Event invitation: IIMC Colombo 2023, registrations are now open!

Alternative ways to resolve conflict are frequently taken up and explored in the world at present; mediation is a prime example of an Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”) mechanism sought widely and increasingly often. Especially, Investor-State Mediation (ISM) is gaining global traction and is now identified as a method to resolve disputes in international investments between governments and investors.

Mediation has been a valued form of ADR in Sri Lanka for centuries. Nowadays, it is an increasingly widespread opinion that opting for litigation or arbitration leaves clients dissatisfied and drained even after “winning” a dispute. One of the principal objectives of The Moot Court Bench (“MCB”) in Sri Lanka, especially through its Mediation Wing, has been to kickstart and promote mediation in the country, by broadening the pool of trained mediators and mediation advocates both locally and globally.

The MCB is Sri Lanka’s first fully- integrated legal advocacy training platform focused on enhancing the overall standards of the legal profession.

The MCB has been enlightening undergraduates around the island with special emphasis on International Mediation and Negotiation, International Commercial Arbitration, and International Trade Law, since 2020.

This year, the horizons were broadened further – especially via the MCB International Commercial Mediation (ICM) Program. Now in its third consecutive year, the Program has just opened the opportunity for international students to partake in it! Further, for the first time in Sri Lanka, after 2 years of partnering with prestigious international competitions (ICC Paris, Lex Infinitum), and partners (ADR ODR, PACT) for mediation case problems, the ICM Program has now established its very own Drafting Committee for Mediation Case Problems for the MCB National Commercial Mediation Competition 2023, which successfully concluded on 5th March.

At present, with Sri Lanka steadily recovering from an economic crisis, the country’s economy is in dire need of fresh impetus. With investors coming into the country from all over the world, Investor-State disputes are bound to arise. In the hopes of encouraging young law students across the globe to view disputes differently, the MCB hosted the World’s First International Investor-State Mediation Competition, “IIMC Colombo.”

The inaugural edition of IIMC Colombo was held virtually, with the world still recovering from the pandemic in early 2022. However, that did not constrict active engagement and an immersive experience, making way for the participation of 8 Mediator Teams and 16 Negotiator Teams from 11 countries! This endeavor was supported by many individuals – assessors, drafters, and advisors – as well as organizations, including the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law Regional Centre for Asia and the Pacific (UNCITRAL RCAP), the Ministry of Justice Sri Lanka, and the International Mediation Institute (IMI) together with the Young Mediator’s Initiative (YMI).

IIMC Colombo 2022 was also endorsed by ChangAroth Chambers LLC as a Silver Sponsor, ODRasia @ ChangAroth International Consultancy as a Bronze Sponsor, Mediator Academy as an Education Partner, Sage Mediation as a Skills Development Partner, the Consensus Group as an Institutional Partner, Jus Mundi as the Official Research Partner and the World Association of Private Public Partnership Units and Professionals (WAPPP) as the Career Partner.

Before the competition phase, several learning opportunities were introduced to the students: to kickstart the program, a Keynote Address was held in collaboration with the UNCITRAL RCAP and Sri Lanka Law College on UNCITRAL and the path to Investor-State Dispute Settlement. This was followed by two Panel Discussions on the Framework and Practice of Investor-State Mediation, and the Singapore Convention, and concluding with a Masterclass on Mediation and Mediation Advocacy.

In 2023, IIMC Colombo expands from being the ‘World’s First’ to ‘Beyond A Competition’ making it the biggest convention on ISM that the world will see.

The MCB invites you to join them in Colombo, Sri Lanka from the 21st to 27th of August, as the IIMC Colombo 2023 experience will take place in the commercial capital of one of the most exciting tourist destinations in the world!

This in-person experience will not only be an exciting Investor-State Mediation Competition but will also be home to an immersive learning experience; from panel discussions, training sessions, and career fairs to interacting and fostering networks between world-class mediation professionals and students from across the globe. The MCB also hopes to celebrate this cross-cultural exchange through various cultural events.

Registrations for IIMC Colombo 2023 are now open! Apply as a Mediator Team or Negotiator Team to compete at IIMC or as an Expert Assessor or a volunteer Session Supervisor to head over to Colombo in the holiday month of August.

The MCB welcomes all mediators and mediation enthusiasts – competitors and professionals alike – to engage in a thrilling competition, learn and advocate for Investor-State mediation globally, and get involved in a landmark ISM experience, all while taking in the sights and the warm and hospitable atmosphere that Sri Lanka is known for!

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