MEDIATION COMPETITION: APPROACH AND IT'S IMPORTANCE IN A LAW STUDENT'S LIFE

Updated: May 15

AUTHOR- DEEPANSHU GUPTA *

EDITOR- RIYA LUHADIA

Time is money. Mediation is a process devised to settle disputes between parties: two countries, two MNCs, two state governments, and even more than two parties. It is a quick method to resolve disputes between two parties confidentially. It is performed by a neutral party who is chosen by both the parties mutually. Mediation is non-binding, unlike arbitration. Parties are free to leave. Parties can get a better bargain in this process and save a lot of time as well. Because in courts, issues are decided based on facts, but in mediation, parties reach an agreement beneficial to both.


DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MEDIATION AND LITIGATION

Litigation is a dispute resolution process in which the court of law decides the fate of parties according to the law of the land. At the same time, mediation embraces a point of commonality between the parties on their terms and conditions. But litigation and mediation cannot replace each other. For mediation, both parties need to agree to settle their disputes under the guidance of a neutral mediator, but in litigation the other party has to appear in front of a court if the court summons him/her/them. After litigation, the order of the court is final and binding. In case of non-obedience, the aggrieved party can initiate litigation against the defaulting party. But in mediation, the settlement agreement is non-binding.


WHY IS MEDIATION COMPETITION IMPORTANT?

Students gain valuable experience when they participate in any competition. Mediation Competition is beneficial to students in various ways. Analysis and experimentation done during any legal match help students to shape and direct their careers. It also helps them hone their talent and learn new skills.


1. Career

By participating in legal competitions, students get some valuable entries for their CVs or resumes. A good CV or resume is essentially these days because the number of applicants has increased so a great CV helps to shine in the crowd. A CV does not demand trophies but a lot of exposure. It shows that the job applicants are dynamic and are willing to compete and learn.

It teaches students to do teamwork. In mediation, partnership, corporation, patience and skills are essential to work smoothly in real life. Moreover, mediators should have a peaceful, innovative, and understanding mindset. Hence, it is a push to a career in mediation.


2. Training and competition

It is a potential opportunity for gaining practical experience for students . They can feel themselves in the shoes of actual mediators and arbitrators. It trains and helps them figure out their strengths and weaknesses. They get better knowledge about the field, what it demands, what are qualities needed, and what are the areas where/she/them needs to work to better their performance. Mediators have to deal with various kinds of people like politicians, foreigners, COOs, etc., for them being well trained in public dealing is a boon.


3. Research skills

For every competition, students have to research a different area of law every time. It refines their legal research skills and also understands their practical application . Mediation research is a little further than that in litigation. Although there is no precedent or specific law in mediation, the research includes knowing what is happening worldwide, the points around which parties can make in similar scenarios, etc.


4. Networking

Students get a chance to interact with peers, guest faculty, judges, etc. The guest faculty and judges are usually famous and intelligent judges and lawyers. As a result, students start forming their network, understand professional relations among their peers, etc. In addition, they get to meet people from around the country or, in the case of international events, worldwide.


5. Confidence

Competition helps students to develop confidence in their skills. It gives them a presence of mind and self-assurance about their communication skills. It gives them opportunities to talk to new people, know their experiences and gain from them. They develop the courage to ask questions and argue for themselves when they are correct. The confidence instilled by mediation Competition helps them perform well during their job interviews as well.


WHERE TO BEGIN?

You can begin participating from your intra-college competition or any local but good event and take guidance from your seniors and teachers on preparing and performing. After your first Competition, you will be able to observe your strengths and weaknesses. You can note down your performance report follow and start working on them. For example, if you are weak at drafting, read more and more legal documents and try writing them as well; if you are poor at arguing, participate more in debates, declamations, extempore, etc.


HOW TO PREPARE FOR MEDIATION COMPETITION?

  • A mediation Competition has two teams, each team consisting of two members, the counsel and the client. The client is the one whose dispute it is, and the counsel is the one who is trained at mediation and keeps it legally sound.

  • Other than two parties to the conflict, there are two mediators, one from each side.

  • The client negotiates, and a counsel gives guidance about the virtues and drawbacks of a particular deal on the place.

  • The client is the decision-maker, and the counsel is an influencer, as he also looks into the legal technicalities of the deal.

  • A mediator is a facilitator. He clarifies the instance of both the parties without passing his judgment.

  • The mediator can order the caucus if he feels fine. In a caucus, while the mediator talks to one party, others remain out of the room. Or he can even call upon cross caucus; in this, he talks to one member of both the parties.

  • One is told which side they are going to represent only an hour or two before the competitions. So one needs to prepare from both sides.

  • In a mediation plan, one needs to mention goals, suggestions, interests, and BATNA(Best Alternative Negotiating Agreement). This is a document prepared in case the mediation fails or seems to be failing. It is the last option by the client.

  • One is also given a piece of confidential information 30-45 minutes before the competition. This can flip the competition. It can make one changes their entire memorial sometimes! The better one inculcates that confidential information, the more they gain on a judge's scoresheet. Sometimes, confidential information