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5 May 2010
Deakin University law students are globally competitive with their arbitration skills and able to capitalise on the Federal Government’s bid to make Australia a regional venue for international commercial arbitration.
The students, from Geelong and Burwood, placed second out of 75 teams from 18 countries in Hong Kong at the 2009/2010 Vis (East) Moot and placed 13th out of 250 teams from around the world in the Vis Moot in Vienna.
Team coach and former Deakin student and Moot competitor Ben Hayward said companies frequently use arbitration to try and resolve international contractual disputes.
“The Federal Government is currently reviewing our legislation and seeking to promote Australia as a suitable venue for resolving international commercial disputes,” he said.
“The team’s international experience in an arbitration environment and the skills they have developed along the way will be invaluable.”
Ben said the students were given a hypothetical scenario and had to develop the legal and oratory skills necessary to put their case.
“Arbitration can be quite challenging in that the arbitrators frequently ask questions to clarify statements and can ask you what you think about a particular point,” he said. “You have to be able to think on your feet and need to be very familiar with the material.”
Ben said the students had to argue their case in front of some of the world’s most experienced arbitration practitioners and moot teams.
“The Grand Final of the Vis (East) Moot was held in the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre and was chaired by Lord Hoffmann, who sat with Andreas Reiner (an Austrian arbitration lawyer) and Peter Wolrich (an arbitration specialist and the Chairman of the ICC Commission on Arbitration in Paris),” he said.
“To get to the final we had to beat three teams renowned as very strong in the competition - Griffith University in the Round of 16, and Georgetown University in the Round of 8 and Munich in the Round of 4. One of the speakers for Georgetown went on to win the Best Speaker award overall.”
In Vienna, the team faced and defeated the University of Fribourg from Switzerland in the Round of 64 before being defeated by the University of Saarland from Germany in the Round of 32.
“Having to compete against a much larger field of competitors, our students performed excellently in Vienna too – with Elese Cartledge from the Burwood campus receiving an honourable mention for her performance,” Ben said.
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