7th Annual ADC-ICC Asia-Pacific Commercial Mediation Competition

Irene Ma, University of Sydney

APCMC 2023 concluded on 28th August, marking the end of a stimulating and highly successful three-day student event held online. Hosted by the Australian Disputes Centre (ADC) and the International Chamber of Commerce Australia (ICC), the competition attracts talented student teams from leading universities across the globe.

This competition provides a unique and valuable learning experience for our students to learn negotiation skills in a commercial mediation setting. As the coach of a competing team, I have seen our students challenged by the complex and real-life simulated moot problems presented to them. APCMC is mediated by professional mediators and adjudicated by a senior panel of ADR practitioners, and allows all participants to have a taste of what commercial mediation looks like in real life. I have observed my team learn and improve enormously during the competition, from their first round to the third round in the Preliminary sessions.

Our team began preparing for the competition two months in advance. Preparation involved a comprehensive study of the mediation process, as well as practicing negotiation and mediation skills. From each practice mediation or negotiation session that we had, the team would receive feedback and improve their skills in collaborative problem-solving, analytical judgment, and persuasion techniques.

Throughout the competition, the team displayed commendable performance. As their coach, I am proud of their performance when they faced challenging moot problems and strong opposing teams but managed to navigate the complexities with poise and strategic thinking. I was especially pleased to see them really take on all the feedback they received and work on further developing their skills. I saw them from the first round when they received judges’ feedback of “You used the mediator to some extent” to the last round they were commended for “Using the mediator well.” This transformation is a testament to the steep learning curve the competition can offer participants.

Participating in the APCMC provided the team with several key takeaways. They gained a deeper understanding of the complexities of international commercial mediation, honed every participant’s negotiation and mediation skills, and provided them with an opportunity to learn the importance of teamwork and strategic thinking in resolving disputes. Additionally, the competition provided an opportunity to connect with other aspiring students and ADR professionals from around the world.

APCMC 2023 concluded with the team from OP Jindal Global University emerging as the winner. Although our team did not win, I am incredibly proud of their performance. They invaluable lessons that I am sure will serve them well in their future careers.

On behalf of all the participating teams, I would like to express our gratitude to the organisers, the Australian Disputes Centre and the International Chamber of Commerce, for hosting this important event. None of this would have happened without everyone at the ADC’s hard work, dedication, and perseverance.

In conclusion, the APCMC 2023 was an invaluable experience that provided all participants with the opportunity to learn, grow, and connect with professionals and peers from around the world. We are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to participate and look forward to continuing our journey in the competition next year!