The Competition, which has become a high point on the international mediation calendar, is an opportunity for participants to apply the ICC Amicable Dispute Resolution (ADR) Rules in some 200 mock mediations – all conducted by professional mediators and based on real cross-border commercial disputes.
Some of the world’s leading dispute resolution specialists will act as judges, evaluating competing students on their performances in the roles of counsel and client.
"The ICC International Commercial Mediation Competition is the largest of its kind anywhere in the world,” said Jason Fry, Secretary General of the ICC International Court of Arbitration and Director of ICC Dispute Resolution Services. “It is a practical demonstration of ICC's commitment to this field of dispute resolution.”
Around 60 law- and business school teams and over 120 professional mediators and other dispute resolution professionals are expected to come to the 2012 Competition from around the world. A team of international mediation specialists has revised the Competition Rules and format for the seventh edition of this event, in order to ensure best-mediation practice will be demonstrated during the Competition. Students will have the unique opportunity to see many of the world’s leading commercial mediators at work, while they themselves take the role of counsel and client in the mock mediation sessions.
In the last Competition, in February 2011, Fordham University School of Law (US) fielded the winning team, and Université Pantheon-Assas, Paris 2 (France) came second.
“The ICC mediation competition is the annual global mediation contest,” said Bill Marsh, Commercial Mediator, and Judge and Mediator in the 2011 Competition. “For students, it’s a chance to pit their skills against the world's emerging talent, and to learn from seasoned professionals. For professionals, a chance to invest in the future of the profession we love, and to renew old friendships from every corner of the world.”
Prizes in 2012 will include a cash award, publication subscriptions and internships with some of the event’s sponsors. In previous years, sponsors included the law firms Jones Day, Hogan Lovells, Taylor Wessing, Clifford Chance, White & Case and Gide Loyrette Nouel, and international corporations such as KPMG, GE, Siemens, BNP Paribas, Thales and Nestle.
“From a corporate point of view it's a privilege to support and help ICC to promote the use of mediation,” said Pablo Bernad, Partner, Head of KPMG R&C in Europe, Middle East, Africa & South Asia (EMA). Highlighting the atmosphere of healthy and amicable competition, he added: “It's just an amazing and invigorating experience.”
"We are enormously grateful to the dispute resolution professionals and sponsors who contributed to this event to make it such a success and impressed by the enthusiasm and skill of the students who participated in it," said Secretary General of the Court, Jason Fry, after the 2011 Competition.
Business schools are encouraged to take part in 2012 for the second year running. Hannah Tuempel, Manager of ICC Dispute Resolution Services and in charge of the services related to the ICC ADR Rules, said: “Future business managers will benefit enormously from the ICC International Mediation Competition, and from the related training and social events. It is important that the managers of tomorrow have a good set of skills to effectively settle disputes and to ensure business-wise solutions.”
For corporations and states alike, mediation can be a practical way to solve commercial disputes, as it is often more flexible, cheaper and quicker than arbitration. Additionally, it gives the parties themselves the opportunity to influence the outcome, ensuring that their business interests are respected. It is one of a range of dispute settlement services offered by ICC.
Following the 2011 event a Hamline University School of Law student said: "The ICC Competition in Paris was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Competing against skilled teams from a huge variety of cultures afforded me with an opportunity to greatly improve my mediation and negotiation skills in a short period of time. Working with a variety of mediators also taught me a lot. Most of all, I was able to meet new friends from all over the world."
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