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UC law students take part in international mediation competition

Libby Kimber

7 August 2017: Four law students from the University of Canberra recently took part in the inaugural International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Asia-Pacific Commercial Mediation Competition.

The University sent two teams to the event held in Melbourne from 7-9 July. A total of 14 teams from universities from the Asia-Pacific, including from Australia, Singapore, New Zealand and India participated in the event.

The University of Canberra students, who were sponsored by local law firm Maliganis Edwards Johnson, were required to use skills developed through their degrees as they worked to resolve ‘mock commercial disputes’.

Clinical Assistant Professor in Law and Justice at the University of Canberra Doris Bozin, coached the students for the competition, along with lawyer and mediator James Judge.  

Ms Bozin said the competition was an excellent chance for students to see how professional mediation works in practice.

“They were required to work through a case scenario, do a mediation plan and then conduct the mediation when we went to Melbourne.

“When you learn the theory it’s always good to be able to put something into practice, and that’s certainly what the students did,” Ms Bozin said.  

Law, politics and international relations student Rohail Azhar said that although the teams didn’t win, his experience was “incredibly positive”.

“It was a great learning experience. We did a lot better on our second day of competition, because we had learnt a lot on the first day,” he said.

Fellow student Claire Marron said the experience was a good opportunity to develop her legal skills.

“It was an interesting dynamic in that we were required to compete as both counsel and client,” the 22-year-old said.

“I hope that in the future it [the competition] will grow to include more law schools and that UC can continue to send teams,” she said.   

Ms Bozin said the University was committed to teaching students about dispute resolution and hopes to attend the event again.  

“The competition is open to any student, but I’m hoping to possibly link it to our mooting unit so that students will be able to get credit for it next year,” she said.

“Mediation and problem-solving are important skills to have no matter what career you’re interested in, and this competition provides a great platform to put those skills into practice.”

The National University of Singapore won the overall competition, securing a spot at the ICC International Mediation Competition in Paris next year.