Youth International Mediation competition
Brian Kimetto, Fiona Githunguri, James Ngotho and Ikram Ali, students at the Strathmore Law School, recently participated in the 2nd International Youth Mediation Moot that took place in Hong Kong.
The group learnt about the moot through the graduate class that participated in the same moot the previous year. They were the only team from the continent of Africa that participated in the competition. The students had varied interests in participating in the moot.
Ikram: I was interested in adding practice to the theory I got from class following the emergence of Mediation as an alternative dispute resolution in Kenyan justice system.
Fiona: I have never participated in a moot competition before so it was a good opportunity for me to get the kind of exposure and experience that one would get from participating in a moot.
Brian: Have been exposed to the mediation process during my Alternative Dispute Resolution class, I saw this as an opportunity to practice what I learnt in class. I also have a growing interest in the practice of Mediation so this competition enabled me to improve on my mediation skills.
James: I have a general interest in alternative forms of Dispute resolution. Having prior experience in Arbitration, I sought to expand my skills in Mediation. Moreover, it was a good opportunity for me to learn more about the process that may or may not have been touched on during our Alternative Dispute Resolution class
The competition ran for 6 days and it included a 2-day intensive training session prior to the competition to provide the participates with the basic knowledge surrounding the process as well as to give them tips and tricks that would be useful for the competition. The students learnt a lot from the various activities that were lined up for them during the competition.
Ikram: This moot gave me international exposure that enabled me to learn how mediation works on a larger scale, for example, with multi-billion dollar deals. Furthermore, the moot provided a training experience from some of the top mediators globally.
Fiona: I learnt about the other side of mediation which entailed the role of legal mediation representatives in the mediation process.
Brian: I learnt two things; Mediation is an emerging field in dispute resolution in different parts of the world, not just Kenya and contrary to my preconceptions, an advocate can be a useful contributor to the mediation process.
James: I learnt subtle aspects of the mediation process from experienced mediators that would not be found in any text or classroom setting.
The competition provided various awards based on the best mediator, best mediation counsel, most realistic client, the best mediation representation plan and the overall best team. Each team was required to provide a mediator, a mediation counsel, and a client.
The competition was stiff from the get go, but the well prepared and confident students from Strathmore quickly advanced to the final round. At the end of the day, the team emerged the 1st runners up. Brian Kimeto also bagged the best mediation counsel award. The students elaborated on their best moments during the trip.
Ikram: Experiencing Hong Kong and the Chinese culture was by far my best moment as well as the training session with the top international mediators and people from different countries.
Fiona: My best moment was singing ‘malaika’ with one of the judges, a renowned international mediation practitioner, who knew the words to ‘malaika’ better than James!
Brian: Of course winning! And the social aspect of the trip that enabled me to interact with different people from all over the world.
James: I enjoyed the international exposure, more so experiencing Hong Kong and its rich culture and diversity.
The group is currently in their final year of law school and has prospects of participating in the moot next year for the main prize.