National Mediation & Negotiation Competitions

The Negotiation Lab collaborated with CCCU Law School to field a team for the 2010 National Mediation Competition held at Liverpool’s John Moores University

The Negotiation Lab working in collaboration with the Canterbury Christ Church Law School trained undergraduate law students to participate in national mediation and negotiation competitions in Britain.  In November 2010, the CCCU team of third-year law students Paul Morgan, Greg Dunne and Rachel Metheral were one of 13 teams who participated in the National Mediation Competition, a two-day event organised by Liverpool John Moores University’s School of Law.  The competition’s UK-based teams included Liverpool John Moores University;  University of Strathclyde;  Manchester Metropolitan University;  Queen’s University Belfast;  BPP Law School (London and Leeds);  Kingston University;  Canterbury Christ Church University;  University of Reading;  College of Law (London and Chester) and Leeds Metropolitan University.  The University of Munich also participated in the competition. The field of competition included eight graduate schools of law and five undergraduate schools.  The winning team was from the College of Law in London and the best overall individual mediator & client was from Queen’s University in Belfast.

In all, 39 students were given three different scenarios held concurrently on a rotating basis, which tested their mediation and teamwork skills. In each scenario, two of the students from the team paired-up and played the role of co-mediators, while the third student played the role of one of the parties in a different scenario to the one theirs teammates were mediating.  This gave each student the opportunity to be both a mediator and a disputant (client) and demonstrate their overall knowledge of the mediation process.

Greg Dunne had the second highest individual mediator's score in a single mediation (74.67 out of a possible 80 points) while Rachel Meathrel was tied for fourth place (72 out of a possible 80 points) in that category.  As co-mediators, Greg and Rachel scored as the second highest paring in the whole competition for a single mediation (74.67 & 72 out of a possible 160 points).  Paul Morgan was tied for fourth place (35 points out of a possible 40 points) with the highest individual client score for a single mediation.  Over all, the CCCU team came in ninth place out of 13 universities, and in third place out of the five among the undergraduate law schools that competed.

“This was a great experience for both students and staff, said Senior Lecturer Ben Waters.  “As a member of academic staff who helped to prepare the students for the competition, I was proud of their achievement as a team and particularly as individuals, each of whom excelled in a specific role. All the students who participated in the extra preparatory sessions showed real enthusiasm for mediation and this serves to indicate CCCU's strengths in this area.”

Mr. Waters and Visiting Senior Lecturer Samuel Passow were the co-coaches of the CCCU team.

From the student’s perspective, Rachel noted, “It was great to put my skills into practice and to be in that kind of competitive environment”.  That sentiment was echoed by Paul who reflected after the competition that “putting our learned skills together and applying those in a simulation styled competition as a team was a wonderful learning experience.   The cosmopolitan nature of the competition shed light on how mediation can be adopted differently by people from different backgrounds yet still remain effective".

In March 2010, as second-year law students, Paul and his teammate Jack Ridgway came in fourth place overall out of 37 universities who participated in the National Negotiation Competition.  At the finals in London, which was won again, by the College of Law (Bloomsbury), they came in fifth place out of 11 universities, while finishing in first place in the regional heats in Guildford were they beat eight other law schools. (To read more on the CCCU team who participated in the 2010 Negotiation  Competition, click on the link to the left).

2010 was the first year CCCU Law School ever entered a mediation or negotiation competition.