Monash Law team wins international mediation award

A team from the Monash Faculty of Law has won the award for Best Mediation Plan at the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Mediation Competition, held in Paris last month.

The team, consisting of Belinda Anderson (undergraduate student) and Alyson Gale (JD student), and coaches Anne Sutherland-Kelly and Naomi Burstyner from the Faculty of Law, claimed the prestigious award ahead of a field of 500 participants from 67 universities and more than 40 countries.

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From the Australian Centre for Justice Innovation (ACJI), the two coaches brought significant expertise to the team, with Ms Sutherland-Kelly an experienced commercial and human rights mediator, teacher and senior fellow at ACJI, while Ms Burstyner is a mediator, negotiation skills teacher and senior researcher at ACJI.

The competition consisted of four preliminary and four final rounds of commercial mediations, where students were expected to apply their skills and knowledge of negotiation and collaborative practice, to advance their interests and move forward toward resolution. The students were also required to prepare and submit a mediation plan outlining their strategy, underlying interests and objectives in relation to resolution of the dispute.

The team put in a fantastic performance. Belinda and Alyson worked seamlessly together as client and counsel throughout the rounds and it was clear the team, for the second year running, were considered to be in the top tier of competitors, after the team achieved second place in 2014.

Ms Burstyner believes the competition helps students with essential skills required of the modern lawyer.

“We could see when they had mastered a framework for negotiating, they felt secure about their ability to work within the process. The facts provided by the ICC are complex and intricate, so it was essential for the students to have internalised the facts and figures as well. Once this ‘absorption’ of the facts was combined with a real command of the negotiation process, the students achieved a sense of flow in the negotiation.” Ms Burstyner said.

Ms Sutherland-Kelly said the competition solidifies the quality of students at Monash Law School.

“The ICC competition tests our students abilities at the highest levels of international commercial practice. Participation in this prestigious competition has again demonstrated Monash’s international standing as a leader in the ADR field, and that ACJI students are globally competitive,” Ms Sutherland-Kelly said.

Director of ACJI, Professor Tania Sourdin, was pleased to sponsor the coaching.

“Mediation and arbitration subjects, and competitions really support student development. We are proud and delighted with the team effort,” Professor Sourdin said.

The team were supported by Lander & Rogers Lawyers (a Melbourne law firm with offices in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane) and assisted by three ‘honorary’ coaches (Peter Singer, Myles Watson and Shawn Whelan), who gave selflessly of their time and expertise.

About Monash Law School Juris Doctor

The Monash JD is a graduate law degree designed to teach the knowledge and skills required to practice law. This innovative law degree recognizes the needs of graduates who wish to study law, providing the transferable skills and knowledge only a law degree from one of Australia’s leading universities can provide.

Program: Juris Doctor (JD)
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Semester intakes: January, May, August
Duration: 3 years (accelerated option: a minimum of 2.5 years)
Application deadline: Applications are generally assessed on a rolling admissions basis.

Admissions Criteria/Entry Requirements for Canadians

  • Applicants must have completed an undergraduate degree in any discipline.
  • Applicants with a minimum, cumulative average of 75 percent and above in their university studies, as well as work/life experience, will be considered for admission.
Please note that each applicant’s average is calculated over all years of university study. Monash University does not require the LSAT for entry in the Monash JD program.

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