The Third Edition Of The IBA – VIAC Consensual Dispute Resolution Competition

Two years ago, the International Bar Association (IBA), the Vienna International Arbitral Centre (VIAC), and the European Law Students’ Association (ELSA) launched the first edition of the Consensual Dispute Resolution Competition (CDRC) Vienna. The inaugural success and the enthusiastic feedback and support for the competition’s new concept quickly caught international attention and led to a second edition in 2016. This past July, we witnessed the third edition of a path towards more consensus building in dispute resolution – and bringing it to the next generation:

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At CDRC Vienna, students compete against each other by negotiating a series of real world commercial-legal problems based on the case of the Willem C. Vis Moot. The competition is focused on the participants’ ability to use negotiation and mediation skills to successfully negotiate or mediate a settlement that best serves the needs of the parties. All of this converges towards one single idea – the alternative dispute resolution of the new generation is consensual. Mediation and negotiation are the processes of the future that give parties full control and decisive power over their disputes.

This fresh approach of showing the connection between arbitration, mediation and negotiation by using the Vis Moot arbitration case that has been stayed – supplementing it with new confidential instructions in each round, and having students negotiate and mediate the case – drew a lot of successful applicants to the 2017 edition of the competition.

The global connection that CDRC Vienna promotes to its student participants is of key importance to the success of the rise of mediation and negotiation schemes and therefore contributes to the global conversation the Global Pound Conference has started. 250 people from all over the world came to learn, explore and share cultural differences and ideas in a friendly environment. There are teams represented by all the continents in the world. The countries included Greece, Czech Republic, Poland, United Kingdom, United states, India, Singapore, Brazil, Russia, Lebanon, Germany, Australia, Austria, China and Georgia. But the list of represented countries does not end with the teams. Expert assessors from all over the world came to be a part of this event and many from the countries mentioned above, but other countries were also represented, such as: Romania, Pakistan, Italy, Egypt and Colombia.

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The week started with a day of mediation and negotiation workshops, led by leading practitioners and trainers such as