New Zealand Law Society - Law students triumph at global mediation contest

Law students triumph at global mediation contest

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A team from Auckland Law School has triumphed at the world’s largest mediation competition, held in Paris.

The 2020 International Mediation Competition of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) comprised teams from 66 universities from across the globe who competed in mock mediation sessions over six days.

University of Auckland students Susie McCluskey, Keeha Oh, Jacob Siermans, and Madeleine Tilley, coached by Tunisia Napia and Rima Shenoy, took part in four preliminary rounds, getting through to the semi-finals with teams from Germany, Hungary and Poland, before progressing to the grand finals on 12 February, competing against Bucerius Law School representing Germany.

Akl law debaters

[Above: L-R: Rima Shenoy, Jacob Siermans, Keeha Oh, Susie McCluskey, Madeleine Tilley, and Tunisia Napia]

Each team had to try to resolve an international business disputes through mediation, guided by professional mediators, and following ICC mediation rules.

Sitting before American mediator, Mary McLain, in the grand final both teams worked through a complex dispute about the rights to remake a widely acclaimed film.

This is the second year in a row that a team from the Auckland Law School have won the contest.

“The competition tests valuable skills in resolving disputes outside the court room, skills that will be in high demand once our students leave the University,” says Professor Penelope Mathew, Dean of Law.

Now in its 15th year, the contest is open to students from every discipline but must have at least one law student per group to take the role of counsel.

More than 130 professional mediators participate each year sharing their expertise in resolving cross-border disputes, assessing each team’s negotiating and problem-solving skills, and providing guidance, feedback and support.

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