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CMT earns award for outstanding mediation program at the INADR Tournament in Bologna

Left to right, students Claudia Colella and Anna Pezzetta, Prof. Silvana Dalla Bontà holding the trophy, student Andrea Dongili, and coach Federica Simonelli.

Students Claudia Colella, Andrea Dongili, and Anna Pezzetta (Washington University in St. Louis alumni), coached by Federica Simonelli participated in the first Italian edition of the INADR Law School Tournament.

The mediation competition took place at Università Studi di Bologna from March 8-11 and was attended by student teams and distinguished professionals from across the globe.

The inaugural event of the tournament celebrated the role of women in mediation with the conference “Women in Mediation”, where panelists from different areas of the world shared their perspective on the topic.

After the outstanding performance at the ICC International Mediation Competition in Paris last month, the CMT team delivered again and earned a special award for “outstanding mediation program”.

Prof. Silvana Dalla Bontà (CMT Program founder and coordinator) was proud of the accomplishment. This award perfectly reflects the consistency and quality of the mediation training at Università degli Studi di Trento.

ICC International Mediation Competition: Let’s Hear from the Semi-finalists!

The team at the ICC Headquarter in Paris. Left to right, students Alice Catalano and Elisa Ferretto, coach Milena Mottola, and students Elisa Pezzetta and Andrea Dongili.

The 18th ICC International Mediation Competition (Paris, 6-11 February 2023) marked an important milestone for the Conflict Managers of Tomorrow (CMT) Project and its supporters.

Students Alice Catalano, Andrea Dongili, Elisa Ferretto, and Anna Pezzetta – coached by CMT alumnae Milena Mottola and Federica Simonelli – represented Università degli Studi di Trento at the ICC Mediation Competition in Paris. Students Andrea Dongili, Elisa Ferretto, Anna Pezzetta, and coach Milena Mottola, all obtained an LL.M. in Negotiation and Dispute Resolution from Washington University School of Law which has a long-standing partnership with the University of Trento.

The preparation for the Competition at Università degli Studi di Trento took place in a hybrid online-offline format and built on the expertise in training and coaching developed by the CMT staff through the years.

Training within the framework of the Conflict Managers of Tomorrow Project allowed us to fully develop a broad array of soft skills which are fundamental in mediation and that we first approached at Washington University in St. Louis – School of Law thanks to the Transnational Law Program. Professor Silvana Dalla Bontà (CMT founder and coordinator) and our coaches at University of Trento gave us the possibility to delve deeper into ADR methods and accrue first-hand experience in an international environment by participating in the ICC Mediation Competition. 

Andrea Dongili, team member
Left to right, students Andrea Dongili, Elisa Ferretto, Alice Catalano, Anna Pezzetta, and coach Milena Mottola.

Under the guidance of coach Milena Mottola, the team delivered three outstanding performances in the preliminary rounds, which earned them access to the semi-finals and a top-four ranking out of 48 participating universities.

The ICC International Mediation Competition is the largest educational event organized by the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris and the core of the ICC Mediation Week. After two editions online, the ICC Mediation Competition returned to Paris and gathered more than 120 professional mediators and trainers as well as 250+ students and coaches from across the globe.

University teams challenged themselves with three mock mediations during the preliminary rounds, putting their mediation skills into practice and trying to advance to the semi-finals. Students had the opportunity to receive feedback from renowned mediation practitioners and network with them to gain insight into the real world of ADR.

Representing the University of Trento at the ICC 18th International Commercial Mediation Competition has been an honor and a privilege not only because we competed with top law schools from all over the world, but also because we connected with professionals and experts who share a “real interest” in the field of negotiation and dispute resolution. 

Andrea Dongili, team member

We had the possibility to meet and listen to well-known professionals from all over the world. We were evaluated, given insights on how to develop our skills, and also praised by real experts. This was undoubtedly a moment of personal reward. The CMT Project helped us grow and its value was deeply recognised by professional mediators and ICC members. 

Anna Pezzetta, team member
ICC Mediation Competition – Day 1 at the Espace Clery in Paris on Tuesday 7th February 2023.
Team members Alice Catalano and Elisa Ferretto at the mediation table with student representatives of New York Law School and judges Stephen Walker and Claude Amar.

In the preliminary rounds, Università degli Studi di Trento faced teams from the USA (New York Law School), Vietnam (Hanoi Law University), and New Zealand (the University of Auckland, winner of the past three editions of the Competition). The preliminary rounds featured high-quality performances by New York Law School and the University of Auckland, which advanced to the semi-finals along with Università degli Studi di Trento and NALSAR University of Law.

We all felt like we learned a lot in the preliminary rounds, but little did we know we had made it to the semi-finals. After a short celebration, we immediately focused on the following round. We are aware that we worked hard and we are incredibly proud of having represented Conflict Managers of Tomorrow and all the people in the Project that have made this unprecedented result possible. From the first training to the last debriefing after the semi-final round, and everything in between, the knowledge and expertise of the CMT staff has guided us through this wonderful journey. 

Alice Catalano, team member

In the semi-final rounds, NALSAR University delivered a remarkable performance which earned the team a spot in the final. NALSAR University was crowned winner of the Competition after a thrilling final with New York Law School.

Students and coaches at Università degli Studi di Trento were proud of the result achieved and extremely satisfied with the progress made by the team throughout the training and the experience at the Competition.

If someone asked me how I would describe my experience at the 18th ICC Mediation Competition, I would say ‘a rollercoaster of emotions and opportunities’. On the one hand, the training was very demanding and required us to stay focused, listen actively, reflect, and be prepared to challenge ourselves and our assumptions. On the other hand, hearing the announcement of the semi-finalists in the charming setting of Paris was beyond exciting. Further, we had invaluable opportunities to sharpen our legal skills, interact and socialize with students from across the globe, and network with experienced ADR professionals.

Elisa Ferretto, team member

Prof. Silvana Dalla Bontà, founder and coordinator of the CMT, congratulated the team on their excellent performance and expressed her confidence that the CMT Project will keep contributing significantly to the education of students in the field of ADR.

Università degli Studi di Trento reaches the Semi-final at the 18th ICC International Mediation Competition

Left to right, students Andrea Dongili, Elisa Ferretto, Alice Catalano, Anna Pezzetta, and coach Milena Mottola at Espace Clery in Paris on the first day of the preliminary rounds.

Students Alice Catalano, Andrea Dongili, Elisa Ferretto, and Anna Pezzetta, coached by CMT alumna Milena Mottola, achieved an unprecedented result for Università degli Studi di Trento and qualified for the Semi-finals at the 18th ICC International Mediation Competition.

During the preliminary rounds, which took place in Paris from 7-9 February, the team faced the New York Law School, the Hanoi University, and the University of Auckland. Students had the opportunity to put into practice and sharpen the mediation skills acquired throughout the training within the CMT Project, founded and coordinated by Prof. Silvana Dalla Bontà.

Tomorrow (10 February), the team will compete in the Semi-final against the Nalsar University.

Best of luck to the Team!!!

Competizione Trentina di Negoziato

Let’s Hear from the Participants!

The first-ever intramural negotiation competition at Università degli Studi di Trento took place on 2 December, 2022 in a hybrid online-offline format. 

Competizione Trentina di Negoziato (CTN) was organized by the Conflict Manager of Tomorrow Project (CMT) and provided students with an opportunity to test their negotiation skills while receiving feedback from peer- and expert evaluators.

Students negotiating in the moot court room at Università degli Studi di Trento.

Student negotiators were enthusiastic about the experience and enjoyed challenging themselves at the negotiation table.

The CTN was a great opportunity to test the knowledge acquired during the [negotiation] course. Having to show good command of negotiation theory, skills, and strategy through a competition rather than an exam was an excellent way to master the subject. Mock negotiations and feedback sessions throughout the course allowed us to build up to the Competition and feel comfortable at the negotiation table.

Federico Cadin, student

A unique and challenging opportunity that finally allowed me to experience negotiation first hand. In my opinion, universities should offer more applied courses. Without a doubt, theory is key but largely remains devoid of content if there is no chance to put it into practice.

Tania Zoanetti, student
Prof. Silvana Dalla Bontà, founder and coordinator of the CMT Project, greeting the participants.

Members of the International Mediation Team, who will participate in the upcoming ICC International Commercial Mediation Competition in Paris (February 2023), served as peer evaluators. 

The CTN was an important proving ground for the members of the International Mediation Team and a moment of self-reflection.

I am grateful for the chance to participate in the first edition of the CTN as a peer evaluator. Assessing the performance of fellow students was an enriching experience which gave us plenty of food for thought and the opportunity to engage in reflective practice. I believe that this experience will prove crucial in the preparation for the ICC International Commercial Mediation Competition. The feedback conversations with professional evaluators were an opportunity of personal growth. I am proud and honored to be part of the CMT Project.

Alice Catalano, peer evaluator

The first edition of the CTN was an unforgettable learning experience. Not only was it an opportunity for the participating students, who put their negotiation skills to test for the first time, but also for the peer evaluators, who delivered feedback for the first time. I am looking forward to applying what I learned at the CTN and I am extremely proud to be a part of the CMT Project.

Elisa Ferretto, peer evaluator

Without a doubt, participating in the first edition of the CTN was an opportunity for reflection and professional development. Being a peer evaluator requires attention to detail, sense of duty, and critical thinking. Participating in the CTN made me appreciate the preparation for the ICC Competition even more. During my previous mock negotiations, I hardly received comments so pointed and feedback so constructive. The comments and feedback obtained throughout the preparation for the ICC Competition helped me in my role as a peer evaluator. I am thankful to Prof. Dalla Bontà and all those contributing to the CMT Project.

Anna Pezzetta, peer evaluator

Taking part in the first edition of the CTN was an honor and a unique opportunity, as it gave me the chance to “go to the balcony” and reflect on my own negotiation style. Further, it helped me understand how verbal and nonverbal language are perceived from an external perspective. To that end, playing the role of a peer evaluator was fundamental for me. Not only does it require greater focus and attention to the dynamics of the negotiation but it also entails responsibilities. At the end of the evaluation, in fact, your own opinion must be weighed against the opinion of other evaluators. All this allows reflecting on the negotiation in a deeper and more accurate way. I am proud of having participated in the first edition of the CTN and I thank Prof. Dalla Bontà and the CMT Project staff for this opportunity.

Andrea Dongili, peer evaluator
Members of the International Mediation Team observing the mock negotiation.

Students and peer evaluators could benefit from the expert guidance of professional mediators and course instructors at Università degli Studi di Trento, who welcomed the initiative and actively contributed to the success of the CTN.

I am glad and proud that the CTN has been added to the educational offer of the CMT Project as it will provide another valuable learning experience for students at Università degli Studi di Trento. Thanks to the CTN, students will be able to experience negotiation first-hand and benefit from a valuable opportunity to prepare for national and international moots. The first edition was a real success and all those involved can call themselves winners!

Corrado Mora, alumnus Università degli Studi di Trento – civil and commercial mediator

Thanks to Prof. Dalla Bontà’s vision and hard work, the CMT Project can now offer one more learning experience to students. Serving as an assessor was a challenging task: I tried to give students some practical tips and food for thought, in the hope it will foster their professional development. Discussing with expert colleagues proved to be a stimulating and enriching experience for me.

Federica Simonelli, alumna Università degli Studi di Trento – civil and commercial mediator
Expert evaluator Maurizio di Rocco, civil and commercial mediator and course instructor at Università degli Studi di Trento, delivering feedback to the participants.

Mediation, conciliation, negotiation, and more: Giustizia Consensuale 1/2022 is out now!

The first issue of 2022 of Giustizia Consensuale (published by Editoriale Scientifica) has just been released and it features:

Andrea Simoncini (Professor at the University of Florence) and Elia Cremona (PhD, University of Siena),  Mediazione e Costituzione (Mediation and Constitution; in Italian)

This paper deals with the issue of the constitutional basis of mediation. After describing the current dominant view which sees mediation as merely a ‘means’ to an end, such as reducing the judicial backlog, and as a complementary tool to in-court proceedings, the authors argue that mediation could be considered as a constitutional ‘end’ in itself. Thus, by promoting the attainment of a more cohesive society, mediation is seen as a way to fulfill the social solidarity obligations as enshrined in the Italian Constitution.

Claudio Cecchella (Professor at the University of Pisa), La negoziazione assistita nelle controversie sulla crisi delle relazioni familiari dopo la riforma con legge n. 206 del 2021 (Lawyer-assisted Negotiation Procedure in Family Disputes Following the Law No. 206 of 2021; in Italian)

This paper analyses the provisions of Law No. 206 of 2021 concerning the negotiation process assisted by attorneys in family disputes. The author firstly examines the provisions which entered into force on 22 June 2022, such as the extension of the scope of application of this negotiation process. Secondly, he explores the provisions that will enter into force at a later date, such as the possibility of agreeing a lump-sum maintenance payment, the provision of legal aid and the right to take evidence during negotiations. While praising this reform, the author strongly criticizes it for not having provided for the minor’s right to be represented and heard during the negotiation process.

Juan F. Herrero (Professor at the University of Zaragoza), Accordarsi o soccombere (Reaching an Agreement or Losing the Case; in Italian)

Settlement rates are still relatively low compared to the percentage of cases that go to trial. Against this backdrop, the Spanish legislator has committed to reversing the trend. After some early efforts that were in vain, the legislator resorted to two instruments: the mandatory mediation attempt as a prerequisite to instituting judicial proceedings (as an alternative to mediation, parties may opt for other extrajudicial dispute resolution methods), and a new scheme for the allocation of judicial costs.
The paper investigates correlations between judicial decisions on cost allocation and mandatory or voluntary extrajudicial settlement attempts. Furthermore, it examines the impact of the aforementioned attempts on the determination of judicial costs, with a special focus on relevant case law. Oftentimes, the risk or likelihood of obtaining an unfavorable – or only partially favorable – decision on the allocation of costs prompts the parties to reach an out-of-court settlement. In fact, if it is not the case, the winning party to litigation stands to lose more than they would gain financially.

Stefania Brun (Professor at the University of Trento), ‘Proceduralizzazione’ dei poteri datoriali e mediazione sindacale. Il laboratorio trentennale in materia di licenziamenti collettivi (Trade Union Mediation in Collective Dismissal. A Study of its Application over Three Decades; in Italian)

This article reviews the three-decade history and present-day application of Law No. 223 of 1991 on collective dismissal. While providing an overall positive evaluation of this law, the article seeks to examine the role of the judicial and legislative branches in promoting best practices in its application. In this regard, it emphasizes the role of trade union mediation in the phase preceding collective dismissal as an effective means for reducing judicial scrutiny and ensure greater legal certainty.

Antonio Cassatella (Professor at the University of Trento), Il procedimento amministrativo come strumento di giustizia consensuale. Potenzialità e limiti (Administrative Procedure as A Means to Reach Consensual Justice. Strengths and Limitations; in Italian)

This paper focuses on settlements reached by an individual and the public administration in the course of an administrative procedure as governed by Law No. 241 of 1990.
According to the author, these types of settlement are only possible if the administrative procedure is not seen as a unilateral exercise of the public administration’s power, but rather as a way of settling disputes between the administration and citizens. The author argues that from a theoretical point of view, the administrative procedure can be considered an alternative dispute resolution mechanism. However, Art. 11 of the aforementioned law cannot be considered an effective legal basis for settlement between an individual and the public administration due to its intrinsic limitations.
Therefore, the author proposes that the Italian legislator reforms Law No. 241 of 1990 taking as a model the German and French legislations.

Observatory on Legislation and Regulations

Lorenzo Bianchi (PhD, University of Parma), La conciliazione giudiziale tributaria. Criticità applicative e prospettive di riforma (Judicial Conciliation in Tax Disputes. Inherent Limits and Reform Proposals; in Italian)

This paper analyzes the mechanism of judicial conciliation in tax disputes and its relationship with out-of-court dispute resolution tools. The author examines the historical evolution of judicial conciliation and its current regulation. While exploring the main characteristics of tax disputes, particular attention is given to the inherent limits on reaching an agreement between the parties to litigation and the judicial power to promote settlement. In conclusion, the analysis focuses on the recent Italian reform proposals of the judicial proceedings regarding tax disputes and conciliation mechanisms as incentivized by the Next Generation EU plan.

Observatory on Practices

Dilyara Nigmatullina (Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Antwerp) and Ruohan Zhu (Project manager at the Shanghai Arbitration Commission), A Study on the Use of Mediation in Combination with Arbitration. The Experience of East Asia with Focus on Mainland China

The article analyses the results of an empirical study about the current use of mediation in combination with arbitration (combinations) in international commercial dispute resolution. This study follows up the original study conducted by one of the article’s authors in 2014-2015, the results of which suggested the existence of a link between the practitioners’ legal culture and their use of a combination where the same neutral acts as a mediator and an arbitrator. The follow-up study further tests the hypothesis about the existence of the mentioned link by involving practitioners based in the East Asia region, predominantly in mainland China, while those taking part in the original questionnaire practiced in Continental Europe and common law jurisdictions in the Asia Pacific region. The article discusses the results of the follow-up study in the context of the findings of the original study before concluding that these results provide further support to the hypothesis that the use of a combination where the same neutral acts as a mediator and an arbitrator varies throughout the world and can be linked to the practitioners’ legal culture.

Francesca Valastro (Case Manger, Milan Chamber of Arbitration), La mediazione in videoconferenza. Dalla situazione emergenziale agli orizzonti futuri. Dati e note a margine di un’indagine empirica (Online Mediation: From Necessity to the Norm. An Empirical Study; in Italian)

The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020 impacted the way mediations in civil and commercial matters were conducted, transforming online mediation into an absolute necessity.
Two years on, the world has changed and in this post-Covid time, it would be advisable to assess how the pandemic has affected the practice of mediation. Will mediation return to be conducted face to face or will online mediation be the future?
This article presents the results of the empirical research collected through interviews with fifty attorneys assisting clients in mediation and fifty professional mediators of the Mediation Service at Milan Chamber of Arbitration. Based on the analysis of their responses, the author argues that online mediation will have a pivotal role in the post pandemic world. However, further research and analysis is still necessary to develop best practices and guidelines for effectively managing mediation remotely.

In addition to the foregoing, this issue features the following book review by Giuseppe Buffone (Judge, Justice and Home Affairs Counsellor, Permanent Representation of Italy to the European Union, Brussels): Maria Martello,Una giustizia alta e altra. La mediazione nella nostra vita e nei tribunali (Mediation in Our Courts and in Our Daily Lives. An Empowering Alternative), Roma, Paoline Editoriale Libri, 2022, 1-160.

CMT Mediation Team Earns Honorable Mention at Italian Mediation Competition

From 7 to 10 July, the Italian Mediation Team participated in the 10th Italian Mediation Competition organized by the Milan Chamber of Arbitration.

Students Riccardo Martignon, Martina Mastrilli, Angela Noschese, and Roberta Scarabotto gave proof of their outstanding skills in pursuing their interests at the mediation table, which earned them a honorable mention.

Students were coached by Attorney Maurizio Di Rocco and Dr. Lorenzo Zoppellari, and mentored by CMT alumna Dr. Francesca Valastro. 

Giustizia Consensuale: discover issue 2/2021

The second issue of the journal Giustizia Consensuale, directed by Prof. Silvana Dalla Bontà and Prof. Paola Lucarelli, has been released.

The issue features contributions in Italian and English and covers a wide range of topics, including – but not limited to – ADR, ODR, and mediation from a comparative perspective.

Visit the website of Editoriale Scientifica (publisher) to view the index and purchase subscriptions.

Read more about the second issue of Giustizia Consensuale on Conflict of Laws. net.

Italian Mediation Competition: UniTN Team Earns Special Award

Top-left to bottom-right: students Camilla Rinaldi, Francesca Valastro, Alberto Rocco, Riccardo Masaro, Prof. Silvana Dalla Bontà, and student Giorgia Kumada.

Students Giorgia Kumada, Riccardo Masaro, Camilla Rinaldi, Alberto Rocco, and Francesca Valastro, coached by Prof. Silvana Dalla Bontà, Mr. Maurizio di Rocco, and Mr. Lorenzo Zoppellari, participated in the 9th edition of the Italian Mediation Competition.

The event, organized by Camera Arbitrale di Milano, took place online from 14 to 16 October, 2021 and involved student teams from 14 Italian universities. Università degli Studi di Torino ranked first.

Università degli Studi di Trento added to its long history of achievements at the Italian Mediation Competition by earning the special award for “Best Use of Active Listening Tools”. Coaches and team members are thrilled about the result and extremely satisfied with their performance.

Call for Applications: Mediation Teams

The Conflict Managers of Tomorrow Project is calling for applications of students to join the Italian Mediation Team and the International Mediation Team.

Selected students will join the Conflict Managers of Tomorrow Project, receive practical training in mediation, and get the opportunity to gain hands-on experience by participating either in the Italian Mediation Competition or in the ICC International Commercial Mediation Competition.*

Read more about the application process and selection criteria on the Faculty website.

Deadline for application submission: June 27, 2021.

* Participation in the ICC International Mediation Competition is conditioned upon Università degli Studi di Trento being invited to participate in the event.