The University of Auckland has won the ICC International Commercial Mediation Competition for the fourth year.
The competition is designed for students to practice international mediation, a common practice for lawyers where two parties try to come to an agreement or settlement outside of the court.
This year, 48 teams from 34 countries participated in the event, gaining a total of 450 participants. The University of Auckland team consisted of Spencer Barley, Anna Paton, Karan Kalsi, and Nick Stewart. They were coached by the 2020 winners Susie McCluskey and Keeha Oh.
When speaking with Spencer Barley and Karan Kalsi, they said, “I think you randomly stumble upon it at school,” and that you signed up not knowing much about the competition until you’re in it.
Karan said, “I became really excited sort of as the process went on; and I think what kind of makes it a bit different is that at law school things can just get boring and academic. It feels like you’re often distanced from the human element of… the law, so to speak”
The two both agreed that it was a test of their EQs, and made them rethink how interpersonal relationships work and form. It allowed them to understand that the power of words and their framing is critical to keep the peace between two parties.
Spencer also noted that this is not only a personal success, but one that should give credit to the University. He said, “Just the fact that the University has won four times in a row says something about not just us, but the coaches and the support network that’s built around the competition. It’s like whatever that wider network is doing… you know it’s doing something right.”
Both the students recommend signing up and giving yourself a new perspective on your law degree.