The Third Edition of the IBA – VIAC Mediation and Negotiation Competition CDRC Vienna

A Review by Daniele Minniti
The Vienna International Arbitral Centre (VIAC), The International Bar Association (IBA) and the European Law Students' Association (ELSA) made Vienna for the third time the capital of consensual dispute resolution by hosting the third edition of the Consensual Dispute Resolution Competition (CDRC) from 10 to 14 July 2017.

Enthusiast students coming from 4 continents took part in the 5-days competition. The CDRC borrows the problem prepared for the Willem C. Vis Moot, putting aside the adversarial nature of arbitration and pushing the competitors to resort to alternative, consensual means of dispute resolutions. The underlying idea is to promote CDR – Consensual Dispute Resolution, which is gaining more and more attention at a global level and will require a new generation of negotiators and mediators ready to take the leap. 

Beyond, the CDRC showcases a chance to connect arbitration to mediation and negotiation, on the grounds of the staying of arbitral proceedings, to pursue the mutual interests of both parties by reaching a settlement which could be eventually recorded into an arbitral award.

33 university teams were selected on the grounds of competitive qualification and skill based assessment, bringing students from 20+ different countries. A total of over 100 experts, trainers and coaches worked side by side with the students for their preparation before and during the competition and for their assessment.

A series of workshops held by leading practitioners of mediation and negotiation kicked off the CDRC week: among them, Thomas P. Valenti (Attorney, Arbitrator and Mediator, Chicago), Tat Lim (Attorney, Mediator, Aequitas Law LLP, Singapore), Gary Birnberg (Mediator, Arbitrator, JAMS, Florida), Michael McIlwrath (Global Chief Litigation Counsel, GE Oil & Gas) and Johannes P. Willheim (Partner, Global Disputes, Jones Day).

The evening schedule included Viennese dinners at Lusthaus, Schweizerhaus, and a reception hosted by the headline sponsor, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer for the announcement of semi-finalists and special awards.

The Final Award Ceremony, honored 
1st Prize Negotiation - National Law School of India University, Bangalore
2nd Prize Negotiation  - University of Bonn
3rd Prize Negotiation - King’s College London)
1st Prize Mediation - University of Bonn, Sophie Lilienthal)
2 nd Prize Mediation (National Law School of India University, Bangalore, Pavan Srinivas
at the City Hall of Vienna on the final Friday.

Preliminary Round Special Awards in 5 categories were given for Special Award for Best Negotiation Strategy - NALSAR University of Law (Akshya Aryal, Angad Kamath, Angeline Benny, Diksha Singh), The Fresfields Special Award for Best Avocacy - University of São Paulo (Gabriel de São Severino Pereira, Gabriel Spuch), Special Award for Best Teamwork- V.M. Salgaocar College of Law (Terence Anthony Vaz, Jatan Rodrigues, Shubham Sinai Priolkar, Karishma D'Mello), Special Award for Most Effective Opening Address - New Vision University Tbilisi (Mariam Malidze, Jemali Mezvrishvili) and the CAM CCBC special award for Best Mediation Management, University of São Paulo (Carina Janson Odfjell).

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 organizer and volunteer team whose commitment to the development of the next generation of Consensual Dispute Resolution have made an event like this possible.

Thank you again to everyone who has been part of making CDRC Vienna 2017 a big success! We look forward to meeting many new pioneers of Consensual Dispute Resolution at our 4th edition next year. Stay tuned for the date to be published soon.

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