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:
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.
The week started with a day of mediation and negotiation workshops, led by leading practitioners and trainers such as Michael McIlwrath (Global Chief Litigation Counsel, GE Oil and Gas), Johannes Willheim (Partner, Jones Day) and Tom Valenti (Mediator and Trainer, Chicago).
Evening highlights included the opening reception at the traditional Lusthaus, a ‘Wine and Barbecue’ evening and a special dinner at the restaurant Schweizerhaus. The week was concluded with the award ceremony at the city hall and a special reception at the offices of headline sponsor Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.
As a novelty of this edition, the final round of the competition had the privilege of seeing a co-mediation by the winning mediator team with renowned Brazilian Mediator Diego Faleck. Fernanda Rebello from PUC-São Paulo, who achieved the 3rd place in mediating the competition, had this honor.
The Final Award Ceremony honored 1st Prize Negotiation (National Law School of India University Bangalore), 2nd Prize Negotiation (University of Bonn), 3rd Prize Negotiation (Kings College London), 1st Prize Mediation (University of Bonn) and 2nd Prize Mediation (National Law School of India University Bangalore) at the City Hall of Vienna on the final evening.
A special thank you goes to the headline sponsors CAM-CCBC and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, all the experts and working groups members that have brought their knowledge and experience to share with the participants, the coaches, teams, cooperating institutions and the big organiser and volunteer team whose commitment to the development of the next generation of consensual dispute resolution have made an event like this possible.
Written by Pedro Pereira Gomes.
Pedro Pereira Gomes is a member of the Young Global ambassadors Program CDRC Vienna and worked as a volunteer in the event team of the 3rd edition of the competition. He is a legal intern at Tozzini Freire Advogados in the department of Arbitration and Civil Law. Pedro studies Law at PUC-SP and Public Administration at FGV. He was a Semi-Finalist negotiator from PUC-SP at the 2nd CDRC Vienna. Pedro participated as a negotiator from PUC-SP at the 11th International Commercial Mediation Competition, held by ICC. He is coauthor of the books “Decisões do Direito, limites contra legem” and “O Novo Código de Processo Civil Brasileiro: Um Enigma a ser decifrado”.