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Laying down the law, in Paris

17 Feb 2017 01:11am IST
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17 Feb 2017 01:11am IST
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Students of V M Salgaocar College of Law, Miramar have crossed another epic milestone by representing the college at the 12th ICC International Negotiation Competition held in Paris where they were judged the second best team in the tournament. Café catches up with their negotiators Sidney Cardozo and Bernard Fernandes

“Every step closer to the final round was like a dream

for us. Our confidence and determination grew and

we made it till the final round. Our college mates were

thrilled; they were following our progress on Facebook

and Twitter. Despite the time difference, they were

constantly in touch, asking for updates and encouraging

us throughout the competition,” says Sidney, who’s still

coming to terms with the fact he and Bernard Fernandes

of VM Salgaocar College of Law have secured the title

of the second best team at the 12th edition of the

ICC International Negotiation Competition held from

February 3 to 8, 2017 in Paris, France.

Sidney Cardozo is a hotel management graduate but

his interest in law took him back to the classroom after

a 10-year gap. He and Bernard, who’s from Socorro, are

in their second year of law at V M Salgaocar College of

Law, Miramar. The selection for the representatives for

the college took place almost six months back. “Our

college has a thriving Alternative Dispute Resolution

(ADR) Board. To join the ADR Board, we need to prove

ourselves by undertaking mock mediations. Once the

professors are confident of our capabilities, we are

further trained for national and international events.

This particular spot was allotted to us by Dr B S Patil, the

director of the ADR Board, after consultation with the

principal,” the two inform.

The preparations began in October with the

registration process. “We were sent the problem drafts

in early November and that is when the real struggle

began. We spent a lot of time discussing the eight

problems, one by one. We also spoke to Prof Dr B S

Patil who gave us insights about how to mediate. We

got a lot of assistance from Jayant and Amit who were

participants in the CDRC moots held in Vienna in June

2016. We also did a few mock mediation sessions with

other members of the ADR Board, which proved to

be really beneficial,” explains Sidney. Bernard adds,

“We prepared for months. We learnt a lot from the

experts at Lex Infinitum, an international competition

that is organised annually by our college. We also took

feedback from judges during the competition and tried

to implement them into our strategy.”

The competition had a total of 65 universities from

around the world, of which, five were Indian colleges.

“It is always an honour to represent the country. It was

even more special for our college since Goa is a small

state and being one of the five colleges to be selected

is truly an achievement by itself,” says Sidney. All

universities participate with multiple teams and coaches

to save energy and mitigate the gruelling process, but

Sidney and Bernard went as a sole team. Rounds were

organised back to back, with little time to prepare.

As per pre-fixed fixtures, V M Salgaocar College of

Law met Jagiellonian University of Poland in the first

round. They then faced the tough teams of Georgetown

University from USA and Ottawa University, Canada.

Their next challenge was against Bucharest University

from Romania and American University of Beirut,

Lebanon. In the final round, Sidney and Bernard had to

face the College of Law and Business, Israel.

“The entire experience in Paris was mind blowing.

Our sessions were with different international teams,

with mediators and judges from the professions itself.

The rounds from 5-8 were even tougher since the side

and confidential information was given just a few hours

before the rounds begin. We spent sleepless nights

discussing the strategy. But we made an effort to remain

confident throughout the competition. Each time our

name was announced as a qualifying team, made us

more energetic; it was probably the adrenaline. During

the finals, we were being watched by 250 spectators

which made us a little conscious, but all in all, we had a

fun learning experience,” expresses Sidney with a great

sense of accomplishment.


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