The International Negotiation Competition is the oldest and most renowned international legal negotiation competition for law students in the world.
Structured around an international transaction, the unique educational program was created as a way to foster greater interest among law students in legal negotiation. The program sees selected international teams compete in multi-round negotiations, one of which is usually a complex 'multiparty' negotiation.
In 2017, 27 countries were represented by 32 teams, all of whom were the winners of their countries' national negotiation competition. The competition was held at the University of Oslo in Norway, from 27 June to 1 July.
UTS students, Jason Corbett and Christian Bablanian, were selected to represent Australia - earning this right by virtue of their triumph as the "Australian Champions" of the Australian Law Student’s Association National Negotiation Competition in 2016. It's the first time UTS students have been selected to represent Australia in an international negotiation competition.
The team noted the particular difficulty of the competition, saying it was the 'largest and most comprehensive' negotiation they've ever competed in. The scenario was based around the construction of an offshore oil and gas rig, which incrementally progressed over 4 rounds. It required significant commercial awareness and an appreciation of the cross-cultural issues engaged in international negotiating.
Both Corbett and Bablanian said the coaching and mentorship they received from UTS Senior Lecturer, Marilyn Scott, was essential to their success. Scott, who lectures in the area of Dispute Resolution, can be credited as teaching them 'principle based negotiation' - a strategy of negotiation that favours an interest-based approach and emphasises conflict management and conflict resolution.
"We're also incredibly grateful to the UTS Law Faculty, UTS Law Students' Society, and ActivateUTS, all of whom facilitated the funding necessary to get us to Oslo," said Corbett.
Corbett said that though the week was intense, the opportunity to represent Australia on an international level was "greatly rewarding".
"I recommend that all law students get involved with the many competitions run by the Law Students' Society - it's an excellent avenue to develop your practical skills."