Law Society of Ireland wins 2024 ICC Mediation Competition 

  • 12 February 2024

The Law Society of Ireland team took first place in the 19th ICC International Commercial Mediation Competition, defeating a team from Germany’s University of Marburg during the final mediation session. Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam from The Netherlands and the National University of Singapore were competition runner ups.

The Competition final, held in the historical Émile Boutmy Lecture Hall of Sciences Po University in Paris saw student teams face a mock mediation problem featuring damaged trams. It was written by professor Greg Bond, mediator at bond & bond, and mediated by independent Hong Kong mediator Jody Sin. 

The Competition marked the first final for an Irish team and the first final for competition regulars, the University of Marburg. Aoife O’Carroll and Eoin Doyle represented Law Society of Ireland on stage, while teammate Clíodhna McHugh supported from the audience.  

Ms O’Carroll said: 

“We are very happy and proud of our win. We entered the competition with zero expectations as we had never participated in a mediation session before. The competition was a learning curve for us, I think one can see the progress we have made if you compare our first session to the one today. During each round, we learned from gaining experience, but also from seeing the other teams perform. The Mediation Competition is so international and it was interesting to get to know the angles from other cultures. I think I can speak for the three of us that this week has planted a seed of passion for mediation inside us and we will certainly further look into it. More than ever, we believe mediation is the future.” 

The ICC Mediation Competition is one of the biggest educational competitions worldwide dedicated exclusively to international commercial mediation. Hosted in Paris from 5 to 10 February,  46 university teams from 31 countries competed to resolve international business disputes through mediation. Guided by professional mediators and administered under the ICC Mediation Rules, over 75 mock mediation sessions took place. In total, this 19th edition gathered over 300 students and professionals. 

Mediation professional Kimberly Schreiber took part in the ICC Mediation Competition for the 13th year, this time serving as one of the five judges during the final. Commenting on the competition, she said: 

“2024 was again a fantastic edition. I have been here so many times now and I am still amazed by the level of excellence and the huge amount of preparation by the students. This is the biggest mediation competition of the year and I believe we are shaping future mediation leaders here today. The final was very enjoyable and realistic. It was a tight decision, in some aspects, one team was a bit better, but in other aspects the other team was. In the end, I think Ireland deserves the win.” 

The trophy was awarded by ICC International Court of Arbitration Secretary General and ICC Dispute Resolution Services Director Alexander G. Fessas. He said: 

“Corporates, states, and state-owned entities do not litigate, arbitrate or mediate because they like doing it; they do it because they want a solution. They are tools in the toolbox to make businesses work. The Mediation Week is such an important event for ICC, because it is greatly educational, allowing the practitioners of tomorrow to understand how businesses can go back to the business of doing business.” 

University of Marburg Team member Klara Zimmerman said: 

“This has been a very fun week. Even during the final, we enjoyed every moment. It is a pity we just missed first place, but Ireland deserved the win. For us, the journey was the most important anyway. During the past week, we have learned a lot and met so many incredible people that the 2024 Mediation Competition will be something we will remember forever.” 

Relive all the highlights of the ICC Mediation Competition on X and Facebook by following the official event hashtag, #ICCMW2024. A recording of the final session is also available on the ICC Official YouTube channel @ICCWBO1919

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