Behind the Scenes of the ICC Mediation Competition


By Miranda Cooper

Being a competitor in the International Mediation Competition hosted at Paris’s International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) will certainly be a lasting memory of my time at Notre Dame University.  My Parisian experience was magical - not only because of the obvious (Paris duh), but because as cliché as it sounds I gained confidence, skills and friends from all corners of the globe.

The competition began in February 2018 but training started months before. Our team received facts for all the problems and confidential facts for four preliminary problems in October 2017 and we, along with our coach Mr Dennis Wilson, an adjunct professor of the Notre Dame Sydney Law School, dedicated hundreds of hours to learning and finding solutions to these problems.

The months of preparations flew by and before we knew it we were trying to keep our croissants down and channel all of that training into the first four, 180 minute rounds of mediation.

We faced strong competitors in Rio de Janeiro Getulio Vargas (Brazil), Fordham University (NYC), Jagiellonian University (Poland) and University of Vienna (Austria) and received encouraging feedback from the judges in all rounds. At regular cocktail nights and mingling events throughout the week we met, drank and laughed with these teams and others.


At the week’s Formal Cocktail event at a beautiful venue winners were announced and awarded on stage. Notre Dame did not qualify to be one of the top 16 teams, however was recognised with the prize of Best Public Speaker. Recognition amongst 66 other teams in the competition was certainly testament to the skill of the team, Dennis’s support and dedication and the further assistance provided by Mr Philip Bambagiotti of counsel as well as a number of other skilled legal professionals and mediators in the lead up to the competition.

A huge thank you to my wonderful teammates, Alice Dormer and Selma Causevic and Dennis - we achieved this together! To Ellie in the marketing department and the Law School for their respective sponsorships, the NDSLS, Elyse Di Stefano and all the people who helped us prepare with mock mediation sessions and support and Tom Adams for being a friendly face in Paris’s winter - thank you!

The University of Notre Dame Australia is certainly a team to be watched in future ICC Mediation Competitions and students with negotiation experience with NDSLS competitions have the ability to be apart of that trajectory.


Also did I mention … we went to Barcelona?


Miranda Cooper is a fifth year Arts/Law student and has previously held a number of representative positions on the NDSLS.