Sri Lanka placed 7th at 13th InterNational Law School Mock Mediation Tournament 2014
Tuesday, 25 March 2014 00:00
A young Sri Lankan team did the country proud at the InterNational Academy of Dispute Resolution’s Law School Mediation Tournament held in Chicago USA in March this year, being ranked seventh of 156 advocate/client pairs and donning the added laurel of being identified as the ‘Outstanding New Mediation Program’, as commended by the judges.
This is the second year that Sri Lanka has participated in this tournament since Dubai last year and the first time the Sri Lankan team has achieved such prowess in this international tournament which is aimed at promoting mediation and helping young people gain exposure to the power of mediation as a tool for dispute resolution.
Infusing a broader perspective to reach and participation, the Sri Lankan team comprised Dylan John from Georgia Southern University as Trainer and Captain and team members Mevan Peiris from John Keells Holdings, Rehan Perera from MAS Holdings, Saashya Rodrigo a graduate from Georgia State University and from the Sri Lanka Law Faculty, Chapa Perera and Sarani Gunathilake. Competing against 52 teams from countries including USA, Canada, India, Germany, Australia, Ireland, Scotland, the UK, Ukraine, Russia and Lithuania, the Sri Lankan team was commended by both the judges and organisers as displaying team effectiveness in good mediation and collaborative advocacy skills.
Dylan John, who collated this high achieving team is also the President/Trainer of the Georgia Southern University Mock Mediation Team currently ranked eighth in the USA. He garnered support from the university’s mediation team to prepare members of the Sri Lankan team, working for months prior to the World Championships, which is widely known as the World Championship of Mock Mediation as it brings together the largest number of nations at a mediation tournament. “One of the Sri Lankan team’s biggest strengths is that we are passionate about mediation,” he says, with conviction, “because we want to promote mediation among the youth of our country as a positive process and a process that should be the primary option among dispute resolution methods. The uniqueness of this Sri Lanka team is that we were all located in many different places and the Georgia Southern University Team trained the team online via email and Skype. It was only two days prior to the tournament that we all met face to face in Chicago and still pulled off an impressive performance to rank 7th out of the 156 advocate/client pairs from the 52 teams at the competition. This is something we can really be proud of.”
Explaining the founding bases of mediation, he says: “Mediation is a gentle, civil and collaborative process that allows for creative solutions in resolving disputes, mending relationships and moving forward. It’s a form of alternative dispute resolution that is growing in popularity. The key factor in mediation is that parties/disputants have the opportunity to contribute and control the outcome, by addressing their needs and concerns to find a win-win solution for all.” Having now created a Facebook page, “Sri Lanka Mock Mediation”, Dylan is keen to expand Sri Lanka’s country focus in mock mediation and participation in similar tournaments in the future.
Founded in 2002, the International Academy of Dispute Resolution has a simple ethos, to further the awareness of mediation as a means of establishing peaceful resolution. “Given the disputes that are continually arising around the world and taking Sri Lanka in context of the past, I do believe Sri Lanka’s youth have in-depth insight to contribute towards the INADR’s mission to encourage society to resolve differences and disputes in a more sensitive and compassionate manner and to promote peace and civility in human behaviour,” says Dylan, quoting the INADR’s mission statement. INADR encompasses lawyers, judges, professors and other professionals, all having an abiding conviction that mediation is the better way and is currently the umbrella organisation of three distinct student organisations – the InterNational ADR Society, the International Law School Mediation Tournament, and the National Intercollegiate Mediation Tournament.