|. Duong Hoai Nam Phuong (2nd left) and her TORAT team | Photo: ICMC
Duong Hoai Nam Phuong, a third-year student at the Faculty of International Trade Law, is a member of the TORAT team at Hanoi Law University. It is one of the two teams qualified for the final.
“The TORAT is made up of four members, including three third-year students and one final-year student. Even though we had never worked together before the ICMC, we get along very well and our skills are in perfect complementarity. I'm very happy with the result of the last round of the qualifiers, because it allowed us to beat the LAGOM team of the University of Economics and Law of Ho Chi Minh City,” she said.
|A workshop on the role of lawyers in commercial mediation at the Hanoi Law University (Photo: ICMC)
As soon as the contest was launched, it immediately appealed to Nam Phuong, who wishes to become a mediator in the future. “The profession of mediator is perfectly suited to my character. A competent mediator must accomplish his mission with impartiality, competence and diligence. Impartiality requires the mediator to free himself from his prejudices. Moreover, he must express himself with the same objectivity towards everyone and refrain from intervening if he knows one of the parties personally or if he has a personal interest in the conflict”, she added.
|Another workshop held online | Photo: ICMC
Commercial mediation is not a course taught at university. To prepare for this competition, Nam Phuong must resort to Youtube to gain experience. “I have to document myself on similar competitions organized all over the world. The target is to see how a mediation session takes place, what the behavior of the mediators should be, what the differences are compared to a commercial arbitration session."
"Without the explanations provided by the specialists, it was sometimes difficult to understand everything. But as part of this competition, like all other candidates, I participated in training workshops led by university teachers as well as experts in commercial mediation. I very much appreciated the session moderated by Dang Viet Anh, a very eloquent and experienced mediator. He gave me precise explanations on the techniques and the mediation process. He also shared different documents which were very interesting for everyone," said Phuong.
|Nguyen Ngoc Hong Duong (right) Photo: ICMC
But what exactly is commercial mediation? Nguyen Ngoc Hong Duong, Nam Phuong’s teacher and a member of the organizing committee, gives us some answers.
“Commercial mediation is a popular method of dispute resolution around the world. Since 2017, Vietnam has been increasingly interested in this method reflected in the issuance of Directive No. 22 of 2017 concerning commercial mediation. This document defines certain criteria imposed on this profession. For example, commercial mediation is a question of a third party carrying out mediation with efficiency, impartiality and competence respecting the quality of the provision of its service, benefiting from initial and continuous training, guaranteeing its efficiency, competence and impartiality at towards the parties. The mediators are lawyers, notaries, bailiffs, qualified professionals in various fields. No degree is required. Nevertheless, they must be named in the list drawn up by the mediation centers,” she explained.
|The COMPASS team, one of the finalists | Photo: ICMC
Organized from May to September 2022, the ICMC 2022 aims to promote the use of mediation as an alternative to settling commercial disputes. It challenges students to practice essential skills and gain an in-depth understanding of international commercial mediation.
“We received registrations from 24 teams across the country. After the playoffs and quarter-finals, four teams were deemed eligible for the semi-finals, including two from National University of Economics, one from University of Economics and Law from Ho Chi Minh City and one of our Hanoi Law University. At the end of the semi-final which took place on Thursday, two finalists were identified: the TORAT team from our University and COMPASS from the University of National Economy. Note that the competition is organized in English in order to encourage students to improve their level of English, often considered a weakness of law students,” added Hong Duong.