Last year a team of students from the Faculty of Law of the University of Belgrade (PFUB) participated in the 16th International Commercial Mediation Competition, winning a special award – “Best Performance of a Team from a University Participating in the Competition for the First Time”, leaving behind renowned competitors such as King’s College London.
The prestigious Competition was organized by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Paris, traditionally as part of the “ICC Mediation Week”, albeit online for the first time.
PFUB was represented by Sara Cojić, Mila Pejić, Nina Mitrović (4th year students) and Aleksa Stojanović (3rd year student) under the mentorship of Blazo Nedic, IMI Certified mediator and lawyer from Belgrade, Serbia, and prof. dr Marko Jovanović, with the support of prof. dr Milena Djordjević (PFUB). The team was selected as one of the 48 teams to participate in this Competition.
The ICC International Commercial Mediation Competition is one of the most important events of its kind, bringing together 450+ participants each year – professional mediators, academics and students from around the world. It represents a unique opportunity for training, exchange of experiences and discussion of new directions and trends in the global application of mediation in dispute resolution.
The Competition is a great opportunity for students to learn more about mediation and apply the skills of negotiation and advocacy in a practical way, as well as experience the work and techniques of the world’s best mediators. This unique exchange contributes to the development of a new generation of mediators and lawyers who will successfully apply these skills in their future careers.
‘’We started preparing for the Competition by attending an accredited Basic Training for Mediators. After that, we continued with practical exercises and simulations of problems from the previous years. The practical advice we received from our coaches and professors gave us a better understanding of how everything acts out in actual practice’’, says Sara, one of the team members.
As part of the Competition, the Belgrade team competed in four qualifying rounds with its counterparts from the United States, Brazil, Indonesia and Vietnam in negotiating and representing in mediations in cross-border commercial disputes, with the participation of eminent international experts in the roles of mediators and judges.
Nina, another team member, describes her participation as an inspiring experience and points out the benefits:
“I applied for the ICC Mediation Competition during the last year of my studies. I did not know much about mediation or its field of application in all spheres of life, as well as the importance it takes in legal life and ADR. The ICC Mediation Competition and the preparation for it allowed me to meet amazing people with whom I am still in contact today, to improve and perfect my knowledge of English, as well as to expand my knowledge in the field of international trade disputes.”
“It was hard work, but in the end, it paid off – with the efforts of our team recognised by the granted award. I would recommend participating in the ICC Mediation Competition because it lays a good foundation for future work, especially related to the improved negotiation and listening skills that are also useful in everyday life”, shares Aleksa.
Mila agrees about the importance of the process and puts a spotlight on the social part of it:
“The ICC Mediation Competition was one of the best experiences of my life. I had the great pleasure to work, cooperate and learn from distinguished experts in the field, and through their advice and suggestions, to improve my knowledge and skills. Of course, although the goal of the Competition is to acquire knowledge, one should not neglect the fun aspects such as meeting and exchanging experiences with students around the world, but also just hanging out with team members during months of preparation.”
We couldn’t agree more and wish much luck to all the participating teams in the next rounds.
This competition is proudly supported by the International Mediation Institute and Young Mediators’ Initiative.