8. Violation of the Rules

Rule 8  – Violation of the Rules

Violation of the Rules, regardless of the substance thereof and regardless of whether initiated by a participant or by any other person, will be sanctioned by the Organising Committee either by deducting scoring points or, in case of very serious breaches, by disqualifying the whole Team from the Competition.

7. Scoring and Awards

Rule 7.1 – Scoring Criteria

Mediators and Counsel/Client teams are scored separately. Both are scored in five categories, receiving 0-20 points in each.  The categories for Mediators are:  (1) Qualities of a good Mediator; (2) Caucus; (3) Effective Communication Skills; (4) Effective Problem Solving Support; and (5) Mediation Session Process. The categories for Counsel/Client teams are: (1) Effective Mediation Advocacy; (2) Focus on Interests; (3) Information and Communication; (4) Collaboration to create Options; and (5) Negotiation Skills.  

In the Preliminary Rounds, the Counsel/Client teams with the highest score and the Mediators with the highest scores will advance. In the Second Round and semi finals the Assessors will nominate a winning Counsel/Client team in each Session and the Mediators with the highest scores will advance.

Rule 7.2 – Expert Assessors

Professional mediators, mediation trainers and negotiation trainers will be selected by the Organising Committee to attend the Sessions and to score the performance of the two Counsel/Client teams and the Mediator according to the Scoring Criteria. Expert Assessors have to be independent, neutral and impartial from the Teams they are assessing.

Rule 7.3 – Scoring and Awards

Each of the Expert Assessors for each Session will score the performance of each Counsel/Client team and of the Mediator independently. The Assessors shall provide feedback to the Mediator and to the Counsel/Client teams at the end of each Session. The scores of the Scoring Sheet shall not be announced to the competitors. The Scoring Sheets shall be submitted to the Competition Secretariat.

Assessors may make a recommendation for a Special Award as per Rule 7.5. during the Preliminary Rounds. The scoring and recommendations for an Award must not be revealed by the Assessors to any competition participant.

Rule 7.4 – Prizes


  • 1st Prize Negotiation (winning team)
  • 2nd Prize Negotiation (second team of the finals)
  • 3rd Prize Negotiation (losing team with the higher scores of the semi-finals)


  • 1st Prize Mediation (Mediator of the finals)
  • 2nd Prize Mediation (second Mediator of the semi-finals)


  • Best Team (total scores of Negotiators and Mediator of a Team)

All Prizes will be awarded to the whole Team.

Rule 7.5 Preliminary Rounds Special Awards

The following Preliminary Rounds Special Awards will be awarded based on the Expert Assessors recommendations for performance in the Preliminary Rounds:

Negotiators (Client/Counsel Team)

  • Best Negotiation Strategy 
  • Best Advocacy 
  • Best Teamwork in Negotiation


  • Most Culturally Sensitive Mediator
  • Best Creative Option Generation

All Awards will be awarded to the whole Team. Awards can only be awarded to Teams that do not proceed to the Second Round.

6. The Problem

Rule 6.1  – The Problem

The Problem will be based on the 2015 problem of the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot.

The Problem consists of three papers:

  • a General Paper which will be available to all participants,
  • a Confidential Paper only for the Requesting Party and
  • a Confidential Paper only for the Responding Party.

The General Paper will be made available online in January 2015. The Confidential Papers will be distributed between 30-60 minutes before the start of the Sessions. The Client/Counsel team, all other team members, the Expert Assessors and the Coaches are strictly prohibited from sharing the confidential information with the Mediators before the Sessions. Breach of this rule will lead to immediate disqualification of the whole Team. The confidential information of a round must always be ignored with each new round of confidential information.

No different or new facts may be created by any Team, Mediator or Assessor. No information given or facts used in the Willem C. Vis Moot 2015 Problem that have not been used in the Problem of this Competition may be used or referred to. Parties may make arguments or statements that are reasonably based on the facts in the Problem and may buttress facts in the Problem with additional information concerning the background of their party’s action or information in the general domain to support their interests or positions.

Rule 6.2  – Requests for Clarification

Requests for clarification may be directed to the Competition Director by the deadline announced by email and online. Requests for clarification should be limited to matters that have significance in the context of the Problem and must include a short explanation of the expected significance of the clarification. Any requests that do not contain a sufficient explanation will be answered at the discretion of the organizers and may be ignored. All requests must be sent to office@CDRCVienna.org. The clarifications will be distributed to all registered teams by e-mail and posted on the CDRC Vienna website.


Rule 6.3  – Applicable Rules

The Problem of the Competition involves a controversy arising out of an international sale of goods and is subject to the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG), complemented by the UNIDROIT principles. The mediation proceedings will be governed by the IBA-VIAC Mediation and Negotiation Competition Rules 2015 and complemented by the ICC Mediation Rules. The mediation laws of all concerned jurisdictions identified in the Problem are enactments of the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Conciliation (2002) as applicable to domestic as well as international conciliation.

5. Format of the Competition

Rule 5.1 – Preliminary Rounds

The Preliminary Rounds will consist of 32 Sessions running from Thursday morning to Friday afternoon. Each Client/Counsel team will compete in 4 Sessions in the Preliminary Rounds. The Mediator of the Team will mediate for a different Session. All Mediators will get the chance to mediate twice in the Preliminary Rounds. The Competition Secretariat in consultation with the Competition Director will assign the Teams and Mediators to their Sessions and decide their role as Requesting or Responding Party. In the Preliminary Rounds, each Counsel/Client team will act as the Responding Party in two Sessions and as the Requesting Party in two Sessions. In subsequent rounds, the Competition Secretariat will try to avoid – if possible – that two Counsel/Client teams compete against each other again and that a Mediator mediates with the same parties again. Each Team with more than 2 students acting as Counsel/Client can decide freely, throughout the Competition, who of the Team shall act as Counsel/Client in any given Session. The student acting as Counsel must be a full or part-time law student according to Rule 2.2.

Rule 5.2 – Second Round

The 8 Counsel/Client teams with the highest scores in the Preliminary Rounds will be announced on Friday afternoon and will advance to the Second Round. The 4 Mediators with the highest scores will be announced and advance to the Second Round. Throughout the Competition, Counsel/Client teams and Mediators will be scored separately and advance independently of each other. For the Second Round the Competition Secretariat in consultation with the Competition Director will assign the Counsel/Client teams and the Mediators to the 4 Second Round Sessions and decide their role as Requesting or Responding Party.

Rule 5.3 – Semi-Finals

The 4 winning Counsel/Client teams of the Second Round will advance to the Semi-Finals. The 2 highest scored Mediators will advance to the Semi-Finals independent of their university’s Counsel/Client team. The Competition Secretariat in consultation with the Competition Director will assign the Counsel/Client teams and Mediators to the 2 Semi-Final Sessions and decide their role as Requesting or Responding Party.

Rule 5.4 – Finals

The 2 winning Counsel/Client teams of the Semi-Finals will advance to the finals. The highest scored Mediator of the Semi-Finals will advance to the Finals independent of her/his university’s Counsel/Client team. The Competition Secretariat in consultation with the Competition Director will assign the role as Requesting or Responding Party to the Counsel/Client teams. If a Mediator would be in the Finals with the Counsel/Client team of his/her university the next highest scored Mediator shall prevail.

4. The Competition Sessions

Rule 4.1  – Language

The language of the Competition is English.

Rule 4.2 – Student Mediators

Each Team shall include one member who will be prepared to act as a Mediator. Mediators will be assigned to Sessions in which his/her Team is not performing by the Competition Secretariat in consultation with the Competition Director.  

Rule 4.3  – Competition Session Format

A Session will consist of representatives from three different Teams: Two Teams are competing with their Counsel/Client team representing the Requesting Party and the Responding Party. One Team will provide its mediator to mediate the Session. Two to three Assessors will score the Counsel/Client teams and the Mediator.

 Rule 4.4  – Duration

Each Session will run for a maximum of 120 minutes

  • for the mediation: 90 minutes   (break and caucuses included)
  • for the scoring: 10 minutes
  • for the feedback: 20 minutes

Rule 4.5 – Break

Each Counsel/Client team may request in each Session only once a 3 minutes break. The two competing members of the Team that has called the break must leave the room for the duration of the break. All other members of the Team, the other Team, the Mediator, the Expert Assessors and all others stay in the room during the break. Failure to adhere to the time limits shall result in a penalty on the scores of the Client/Counsel team in breach.

Rule 4.6 – Caucus

The Mediator must conduct at least one private session (“Caucus”) of maximum 10 minutes with each of the parties during the mediation. The Caucus can be called at any time by either the Counsel/Client team or the Mediator. Multiple caucuses are permissible if deemed beneficial by the participants. For the duration of the Caucus the Counsel/Client team not part of the Caucus must leave the room. All other people must stay in the room. The Mediator is responsible to adhere to the time limit of the Caucus.

Rule 4.7 – Timekeeping

The Expert Assessors are the official timekeepers and nominate one person among them to keep track of the time. The Mediator is responsible to adhere to the time limit during the Caucus. Client and Counsel are responsible to adhere to the time limit during breaks. Delay by a Team or the Mediator will reflect on their, his or her score.

Rule 4.8 –  Outside Materials; Technology 

No electronic material such as slides, graphs or presentations may be brought into the Sessions and presented to the Mediator or the other side. Teams may use the materials supplied by the Competition, their personal notes and other printed or drafted material.

Rule 4.9 – No Assistance during the Session

No Team may be assisted by its coach or other people during the Session or the Break. Teams may discuss with their coaches during the preparation time after having received their confidential information. 

Rule 4.10 – Observing and Photography/Filming

The purpose of the Competition is to develop mediation and negotiation skills. Participants are permitted and encouraged to do this by observing performances of other Teams after the Preliminary Rounds. In the Preliminary Rounds Team members and Coaches are not permitted to watch other Teams. Mediators are allowed to observe Sessions of the Preliminary Rounds only if they have mediated the same confidential instructions in the morning and only with Teams they are not scheduled to mediate with at a later point. After the Preliminary Rounds all participants may observe any other Session that does not interfere with their own schedule.

Expert Assessors may observe any Session of the Competition. Persons other than Participants or Expert Assessors will not be permitted to observe Sessions unless explicitly permitted by the Competition Director. The Final Round will be open to everyone.

Participants agree to the use of photography and videotaping and the discretionary use of all such material by the Organisers of the Competition. Filming of the Sessions by anyone else is prohibited and subject to explicit permission by the Organising Committee or the Competition Director.


3. Registration and Admission

Rule 3.1 – Application Process

Each university may register one Team to take part in the Competition. Registration takes place online at www.CDRCVienna.org. Universities may register their Team on the Competition website by the deadline posted by the Competition Director (28 February 2015). The Organising Committee in consultation with the Competition Director will select, based on the criteria in Rule 3.2., at its discretion 16 Teams to be admitted to the 2015 Competition. The Teams will be informed about their admission to the Competition by the end of March 2015. The selected Teams shall announce the students selected to participate and submit their registration fee by the subsequent deadline announced by the Competition Director.

Rule 3.2 – Selection Criteria

The Organising Committee will select Teams based on the following criteria (in no particular order) at its full discretion:

  • representation of geographic and cultural diversity
  • performance at previous mediation or negotiation competitions
  • Mediation and Negotiation courses available at the applying university

Rule 3.3 – Registration Fee

The registration fee is payable upon admittance of a Team within the announced deadline. Failure to transfer the registration fee on time will result in loss of the university’s spot in the Competition.

The registration fee shall be € 100 per coach plus € 150 for a Team of 3 students, € 200 for a Team of 4 students and € 250 for a Team of 5 students.

The registration fee covers the attendance of a maximum of 5 students and 2 coaches to all Competition events.

All transfer fees must be paid by the transferor. The transfer must indicate the name of the university for which the transfer has been made.

The registration fee is not refundable. Amounts short of the registration fee must be paid in cash upon arrival in Vienna.

2. Participation and Eligibility

Rule 2.1 – Eligibility of Teams

Teams may come from law or business schools or from another higher institution that provides legal training and mediation or negotiation training in its program of study. All students of a Team must be registered as full-time or part-time students in the academic year of 2014/2015. Graduate students are permitted to participate if they have completed their studies no longer than 2 years ago or have gained work experience (e.g. practiced law or been in business) of no more than 1 year since their graduation. Each university may participate in the Competition with only one Team.

Rule 2.2 –  Team formation

Each Team shall consist of at least 3 and a maximum of 5 students. One student shall be designated as the Mediator, a minimum of 2 students shall be designated as Counsel and Client. The number of Team members designated as Counsel and Client within a Team is thus limited to 4. The mediator cannot act as a Counsel or Client. The designated Counsel of each Session must be a full or part-time law student.

Rule 2.3  – Coaches

Each Team must nominate one or a maximum of two coaches. The coaches of a Team must be full professors, assistant or adjunct professors, qualified lawyers, lecturers in ADR, qualified mediators or negotiation trainers.

1. Introduction and Goal

Rule 1.1 – Organization of the Competition

The Competition is organized by the “Association for the Organisation and Promotion of the Vienna Mediation and Negotiation Competition”  (“Association”). The Association has delegated the conduct of the Competition to an appointed director. The Competition Director is appointed by the Organizing Committee.

Rule 1.2  – Place and Time of the Competition

The Competition will start with a workshop on mediation and negotiation on Wednesday, 1 July 2015, followed by a panel on Consensual Dispute Resolution and an opening reception. The Competition Sessions will run from Thursday morning, 2 July 2015, to Saturday afternoon, 4 July 2015. The Competition Sessions will take place at the University of Economics and Business in Vienna. The Competition will close with a closing ceremony on Saturday evening, 4 July 2015.

Rule 1.3 – Basis and Target of the Competition

The premise of the Competition is that the parties have been unable to solve the problem of the 2015 VIS Moot in any other way and are agreeable to try to negotiate a settlement with the help of a mediator. Students from law and business schools are invited to prove and develop their negotiation skills and strategy to achieve the best deals in simulated legal mediations as mediators, mediation advocates and negotiators.

The aim of the Competition is to contribute to the practice, exchange and growth of negotiation and mediation among students of law and business and to promote and develop negotiation and mediation as forms of Consensual Dispute Resolution (CDR) in domestic or international business and commerce.


(Expert) Assessor
is a professional mediator or a mediation or negotiation trainer who assesses and scores Teams and provides feedback during one or more Sessions of the Competition, according to the Scoring Criteria of the Competition.
is the Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement , i.e. the best solution for a party, in the event of no positive result of the mediation proceedings.
is the time period which each Team may ask for, only once, during each Session of the Competition.
is a separate meeting between the Mediator and one of the Teams.
is Consensual Dispute Resolution.
is the student of each Team who plays the role of the Client in a Session of the Competition.
is (are) the person(s) appointed by the Team’s University to prepare and supervise that Team.
is the IBA-VIAC Mediation and Negotiation Competition Vienna 2015.
Competition Director
is the person appointed by the IBA Mediation Committee and by VIAC to organise and run the Competition under the directions and supervision of the Organising Committee.
Competition Rules
are the Rules which govern the Competition.
Competition Secretariat
are members of ELSA Austria appointed by the Organizing Commitee to act under the directions of the Competition Director for the organisation and running of the Competition.
is a paper containing confidential elements to be taken into account in determining the strategy and tactics of one of the two Teams of a Session. It is made available by the Organising Committee at least one hour before the start of the Session.
is the student of each Team who plays the role of Counsel in a Session of the Competition.
Counsel/Client team
are the 2 - 4 students of a Team acting in the role as Counsel and Clients.
is the time period for each Session.
is the core Problem which is made available online by the Competition Director.
is the student appointed in each Session to act as Mediator in that Session.
is the Committee consisting of two persons, one appointed by the IBA Mediation Committee and the other one by VIAC to organise and supervise the Competition and the compliance with the Rules. An alternate member will be appointed by each of the entities.
are the first four rounds of the Competition comprising of 4 Sessions per Team.
is the case which is made available to the Teams and which the Teams will try to solve by negotiation with the help of the Mediator.
in each Session, is the party to which the Competition Director has assigned the role of the party which has requested the mediation.
in each Session, is the party to which the Competition Director has assigned the role of the party which has to respond to the request for the mediation.
Score Sheet
is the form provided to the Expert Assessors by the Competition Director to score the performance of each Team.
are the criteria to be followed for scoring the performance of all members of a Team in a given Session.
is the 120 minute time slot during which the Teams will hold their mediation.
is a University team comprising of maximum 5 students admitted to the 2015 Competition.
Vis Mootis the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot.
is the Worst Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement, i.e. the worst scenario which a party which has been unable to achieve a negotiated agreement, will have to face.