The University of New South Wales (NSW) has claimed victory against Saint Joseph University of Beirut in the 13th edition of the International Commercial Mediation Competition of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).
The Australian team won the competition after six days and almost 150 mediation sessions by 65 teams from 32 countries across the globe.
The final round, which signalled the end of ICC Mediation Week, the biggest educational event of the world business organization, was held yesterday afternoon at Espace Saint Martin in Paris.
The concluding dispute played out in front of a live audience and was written by Christopher Miers, a co-chair of the Working Group for the Competition Problems.
The volcanic issue brought to the table involved an organic coffee grower—whose plantation was nestled at the base of a threatening island volcano—and an international technology giant with an innovative new technology that was supposed to reduce the ever-dangerous ash clouds spewed during volcanic activity.
Commenting on the session between the two teams from Australia and Lebanon, Jawad Sarwana said: “The final round was an exciting event. It was an honour to see the finest teams of the Competition pitted against each other. They really raised the bar, as they displayed exceptional mediation advocacy and negotiation skills for all to witness. It was a lot of fun.” Mr. Sarwana is a practicing mediator in Pakistan and one of the five judges chosen to sit in on the Final.
The University of NSW is a consistently strong team. This is the school’s third time making it to the finals in 12 years of competing, which has been led by Rosemary Howell, a visiting professorial fellow and Chairman of Strategic Action. The university’s last win was in 2016.
Students, Nanak Narulla and Brittany Young, were selected to showcase their skills in the closing round. Reflecting on his team’s successful actions, Mr Narulla said: “I am ecstatic. I think the best part of this Competition has been the team that I have gone through it all with. Each session we alternated taking turns at the table, and it is only because of their support, hard work and great performance that we could get here—and there is also our lovely coach, Rosemary Howell. We feel absolutely chuffed, particularly because of the team we got to mediate with in the final, Saint Joseph University of Beirut. They are so accomplished and the session was so enjoyable that it is a real honour to have been awarded first prize.”
The second place team from Saint Joseph University of Beirut was represented by Rosy El-Kefrawi and Aya Hodeib El-Kebbi. Proud of her team, Ms Hodeib El-Kebbi said: “Sitting at the table in the Final was surreal, just as it was being in this Competition. To have gotten this far, makes you feel like all your hard work and efforts have paid off. It has been an amazing learning experience.”
Coming in at third place was Mitchell Hamline School of Law from the United States and King’s College London of the United Kingdom earned the fourth place title.
During the Award Ceremony, which followed directly after the mediation, Alexander G. Fessas, Director of ICC Dispute Resolution Services applauded all ICC Mediation Week participants for their contribution.
Touching on the significance of mediation capacity-building events, such as the competition, and its importance in nurturing a new generation of mediators, dispute resolution experts and future users of commercial mediation, Mr Fessas said: “Over the course of the past six days, an impressive 65 teams from 32 countries tested their skills in mediation, with much selfless assistance from the more than 130 professionals acting as judges and mediators. To you, the decision-makers of tomorrow, the Competition serves to demonstrate how mediation may help resolve commercial disputes.”
“When the time comes, use the experience you have collected well. You have now become members of an international mediation community; use its advantages to the maximum possible,” he advised.