Paris, 7-13 February 2019

The ICC Mediation Competition and Mediation Week are known as an opportunity for young practitioners in all disciplines to improve their understanding and use of mediation for the resolution of commercial disputes. While some of these young talents will end up embracing a career in mediation, others will treasure these mediation skills as a valuable toolbox to be used in their future practice. For many of the participants, irrespective of their career paths, the Competition will be a milestone.

Professional mediators and trainers joining as judges and mediators during the sessions also consider the Competition as a highlight in their yearly calendar. Beyond their commitment to training the next generation of mediation practitioners and users, experienced professionals also enjoy the Competition to network and to have the opportunity to see other practitioners in action in the sessions. The traditional Round Table for professionals is a rare opportunity for over 120 mediators to exchange and discuss with their peers on their professional practice and on the most current topics in the field of mediation. This edition featured a lively debate on the pros and cons of the Singapore Convention,1 with the participation of Michel Kallipetis, one of the representatives at the UNCITRAL Working Group II on the draft convention. The Roundtable also included a ‘Speed Dating’ session, as well as a workshop on best practices focusing on mediation business development, process design, culture, mediation techniques and the difference between Ombudsman and mediator.

The ICC Mediation Competition Organising Committee is grateful for the students’ and professionals’ participation and enthusiasm over the years. While it is possible to participate as a competitor only once, many join this event every year; their roles evolving at the pace of their career (as students, then volunteers, finally as judges and mediators, and eventually as members of the different Working Groups acting as a think tank for the organisation of the event).

The Competition included a full day of trainings, three main cocktails for all the 550+ participants, an exclusive cocktail for professionals, almost 150 mediation sessions organised in eight rounds, and eight different case scenarios (international commercial disputes). This year’s Mediation Week also allowed more time for the teams proceeding to finals to prepare for the last rounds, as well as more opportunities for students and professionals to discuss as peers on themes that could be of interest for both the experienced and the younger mediation practitioners. In particular, a new Inter-Generational Round Table was introduced, with a very interactive format. Speakers included professionals, students and volunteers alike, who shared their first-hand experience to stir the debate among the participants. Discussions included an open exchange across generations, some reflections on mediation accessibility for all, as well as a panel on ODR on how technology is shaping mediation and dispute resolution.

The preparation of the 15th edition is already underway, with the drafting of the new case scenarios and the annual revision of the Competition Rules. All those interested to participate are invited to check regularly our website www.iccwbo.org/ICCMediationWeek, follow us on our social media (@ICCMediation on Facebook and Twitter) for regular updates, or contact the Organising Committee at iccmediationcompetition@iccwbo.org.

A number of ICC regional mediation competitions are being organized around the world, using the same format, whose winners will automatically qualify to join the Competition in Paris, if they wish to participate. The next competition ‘ICC Australia Asia-Pacific Commercial Mediation Competition’ will take place in Melbourne on 26-28 July 2019,2 and it will be followed by the second edition of the ICC International Commercial Mediation Competition – Hong Kong (dates to be confirmed).


1
Available at https://uncitral.un.org/sites/uncitral.un.org/files/singapore_convention_eng.pdf, see Edna Sussman, ‘The Singapore Convention: Promoting the Enforcement and Recognition of International Mediated Settlement Agreements’, ICC Dispute Resolution Bulletin, 2018-3.

2
More information available at https://iccwbo.org/event/asia-pacific-commercial-mediation-competition/.