Hybrid processes are not new to those of us who teach and write in the ADR space. We have all heard of arb-med and med-arb. Some of us have even heard of Baseball Arbitration, Night Baseball Arbitration and Medaloa.
Step into the practitioner’s world and the view is different.
Here the processes of mediation and arbitration remain distant strangers, practised and accredited separately. Few practitioners have dual qualifications and even those who do are rarely comfortable with the concept of offering a hybrid process.
The next generation of practitioners is being given the opportunity of seeing things differently via a new student mooting program.
The starting point is the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot (Vis Moot) which has just reached its 24th anniversary.
This moot tests the oral and written prowess of students in dealing with a complex international commercial conflict. This long established arbitration competition now has a sibling.
Established three years ago, the IBA-VIAC Consensual Dispute Resolution Competition (CDRC) commences in Vienna on July 10th at the beautiful University of Economics and Business (Wu Wien). Students participate either as negotiators or as mediators with separate scoring and evaluation for both roles.
The competition follows the Vis Moot and draws on the same case study (amended to remove all the procedural challenges of the arbitration). The competition opens with the news that the arbitration has been adjourned for a little over a week to give the parties the opportunity to see if they can resolve the conflict by mediation.
The competition gives an important signal that extends far beyond the students who are participating. The working committee drafting the problems has required consultation between arbitrators and mediators and encouraged a collaboration that is not often seen. Expert assessors too are being given experience in both the arbitration and mediation arenas.
The significant outcome is that not only is the next generation of practitioners being given the chance to consider hybrids up close, but practitioners are also joining the dots to draw together practices that once were very separate.
A great outcome.