Mediation, inter-university championship kicks off in Milan Feb. 16-18

One hundred students from 12 universities challenge for the title of best civil and commercial mediator. Simulated hearings are available on the 17th at Cattolica

The 11th edition of the Italian Mediation Competition (Cim), the competition between 100 students, divided into 14 teams representing 12 universities, who compete in 21 rounds on 3 legal cases to win the title of best dispute mediator, begins on Thursday, Feb. 16. On Friday, Feb. 17, simulations of the mediations are held at Catholic University, which can be attended. On February 18, there will be the announcement of the winner. Cim, what is it: it is a competition between students from Italian universities who compete, showing off communication skills, negotiation techniques, problem solving skills, to win the title of best negotiator and mediator in civil and commercial matters. It is organized by the Milan Chamber of Arbitration, with the sponsorship of the University of Milan La Statale, the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore of Milan and the University of Milan Bicocca, which are hosting the event.

The goal
“Our goal is to spread also at the university level the culture of mediation, as an alternative dispute resolution tool, compared to the ordinary court procedure,” said Stefano Azzali, director general of the Milan Chamber of Arbitration. “The Italian Mediation Competition stimulates students’ vocations and directs them to cultivate the skills to become future mediators: a good knowledge of law is not enough, those who work in a mediation must acquire listening skills, problem solving, communication and negotiation skills. Mediation, if done well, is good for justice, the economy and society.”

How it works
Each university fields one or two teams, consisting of 2 to 6 students. The teams compete before a panel of professional mediators and evaluators in a series of mock mediations and hearings. In the encounter, some students don the robes of the defense attorney and others the shoes of the litigant. By simulating a dispute, the two teams will try to make the best use of negotiation techniques learned in the university course. The mediator who conducts the meeting is a professional mediator, as are the two evaluators who attend the simulation. A ranking is drawn up thanks to their votes, and on the morning of Saturday, February 18, will be the announcement of the winning Cim team. What is new this year is that among the evaluators are young people from the Next Generation, young people who have participated in previous editions of the Cim.

Legal cases
The simulations involve three cases: the first involves the organization of a canceled fashion event, with the teams struggling with claims for damages and image damage on social media; the second involves a parental couple involved in a very expensive and divisive separation. The third case concerns the making of a street artist, first appreciated but then challenged by the same patrons. These are stories constructed by the authors on the basis of real events that occurred and were handled (with positive results) in mediation. Winner: awards are given to those who demonstrate teamwork skills, effective communication skills and negotiation skills.
Students enrolled in 1st or 2nd degree programs are eligible to participate.

In 2022, 917 new mediation applications were filed. 57.8 percent of Cam mediations ended with an agreement; the figure is 46.8 percent in proceedings of other Italian Mediation Bodies (source: latest available data updated as of 9/30/22). These figures refer to proceedings in which the parties decided to continue in the mediation process beyond the first informational meeting.
Times: on average in 115 days a Cam mediation procedure is concluded, compared to 182 days required in mediation procedures of other Italian mediation bodies (source: data September 2022), with a time saving of 37% in the case of Cam mediations.
Subjects of dispute: disputes on services increased 5-fold (from 6 proceedings in 2021 to 30 in 2022); disputes on company law doubled (from 13 in 2021 to 25 proceedings in 2022), procurement, energy and gas, and defamation. Decline in litigation on financial and insurance contracts, franchising, commodity and business leases in one year.
Territories: Cam’s Conciliation Service operates in the territories of Milan, Monza, Brianza and Lodi (with dedicated territorial offices) and also handles mediation for environmental disputes and those in the art sector.