CIArb News

East Anglia Branch university students’ ADR essay competition

14 Apr 2021

On 31 March 2021, CIArb’s East Anglia branch held its awards ceremony for its first Alternative Dispute Resolution essay competition for university students. The competition aimed at encouraging and supporting those aspiring to become dispute resolvers and nurturing their talent. It was open to any student up to age 27 with an interest in ADR be it in law, construction, business studies or other relevant areas.

The East Anglia branch was keen to engage with students and support them and their universities through the charitable objectives of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. The competition was based on producing an essay to test the breadth and depth of the students’ knowledge of ADR and its relevance to the frequently-evolving changes to deal with old and new types of dispute.

The origins of the competition go back to June 2020 when the Branch Chairman, Dr Al Jarratt FCIArb instigated the idea and organised the competition which was formally launched to a virtual audience on 22 October 2020. Students’ participation started in earnest attracting a total of 43 students who registered for the competition.

The students chose innovative and topical essays based on their own areas of study on ADR. The essays were well presented, focused, with a good structure and grammatically sound. They gave a good critique and a clear, well-argued analysis of a whole range of ADR topics and demonstrated the students’ flair and creativity.

The independent panel of judges consisted of highly respected, very experienced eminent ADR practitioners including Marion Smith QC FCIArb, Lindy Patterson QC C.Arb FCIArb and Professor Stavros Brekoulakis with Sir Rupert Jackson QC MCIArb as the overseeing judge.

Sir Rupert announced the winners at a virtual meeting on 31 March attended by students and representatives from universities, CIArb, the branch committee and the judges. He also highlighted the essay contents and the judges’ comments and announced the winners’ prizes as follows:

Overall winner – Tran Huong (University of Hertfordshire)
‘The Legitimacy Crisis in Investor-State Dispute Settlement’

2nd Place – Sara Kachwalla
‘Practical Results Cannot Be Achieved Simply by Making Laws but Can They Be Achieved Without Them? An Analysis of Blockchain Based Dispute Resolution’

3rd Place – Iqra Bawany 
‘Fit for Purpose: Reconceptualising Arbitration Clauses in International Tax Treaties’

4th Place – Anna Kwabena
‘Is an Anti-suit Injunction an Appropriate Remedy to Enforce Arbitration Agreements?’

5th Place - Alicia Tan
‘Non-Signatories to Arbitration Agreements: Consent, Privity and Commercial Reality’

All five winners received a cash prize, a copy of ‘The Jackson’s ADR Handbook’, an opportunity to attend one of the branch’s eleven annual professional events and a certificate of achievement. In addition, the overall winner will have her essay submitted for peer review for potential publication in an ADR journal.

The branch Chairman invited the students to say a few words about their essays. The students’ knowledge and enthusiasm made for an excellent engagement with a set of inquisitive ideas in their LLM courses.

The event finished with the Chairman expressing his deep gratitude to the universities staff, the students, CIArb’s representatives and the judges for their input assessing the essays and his special thanks to the keynote guest, Sir Rupert for setting time aside and contributing to the success of the event. It was evident that everyone was looking forward to the next competition.

Top Row: Harvey Cooke MCIArb, Sir Rupert Jackson QC MCIArb, Dr Al Jarratt FCIArb (Chairman)

Middle Row: Dr Paresh Kathrani, Dr Michael Reynolds C.Arb FCIArb, Dr Margaret Liu

Bottom Row: Martino Giaquinto FCIArb, Dr Bahar Hatami Alamdari, Jonathan Wood FCIArb

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