Monash Law team wins silver in Paris
A team of Monash University Law School students and their coaches have won silver at the 9th International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Mediation Competition in Paris, France.
This year’s competition, held from February 7 to 12, was the first time that Monash has entered. The four Juris Doctor (JD) students, Tessa Sullivan, Jemima Roe, Joanna Paul, and Julia Larner, accompanied by their two coaches, Naomi Burstyner and Wendy Gaddie, both Monash University Australian Centre for Justice Innovation (ACJI) senior researchers, were selected out of a field of 500 participants from 66 universities and more than 40 countries to participate.
The competition challenged students with complex commercial problems where they applied their skills in negotiation and collaboration to advance their interests and move towards a mutually beneficial settlement with the assistance of a mediator.
Prior to each mediation, the students were also required to prepare a mediation plan outlining their strategy, underlying interests and essentially their goals and objectives to resolving the dispute collaboratively with the opposing team.
Despite the new territory, the team displayed an outstanding performance. After winning preliminary rounds, quarter-finals and a semi-final, their performance at the final was closely watched by more than 350 spectators. The Monash Law School students demonstrated strong mediation advocacy; however, Ludwig-Maximillians University of Munich were the successful team. In an unexpected twist, one of the team from Munich turned out to be an exchange student from Monash University!
Monash officially finished second, winning three trophies, including two special awards, the first for best Mediation Plan and the second for best Advocacy.
Naomi Burstyner, a consultant in negotiation and conflict resolution, said the competition was useful for the students with future mediation skills.
“If you prepare students for mediation in terms of learning a theory and a process, and you give them an opportunity to understand the facts, they feel safe, and they’ll do well. That’s probably one of the most important things they learned at this competition,” Ms Burstyner said.
Co-coach Wendy Gaddie said the international setting provided invaluable experiences.
“The most valuable thing we’ve got out of this competition is being involved on an international scale with some of the most prestigious professionals in our field, and being able to take away valuable words of wisdom from around the world,” Ms Gaddie said.
Director of ACJI, Professor Tania Sourdin, was pleased to sponsor the coaching.
“We have a real interest in mediation, negotiation and dispute resolution in our research and teaching and it is wonderful that our team was able to show on the world stage how useful this learning is in the context of complex problem solving. Our students worked hard and we are so proud of their achievement,” Professor Sourdin said.