ICC Mediation Competition enters final rounds

  • 10 February 2015
ICC Arbitration and ADR

The 10th ICC International Commercial Mediation Competition is hotting up as university teams from Australia, Brazil, Poland, Ukraine and the US make it through to the quarterfinals on the contest’s penultimate day.

10th ICC Mediation Competition enters final rounds
10th ICC Mediation Competition enters final rounds

The quarterfinalist announcement was met with cheers and applause at the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) global headquarters in Paris this morning.

Over five thrilling days, 67 business and law schools from around the world have been battling for top places in the ICC Mediation Competition. Students have stretched their commercial dispute resolution skills – and their knowledge of ICC’s 2014 Rules of Mediation – in over 150 mock sessions around Paris, evaluated by some of the world’s most renowned mediation practitioners.

The quarterfinalists include three universities competing in the ICC Mediation Competition for the first time: Florida International University College of Law; New York Law School; and the National Taras Shevchenko University of Kyiv (Ukraine).

They are joined by: University of New South Wales (Australia); University of Sao Paulo (Brazil); University of Warsaw (Poland); UC Hastings College of Law (USA); and the University of Houston Law Centre (USA).

Ewa Gmurzynska, who co-coaches the University of Warsaw team alongside Katarzyna Sawicka, said: “We’re very happy! The ICC Mediation Competition is a wonderful experience for young people. The teams are getting better and better every year. For me the most rewarding thing is to see the students excited, and really getting into the spirit of mediation.”

Competition newcomers Goa University (India) just missed getting into the quarterfinals. Student Nihal Pramod Kamat said: “The Competition is amazing! It has taught me many things, about different cultures for example, and created a greater awareness of mediation.”

We hope the Competition will be an opportunity for participants to develop the skills required to stimulate constructive and effective communication.

Fellow team-member Nrapen Shanker added: “One of the mediators was Alan Limbury, one of the best reputed mediators in the world! When a student can learn directly from professional mediators and meet people across the global spectrum, it expands your horizons, both in dispute resolution, and in the world around you.”

Bill Marsh, UK commercial mediator, and ICC Mediation Competition judge and mediator, said: “For me, the ICC Mediation Competition is the highlight of the year. It’s critically important because it’s about energizing and enabling the next generation of mediators – and mediation users – to use the process well, and to understand it and develop confidence in it. The event is a brilliant melting pot for mediators and students from all around the world.”

Hal Abramson, a law professor who has been involved in the event since helping set it up ten years ago, said: “Thanks to the energy and support of this competition, more and more schools around the world are now teaching mediation, and you can see how students have become much more sophisticated and competent in the mediation process.”

One of the world’s leading mediation capacity-building events, the ICC Mediation Competition is based on the complex, international business problems that professional mediators really tackle.

After the quarterfinals take place on Tuesday afternoon, the semifinals on Wednesday morning involve a dispute over the obscuring of a shop front by surprisingly high kiosks. Two teams will then go through to the competition’s KPMG Final on Wednesday afternoon, where they will attempt to resolve a dispute over a newly acquired vineyard’s production of lower-than-predicted yields.

Andrea Carlevaris, Director of ICC’s Dispute Resolution Services, and Secretary General of the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce, said: “We hope the Competition will be an opportunity for participants to develop the skills required to stimulate constructive and effective communication. We’re thankful to the numerous mediators from all over the world who share their knowledge and experience with the students and with each other, demonstrating how mediation can facilitate dialogue even after the start of a dispute.”

With 67 teams competing from universities, helped by some 130 professionals volunteering as mediators and judges, this year’s event has attracted more than 500 participants from more than 40 countries, making it the biggest and most diverse in the ICC Mediation Competition’s ten-year history.

Follow the latest Mediation Week developments on Twitter via the hashtag #ICCMW @ICCMediation.

For more information on ICC mediation services, visit the ICC International Centre for ADR.