Structure of the Moot

Mediation - Arbitration

This ADR Moot is designed to combine arbitration and mediation. It will provide students with an opportunity to act as both a mediator and an arbitrator, an opportunity provided by no other existing moot competition.

Further, in every team students will have the opportunity to role play as a client or an attorney during mediation stage. One student will act as attorney and one as client during the mediation.

Our mediation rules allow mediation to be conducted independently or in combination with arbitration. In the moot rules we could add a provision to proceed with mediation when the arbitration tribunal suggests it and, in that case, the parties will be deemed to give their consent for mediation.

Team Composition

Every team must have a minimum of THREE members: 1. Client; 2. Attorney; 3. Mediator/Arbitrator. The maximum size of any team is fixed at 6 members. This does not include coaches.

Every team must identify at least one member as Mediator/Arbitrator and that person will only play that role in the competition. However, students may change the role of client and attorney if they wish.

The mediator/arbitrator will be marked separately from the team comprising of client and attorney. Therefore, it may be possible that a mediator from a team may proceed to the next level but the team may not or vice-versa.

General Rounds

In general rounds every team will have two/four opportunities to moot, i.e. 1 or 2 time/s as claimant and 1 or 2 time/s as respondent. The Moot Director will make the final decision as to how many times a team may argue during the general round. The decision will be made after taking into account the number of teams, number of days reserved for mooting, total time allocation for one moot/match and whether or not there would be a quarter final round.

The Structure of Each "Moot"

Every match will start in the format of arbitration. The panel of three arbitrators will convene the session. The student designated as Mediator/Arbitrator will serve as the Chairman of the Panel. The student mediator/arbitrator in each match must not be from the any one team which is competing in that match. The other two arbitrators will be the judges of that match sitting together with the student mediator/arbitrator. The judges will mark teams as well as the mediator/arbitrator.

During the arbitration stage both teams will present their case on jurisdiction as well as on substantive issues as it happens in a typical arbitration moot.

At the end of their presentations during the arbitration or at the end of the allocated time for the whole arbitration process, the tribunal will give an opinion that the parties should go for mediation. The judges sitting with the student mediator/arbitrator will make sure that such direction is carried out. The parties are required to follow the direction of the tribunal as per the moot rules and the parties consent to arbitration will be deemed to be present. In that way the round/match will move to mediation stage.

Once the mediation starts, the two judges will step aside and observe the mediation which they will mark.   The student mediator will assume the role of mediator and conduct the process. At this stage the team members divide themselves as a Client and an Attorney and will present their case before mediator. Teams will be judged on the basis of the skills required in mediation. The mediator will be marked on the skills required by a mediator. The detailed criteria or expectations from a mediator, a client and an attorney will be listed for the better and focused preparation by the team. It will also help the judges in the marking of teams and the student mediator.

Caucus will be optional. If caucus will be given then the time will have to increase which may affect the administrative and logistic issue. So we can discuss how to deal with Caucus.

Duration of the Moot

Total elapsed time: Once the structure and number of rounds are finalized then the Director of the moot will allocate time. Since both arbitration and mediation stages are involved, it is expected that one match will take approximately 120 minutes. This is the total time of the match.

It is expected that the arbitration will be restricted to 60 minutes (30 minutes each side). The mediation will also be expected to take 60 minutes. There may be scope for a small extension of mediation time if a caucus is involved but this will be quite limited in duration. Decisions on these issues will be posted on the web page of the competition as they are finalized.

General Round: Arbitration Stage

General Round: Mediation Stage

Marking in the General Round

Judges (J1) and (J2) will be the markers at the general round. In the general round judges will mark student mediator/arbitrator (M3) separately from the Team (T1) and Team (T2). The team marks will comprise marks obtained by the Team (T1) = Marks of A1 + Marks of B1 (marks at both arbitration and mediation stage. Marking Guidelines will be posted on the website as soon as they are finalized to assist teams and coaches in their preparation.

Quarter Final/Semi-Final

If the number of teams falls below a certain number (to be advised) it is advisable that we have only a semi-final round. But if time permits we can have a quarter final round. Top 8 or 4 teams from the general round will proceed to this knock out round.

In team marks only the marks of the client and attorney will be calculated but not the mediator of the same team. Mediators marks will be kept separate and the 2 or 4 top scorers will proceed to the quarter final round or semi-final round. If there will be a quarter final then we need 4 mediators so top 4 scorers from the list of mediator may proceed to the quarter final round. If 4 teams move to the semi-final then only TWO mediators will move into this round and those will be the top two in the ranking of mediators. If the semi-final is conducted after the Quarter final then only the two top scorers from the list of mediators will move forward for the semi-final round.

At this stage, if possible, the mediator/arbitrator should not be from the same team which competing before him. Every effort will be made for this but if, in the circumstances, it cannot be avoided then that does not mean that mediator/arbitrator is disqualified. As the mediators are marked separately from the team so it should not pose any problem. Moreover, mediators will be marked down if they are not impartial.

The semi-final round will be conducted through a draw or in such a way that mediator/arbitrator would not end up with their own team.

The winner of the each semi-final round will proceed to the final round.

At the semi final round also the mediator/arbitrator are judged so that there will be a winner as the overall best mediator/arbitrator.


In the final of the competition NO student mediator/arbitrator will take part otherwise it will be known who is the winner in the mediator/arbitrator group. In this way we can maintain the excitement of announcing the winner at the award dinner.

The final will feature professional arbitrators and mediators. At the arbitration stage of competition the mediator will serve as the chairman and two arbitrators as wing arbitrators on the panel. As in the general rounds, the wing arbitrators step aside to allow the chairman, who is also a mediator, to conduct the mediation.

The team with the highest marks in the final match will win the competition.

Moot Problem

The Moot Problem will be posted on the website each year usually in late February or early March in the particular year.

The problem will be centered on a commercial dispute with a provision of dispute resolution clause.

The substantive law will likely be the UNIDROIT Principles, Arbitration Law will most likely be the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (as amended in 2006), the Arbitration Rules will be the rules of CIETAC, Mediation Rules will generally be the HKIAC Rules as modified and supplemented by the draft Hong Kong Code of Conduct for Mediators.

School of Law City University of Hong Kong