The IBA-VIAC CDRC Vienna: A Win-Win Experience – Pedro Gomes

July is coming. What does it mean? It means that the greatest experience of your life is only a few months away from now. The Consensual Dispute Resolution Competition (CDRC) Vienna, organised by the International Bar Association (IBA) and the Vienna International Arbitral Center (VIAC) will provide you with a new professional perspective. And the city in which the event is hosted will give you a new meaning of life.

            Last year, just like you, I felt the same anxiety and excitement that you are feeling as you prepare for the competition. And I guarantee you that this competition is going to be everything you hope for, but also nothing that you could expect.

There are few tips that I can share with you regarding your performance:

  1. Study: I know that this tip may sound generic. However, you need to understand that you cannot be prepared if you do not have the necessary theoretical resources in your mind as you need to use them as tools during the mediation session. And what do you need to study? You need to study mediation and negotiation techniques. The best book to start is “Getting to yes”, from Willian Ury, Roger Fischer and Bruce Patton. Other interesting books to read are: “Getting to yes with yourself” (Willian Ury), “Bargaining with the devil” (Robert Mnookin), and “Difficult Conversations” (Bruce Patton, Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen).
  2. Lead the session: If you are in the negotiators team it is imperative to conduct the mediation playing a leading role, being cooperative with the other side, but never forgetting your goals. And if you are a mediator you cannot lose control of the process. You need to always be impartial and look for a win-win agreement.
  3. Keep calm: I am absolutely sure that you are working hard and spending too much time preparing for CDRC. There is a reason why your team was selected to participate in the competition, and it is because you can do it. So, it is of paramount importance that you trust in yourself and do your best without any concern. You need to trust your partner and remember that this is a competition with a very cooperative feeling. We are all in this together! As Barack Obama used to say: “Yes, we can”!


Now that I shared with you a few tips regarding your performance, allow me to stress on another aspect of the competition. CDRC is a perfect occasion to meet new friends and discover the most beautiful city in the world. The competition took me last year to the United Nations headquarter and the City Hall, which are amazing places to visit. The competition will be held at the Vienna University of Economics and Business. It has a marvellous structure and atmosphere. But the coolest thing is that it is located only a few meters away from the Prater, one of the best amusement parks in Europe. Small tip: Eat at a restaurant called Schweizerhaus.

Vienna is definitely a magic city. There are a lot of palaces that you can visit and that will take you back to the mystical time of the Habsburg Dynasty. The Schönbrunn Palace will make you both love and hate the iconic Princess Sissi. You will see people dancing waltz on the streets and you’ll fall in love with Klimt`s picture “The Kiss”.

This competition was a turning point in my life. It marked the end of an era and the beginning of a new one. Everything changed and I will never forget this remarkable experience. I wish you will enjoy it even more than I did.


Pedro Gomes studies Law at PUC-SP and Public Administration at FGV. Semi-Finalist negotiator from PUC-SP at the 2nd CDRC Vienna (The IBA-VIAC Mediation & Negotiation Competition organised by ELSA) . Worked as an intern at Braga Nascimento & Zilio Law Firm in 2014. Participated as a negotiator from PUC-SP at the 11th International Commercial Mediation Competition, held by ICC. Coauthor of the books “Decisões do Direito, limites contra legem” and “O Novo Código de Processo Civil Brasileiro: Um Enigma a ser decifrado”.

published May 7, 2017