Mediation Culture And The Next Generation


A short insight into national education and development in mediation around the world from four former participants of IBA-VIAC CDRC – the Consensual Dispute Resolution Competition Vienna, representing Lebanon, Georgia, India and the UK.

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Posted by Jenny Driver, Jonathan Rodrigues, Karim Zein and Mariam Malidze in Access To Justice, ADR, Conciliation, Education, Mediation, Negotiation

Ask An Expert: Laura Benedetto

Laura_Benedetto.jpgLaura Benedetto, Secretary General of the Florence Chamber of Commerce in Italy,  speaks about expanding the Florentine disputes landscape, international mediation and educating the legal and business community on the range of processes available.

What made you specialise in dispute resolution?

I’ve been serving as Secretary General at the Florence Chamber of Commerce since 2011. The Florence Chamber of Commerce has been promoting and investing in ADR tools since the 1970s, when almost nobody in Italy knew these processes.

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Posted by Natasha Mellersh in ADR, Arbitration, Ask An Expert, Education, Mediation
The Third Edition Of The IBA – VIAC Consensual Dispute Resolution Competition

The Third Edition Of The IBA – VIAC Consensual Dispute Resolution Competition

Two years ago, the International Bar Association (IBA), the Vienna International Arbitral Centre (VIAC), and the European Law Students’ Association (ELSA) launched the first edition of the Consensual Dispute Resolution Competition (CDRC) Vienna. The inaugural success and the enthusiastic feedback and support for the competition’s new concept quickly caught international attention and led to a second edition in 2016. This past July, we witnessed the third edition of a path towards more consensus building in dispute resolution – and bringing it to the next generation:

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Posted by Pedro Pereira Gomes in Access To Justice, ADR, Education, Mediation, Negotiation

Global Citizenship…Global Pound…Mediation And Mediation Competitions


This year I have been privileged to attend three wonderful international commercial mediation competitions, in which students from around the world come together with mediators and other professionals to practice negotiation in mediation and mediation itself, and to talk about best mediation practice. These are the International Chamber of Commerce International Commercial Mediation Competition in Paris, Lex Infinitum in Goa, and the Consensual Dispute Resolution Competition in Vienna. I have taken on different roles at these events, from coaching a team, to mediating with students, to judging students’ performances and giving feedback.

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Posted by Greg Bond in Access To Justice, ADR, Education, Mediation, Negotiation

The Paris ODR Conference – When Law Meets Tech

peter-kleinau-99994.jpgThe 17th annual ODR Conference, which took place in Paris last month, was not your average law event. Entitled Equal Access to Information and Justice Online Dispute Resolution, the conference spanned across two days filled with intense discussions, ideas, exciting projects and most importantly – excellent food. Especially unique, was the combination of tech experts and lawyers from all over the world, and of course those who fit into both categories.

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Posted by Natasha Mellersh in Access To Justice, ADR, Dispute Management, Education, ODR, Technology

The London GPC – Time For Change

marlon-maya-44935.jpgLast week’s London event marked the grand finale of the GPC Series, which has taken place on six continents and 29 cities since April 2016, collecting groundbreaking data on the behaviour and perceptions of stakeholders in dispute resolution across the globe. Taking place in the historical Guildhall building, built upon centuries of ‘dispute resolution’ above the Roman amphitheatre – where conflict was perhaps resolved in a more brutal way than today.

The event began with an introduction by online dispute resolution advocate Lord Justice Briggs, who has consistently pushed for technological reforms in the courts of England and Wales, especially in regards to resolving disputes. In addition Dr Andrew Parmley, Lord Mayor of London (Mayor of the City of London), gave a moving speech on London’s rich multicultural history – stating that London will remain a global city and an international hub for the legal community undeterred by Brexit.

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Posted by Natasha Mellersh in Access To Justice, ADR, Arbitration, Dispute Management, Education, LOC Coverage, Mediation, Negotiation, Technology

Ask An Expert: Eric De Brabandere

EdB PhotoEric De Brabandere, Professor of International Dispute Settlement at the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies at Leiden University and Attorney-at-Law at Lexlitis Ghent, discusses legal education, international dispute settlement and the rise of international arbitration.

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Posted by Natasha Mellersh in Arbitration, Ask An Expert, Education
CDRC Vienna – A Year On

CDRC Vienna – A Year On


One year has already passed since my journey at the IBA-VIAC Consensual Dispute Resolution Competition (CDRC), held in Vienna. It was a year of exciting opportunities, hard choices and fulfillments, some of which – heavily influenced and marked by my CDRC experience.

Twelve months after this occasion ou jamais, in my hometown of Pleven, Bulgaria and with the merriest of memories, I am assembling different pieces from former articles in a single composition of suggestions and tips for all those lucky devils out there who have yet to experience the magic of CDRC. Enjoy!

Negotiation techniques you may find useful:

  1. You ought to be conscious of the reality that almost every fellow CDRC competitor will know the problem by heart, shall successfully push forward their agenda and manage the negotiation process with ease. What you may need to do (especially in the shoes of the CEO) is to show – physically, verbally, emotionally – that there are worlds within you.Concretely, whenever you are at the negotiation table, it is of paramount importance to know every single meticulous detail, chronological event and point of ambiguity in the case by heart – beyond your subjective perception and evaluation of what you presume/felt happened.
    As a party, it is also wise to fully understand your BATNA (Best Alternative To the Negotiated Agreement), WATNA (Worst Alternative To the Negotiated Agreement), and ZOPA (Zone of Possible Agreement). In addition, it is important to be aware of your weak points – some of which need to be openly shared with the mediator and strategically inserted in the discussion – and few (for instance main three) key realistic priorities for the present meeting.Thus, at any point of the negotiation experience, you will: a). know where you stand; b). not allow the other side to frivolously Capoeira with the dispute facts; c). have the liberty to explore versatile options way beyond the narrow frame of the case.
  2. Whilst it is important to acknowledge the benefits of the mediation/negotiation process and your passion to contribute to the latter, quite often – with a nod to the past and an eye to the future – it is better to be proactive and quickly stop pussyfooting around the issues.
  3. Also, showing that you can echo the other party’s words, that you have adopted the mediation non-adversarial concept of problem-solving even on a purely linguistic level – all of this is precious and helps you create a fertile negotiation climate.However, it may be better to not dive too deeply into sugary phrases. Negotiation is neither a love parade, nor is it a 4th-wall Stanislavsky théâtre. Hence, should you happen to use a so-called golden phrase (ex. “I deem we need to rebuild our partnership on the pillar of trust…”), it may be more useful to exemplify the matter and wave goodbye to the ghosts of sugary abstractness (“… and what I envision is a regular monthly meeting at your new co-working space”). Patere quam ipse fecisti legem.

What you shouldn’t miss

This competition is a unique academic forum, since it allows you to spend a week in an informal atmosphere among a galaxy of mediation stars who are more than eager to render insights into the vivid worlds of alternative dispute resolution. So, instead of being strung out on perfectionism and constantly stressing out over the competition with your mentors and peers, join all social events, participate actively in the workshops, get to know everybody – be it fellow participants, coaches or expert assessors.

Join the CDRC family by talking to at least five fellow students and three professionals each day (Claudia Winkler can give you further instructions with regards to this), explore Vienna – beginning with the futuristic campus of the University of Economics and Business. Oh, one final tip, which a calendar year after my CDRC journey I realise is utterly important – if you have a particular proclivity for adrenalin experiences, do try the Black Mamba at the Vienna Prater!

Good luck! 


Written by Georgi Todorov Elenkov.

Georgi.jpgGeorgi Todorov Elenkov is a law student at Sofia University “St.Kliment Ohridski”, pursuing a career in international commercial law and ADR. He works at Legal Solutions Partners, a law office providing legal and business advice with a prime focus on commercial matters. Having participated in many international forums, i.e. ICMC (Paris) and the second edition of CDRC, and having successfully certified as a professional mediator, Georgi aims to play an important role in the Bulgarian ADR community and actively promote mediation in his home country. Literature, theatre and travelling are among Georgi’s many interests.

Posted by Georgi Todorov Elenkov in ADR, Conciliation, Education, Negotiation

The Ingenious Judge – A Children’s Book

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Judge Luciana Breggia, President of the second section of the Tribunal of Florence, offers an insight into her illustrated book ‘Il Giudice alla Rovescia (The Ingenious Judge)’ which seeks to teach children about the foundations of justice, as well as essential skills in resolving conflict. Continue reading →

Posted by Luciana Breggia in Access To Justice, ADR, Education