YIMC Rules



20th – 25th July 2020

Lisbon, Portugal

Organised by:



1.      The Young International Mediation Competition (“The YIMC” or “the Competition”) is an annual competition of teams representing law schools throughout the world.  Up to sixteen teams may compete in the YIMC.

2.      The language of The YIMC is English.

3.      The YIMC is intended to create and foster an environment for students to learn and develop their skills in mediation and to appreciate how to use them both as counsel and as mediator.

4.      The YIMC is a multi-faceted educational programme including both instruction and a competition through which students can demonstrate their mastery of the various skills used in mediation. A social programme throughout the week of the competition promotes the establishment of long-term friendships and connections.

Organization of the YIMC

5.      The YIMC is organized by YIMC.

Eligibility to Participate in YIMC

6.      Each participating organisation shall send a team consisting of three student participants and one coach to the competition.  One additional student participant may accompany the team as a substitute in case a team member must drop out or is for any reason unable to participate in the competition.  Each team shall include one individual who competes in the Mediator competition and two individuals who will compete in the Mediation Counsel competition.  All Participants must meet the criteria set out in Rule 7.

7.      Teams may be made up of student participants from universities, law schools, law firms, Inns of Court or barristers’ chambers.  Each participating organisation may enter only one team.  All members of a team must be registered at the same school, law firm or chambers.  No participant who is or has been licensed to practice law is eligible to participate except with the express permission of a Director of YIMC.  Participants who are students at bar preparation institutions who are simultaneously working in a law office must request an individual determination as to their eligibility to participate in the competition.  No participant who has accreditation as a mediator may compete.  If there is any doubt as to what might constitute “accreditation as a mediator” then the participant must request a determination as to their eligibility to participate in the competition.  Eligibility in all cases is determined as of 10th May 2020.

Structure of YIMC

8.      The Competition consists of three tiers: first, a training course of two days; second, the Counsel competition (four days), and third, the Mediator competition (three days).  Each team must participate in all three tiers and compete for both awards, one as Best Mediation Counsel Team and one as Best Mediator.   In all sessions, students take turns being evaluated, and playing the roles of the disputing parties.


9.      The first event of The YIMC is the Registration on Monday 20th July 2020.  The two-day training will take place on Monday and Tuesday, 20th and 21st July 2020.  The competition sessions will take place on Wednesday 22nd July, Thursday 23rd July, Friday 24th July and Saturday 25th July 2020.  The awards will be announced on Saturday evening, 25th July 2020 at the Farewell Dinner.



10.    Registration for The YIMC opens at 12:00 Noon UK time on Friday 24th January 2020.  A school wishing to participate registers via email, and pays a non-refundable £100 (or €120) application fee.  The YIMC organisers will allocate places in their sole discretion.  Teams who do not receive a place may join the Wait List, and will receive a place if a confirmed team refuses its place, or having accepted its place, drops out. All teams will be notified as to whether they have a place by 29th February 2020 when registration will close.

11.    Payment of the full Registration fee guarantees that school’s place. Upon receiving notification from the organisers that it has received a place, a team shall arrange for payment of the Registration fee.  Payment details of the registration fee will be sent to teams upon acceptance.

12.    Registration fee.  The basic registration fee for The YIMC is £900 (€1,050) for a team of three students plus one coach. . Each additional team member will cost £150 (€180).  In remitting payment, teams must specify that ALL charges are for the sender.  Any bank charges deducted from the payment received by the organisers will be collected at the beginning of the competition when the team arrives in Portugal.  The transfer must also indicate the Official Confirmation Number and the name of the organization for which the registration fee has been paid in order for the account of the participating organization to be credited.

13.    A school which does not pay the fee within fifteen days of receiving confirmation of its place may be deemed to have refused its place, which will then be offered to a team from the Wait List.

14.    The registration fee includes an invitation to the Welcome reception on Tuesday 21st July 2020 for team members and, coaches.  It also includes tickets for the awards dinner on Saturday 25th July 2020, following the Final Mediation Session.  Tickets must be presented for admission to the banquet awards dinner.  Lost tickets will not be replaced.  Additional team members and accompanying persons may purchase additional tickets if space permits.

15.    The registration fee of a team whose registration is withdrawn prior to 10th May 2020 will be refunded in full except for deduction of an administration fee of £50 and any applicable bank charges.  After 10th May 2020 no refund is possible.


16.    The Registration Form includes space for the name and address of one Contact Person.  All communications concerning The YIMC will automatically be sent by e-mail to that person.  It is the responsibility of the Contact Person to distribute timely all relevant material to the team.  The names of additional recipients of messages concerning The YIMC may be submitted for inclusion on the e-mail mailing list.  The postal address given for the Contact Person must be valid until August 2020 for any certificates or other material sent by post to the team after The YIMC.  Any changes in the data on the registration form should be sent by e-mail to The YIMC Administration at alix@yimc.org.  Communications between the team and The YIMC administration through anyone other than the designated Contact Person are at the risk of the team.

17.    All communications in connection with The YIMC should be addressed to Alix Povey, at: alix@yimc.org.

The Problem

18.    Subject Matter.  The Problem in the Fifth (2020) YIMC involves a dispute arising out of an international sale of goods subject to the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG).  The Parties have agreed to mediation to be held under the CEDR Model Mediation Procedure 2018.

19.    The Problem consists of three parts:  the General Facts, available to all participants, plus the Confidential Facts for the Applicant and the Confidential Facts for the Respondent.  The General Facts of the Problem will be available no later than Friday 20th May 2020.  The Confidential Facts will be available to the participants just prior to the start of each Mediation Session.

20.    Clarifications.  Requests for clarification of the Problem should be sent to: alix@yimc.org prior to midnight (2400) UK time on Friday 24th May 2020.  Requests for clarification should include a short explanation of the expected significance of the clarification.  Any request that does not contain such an explanation may be ignored.

21.    Clarifications issued by the YIMC will be available to all registered teams by 30th May 2020.

Structure of the Competition

22.    General Rounds.  Each team will compete four times in the general rounds, once as Applicant and once as Respondent and twice as a Mediator. In each mediation session, two members of one team will act as Client-Counsel team for the Applicant (initiator of the mediation process) and two members of another team will act as Client-Counsel team for the Respondent.  On the first day of the general rounds competition a professional mediator will mediate the sessions and on the second and third days a student from a third team will act as Mediator.  In the final round, a professional mediator will mediate the two top client-counsel teams.

23.    Duration of Each Mediation Session:  Each round will run for a total of one hundred and fifty minutes, one hundred and twenty minutes for the mediation session itself, 10 minutes for scoring and 20 minutes for feedback.

24.    Caucuses.   A Caucus is a brief private meeting between the Mediator and one of the Client-Counsel teams.  During each Mediation Session the Mediator or either of the the Competing Teams have the right to call for one or more caucuses. Each caucus may last no longer than five minutes.  All members of the competing team not party to the Caucus must leave the room for the duration of the Caucus. 

25.    Timekeeping.  The Mediator is responsible for the timekeeping throughout the Session. Failure to stay within the time limit may reflect on a team’s score.

26.    Exhibits.  No exhibits may be used during the Sessions that do not come directly from the Problem.  Exhibits designed to clarify time sequences or other such matters may be used only if the Mediator and the opposing team agree.  For technical reasons the exhibits may not consist of overhead or Power Point projections or require the use of a stand.

27.    Assistance.  Throughout each Mediation Session, no communication with their coach or other members of the team who may be present at the Session is permitted.  Teams may only discuss with their coaches during the preparation time, after having received their confidential information.

28.    Recording of sessions.  Recording of both the training and Mediation Sessions, whether audio or video, is not permitted.

Mediation Sessions

29.    General Rounds.  The General Rounds will consist of up to sixteen Sessions over the first three Competition days. Each Team will compete as Applicant Client-Counsel team, Respondent Client-Counsel team and Mediator in the General Rounds.  The YIMC organisers will assign the Teams and Mediators to their Sessions and assign the roles as Applicant and Respondent.

30.    Semi Final.  After the General Rounds, the scores of each team’s oral presentations in the two sessions will be totaled.  The four top scoring teams in the General Rounds will compete in the Semi-final Rounds on Saturday 25th July 2020, starting at 9:00am.

31.    Final.  The two winners of the Semi-final Round will meet in the Final Round on Saturday 25th July 2020 at 3:30pm.


32.    The awards of the YIMC are:

  • The Colin J Wall Award for Best Mediator
  • The Best Counsel Award
  • The Best Team Award (the University team who works best overall in trying to resolve the dispute)
  • Toscar – Best Actor Award (the person who acts most realistically as a client)


33.    Mediators and Counsel are scored separately.

The criteria for Mediators are based on, but not limited to:

  • Conduct of the joint sessions and caucus
  • Communication Skills and demeanor
  • Ability to identify and formulate issues
  • Techniques such as reframing, questioning, identifying interests and finding common ground
  • Effective Problem Solving Support
  • Control of Mediation Session.

The criteria for Counsel are based on, but not limited to:

  • Advocacy skills
  • Focus on Client’s Interests
  • Respect for the settlement goal of the process
  • Cooperative attitude
  • Client communication
  • Option generation.

34.    In each session, three Professional Mediators will observe and assess the conduct of the two counsel teams.  The Professional Mediators will then agree and report to the organisers a numerical score for each team in that session.  The Professional Mediators will then meet with both counsel teams, and WITHOUT disclosing the scores, will give constructive feedback to each team.

35.   Also in each session, where applicable, a Professional Mediator will observe and assess the conduct of the student mediator.  The Professional Mediator will then establish and report to the organisers a numerical score for that mediator.  The Professional Mediator may then meet with the student mediator in private, and WITHOUT disclosing the score, will give constructive feedback to the student mediator.

36.    Each Professional Mediator will complete a written post-session report (YIMC-PSR) on the scores awarded to the two Counsel teams and to the Mediator, with the Professional Mediator’s comments on the teams and on the student mediator.  The PSR is to be handed directly to the organizers as soon as possible after the completion of each session.

37.    All student participants and coaches receive a Certificate of Participation in The YIMC.  Certificates will be prepared for all members of teams that win an award in one of the categories.  The certificates will bear the names of the recipients exactly as they are registered, so teams should take care in registering to spell all names properly, including any diacritical marks.  Certificates not collected at Closing Lunch will be scanned and sent by email to the team’s Contact Person for printing at the team’s school.

38.   Teams requesting an interpretation of these rules should address them to YIMC Directors by email at alix@yimc.org or in person at the Competition.  All interpretations, as well as any waivers, consents, or other decisions are at the discretion of the Directors.

General Provisions

39.    YIMC reserves the right to refuse or cancel the registration of any team, in the absolute discretion of the Directors for breaching these rules or for otherwise acting in a manner which the Directors deems detrimental to The YIMC

40. YIMC reserves the right to cancel the Competition and refund any registration fees already paid, if an insufficient number of teams register to compete.

41.    In the event of a severe weather warning, the organisers reserve the right to cancel all or any part of the YIMC without liability to any Participant or school.