“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.