Talking About Mediation with the Young Global Ambassadors – Jawad Sarwana

Talking About Mediation with YGAP 

IBA-VIAC CDRC Vienna

YGAP interviewee: Jawad Sarwana, Co-Chair, IBA Mediation Committee

Stephanie Rohmann, Young Global Ambassador (Austria)

The 2016 CDRC Vienna was built on the idea of changing the future of dispute resolution by creating an international competition which fosters the decisive skills needed for a successful mediation session. 30 teams from Universities around the globe compete against each other to achieve a mutually agreed upon solution in an inspiring mediation session.

Part of this unique competition is the Young Global Ambassador Programme (“YGAP”), where the ambassadors are trying to close the gap between international mediation experts and institutions. Making the world more aware of mediation and negotiation as one of the most effective and sustainable dispute resolution method is one of the main tasks to be achieved. In order to give an insight into expert’s mediation experience, a series of interviews with CDRC’s expert assessors was initiated.

In this edition, Jawad Sarwana, name partner at Abraham & Sarwana, and a highly distinguished assessor of CDRC’s 2015 and 2016 editions enlightens us with some of insights, experiences, and views on the beauty of mediation. Jawad is furthermore not only an advocate at the Supreme Court of Pakistan but also Chair of the IBA Mediation Committee (2016, 2017).

YGAP: Jawad, what brought you to CDRC Vienna 2016? What’s your story for being a part of this Competition?

Jawad: Besides being a lawyer and a mediator I am also a trainer. It was in 2011 when the Vice-Chair of the IBA Mediation Committee, Mauro Sammartano, and I had a brain storming session in Dubai on how to inculcate the culture of mediation at the earliest level in the career of lawyers. We had two ideas in mind: First, introducing formal courses and second developing a student competition around mediation and negotiation. Gradually, we kept building on the second idea and the IBA-VIAC CDRC Competition was born.

YGAP:  Do you think CDRC Vienna and competitions such as the CDRC would be a turning point in the shaping the future dispute resolution culture?  

Jawad: The IBA-VIAC CDRC Competition is a one-of-a-kind competition. It revolves around a problem which students first arbitrate in March (at the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Court Competition) and then mediate in the summer with all the action taking place in Vienna. Since several of the students participating in the CDRC mediation sessions have already arbitrated the problem in March, it became apparent that they picked up on the differences in the arbitration and mediation approach to resolving the same problem. This is great to see as both, arbitration and mediation are part of the dispute resolution toolkit. As such I am confident that as law students engage more and more in non-contentious proceedings to resolving a dispute, the culture of dispute resolution can only change for the better.      

YGAP:  How would you introduce CDRC Vienna to people who haven’t of such a competition before?

Jawad:  The IBA-VIAC CDRC Competition offers multiple perspectives on a mediation session. Students get to role-play both, mediator and negotiator. The two roles are very different. There is a great challenge and an X factor in working through a problem with players who bring none of the baggage of traditional law, practice and old school negotiation. Additionally, Vienna is a beautiful city and you will get to make friends from all over the world with memories to cherish for the rest of your life.

YGAP:  What is your vision about CDRC Vienna 5 years down the line?

Jawad: Mediation is a process and as such subject to change much more than the traditional forms of dispute resolution that is litigation and arbitration. The IBA-VIAC Competition is like a lab and I would like to see new ideas and designs included in the competition. Online Dispute Resolution is one of such concepts. I firmly believe that at least one session should take place before the parties actually arrive in Vienna online. Moreover, I would not only like to see the Willem C. Vis International Arbitration Moot Court start simulating the real world but also the two competitions growing closer together with greater overlaps. The usage of multi-modal dispute resolution is increasing and there is no reason why we should see this in the competition in Vienna only 5 years down the line (or: why the competition in Vienna should not right away lead the way towards) – a joint mediation-arbitration process.

YGAP:  Why do you think institutions and experts should commit to supporting a Competition such as the CDRC?

Jawad: We live in a combative world and any and all processes which embrace communication and are restorative should be encouraged. Competitions like the IBA-VIAC Competition encourage this at the most formative career of a young professional– college years. Institutions and experts should, therefore, support competitions such as the IBA-VIAC CDRC competition which provides students a slice of professional life in a controlled and safe learning environment.     

YGAP:  Do you have any tips or some advice for the student-participants?

Jawad:  Have fun 🙂 


published December 22, 2016