23 May 2018

AAT boosts law students’ negotiation skills

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) is demonstrating ongoing commitment to developing the negotiation skills of law students through its NOOT competition. The AAT recognises that negotiation skills are core to the majority of areas in which lawyers work, including as legal advisers in conciliations run daily by the AAT. In assisting parties to be well prepared to participate appropriately during conciliation, lawyers are able to demonstrate and role model effective negotiation skills.

The Negotiating Outcomes on Time (NOOT) competition is based on the AAT’s conciliation process model. The central core of this model is very similar to the mediation model taught in Resolution Institute mediation courses. 

In the competition an AAT conciliator plays the role of conciliator in a simulation.  Four students separated into two teams each with a “party” and a “legal adviser”, supported by the conciliator, negotiate a resolution.

Resolution institute CEO, Fiona Hollier commented that “It was very impressive to see students showing such a good grasp of interests. The strongest of the students had clearly prepared well and thought about a range of options to satisfy the main interests”.

With fourteen teams, ten from Queensland and four from South Australian law schools, students participated in several rounds with their team scores accumulating throughout the competition. Fiona was pleased to watch the final round of the competition and present the first place award to Queensland University of Technology students Bianca Stringer, Victoria Naumova and Rhiannon Dudley (Reserve) and second place to University of Adelaide students Timothy Porter, India Short and Mitchell Brunker (Reserve).

(From left) AAT Deputy President Bernard McCabe with the First Place team members, Victoria Naumova, Rhiannon Dudley, Bianca Stringer; Dr Lucy Cradduck, Queensland University of Technology coach; Fiona Hollier, CEO of the Resolution Institute, and AAT Director ADR, Justin Toohey.

Both the AAT President and Judge of the Federal Court of Australia, Justice David Thomas and AAT Deputy President Bernard McCabe spoke of the AAT’s commitment to the competition and their hope that the competition will spread across all Australian jurisdictions over time. As well, both commented on the very impressive skills and commitment that the students had demonstrated and thanked the university teaching staff for the excellent coaching and support they had provided their students.

Resolution Institute has been the proud sponsor for the NOOT competition since it first began in 2014. The competition aligns with Resolution Institute strategic focus on promoting excellence in all forms of dispute resolution. Resolution Institute sponsorship includes all competitors being presented with student membership of Resolution Institute and the first placed team being presented with two registrations in a Resolution Institute 5 day mediation course.

For more information and pictures of the 2018 winning teams, visit the AAT website >>