NUS Law students bag dispute resolution wins

NUS Law students have done well in two recent dispute resolution competitions, showing that they are as capable outside the courtroom as they are within it.

2021 Lex Infinitum VI

For a third time, NUS Law secured top place in the Mediator category and clinched second place or better in the Negotiating Team Category at the 6th VMSCL-AIDR International Dispute Resolution Competition (Lex Infinitum VI).

The competition took place virtually amid COVID-19, over a week from 21 to 27 Feb. Sarfaroj Ahmed Malik emerged as champion in the Mediator category and the team of Ong Hui Wen and Kaezeel Yeo took first runners-up in the Negotiating Team category. This excellent performance was the result of nine intense rounds of mediation and negotiation against 35 other international teams from countries such as India, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The 2021 Lex Infinitum VI was organised by VM Salgaocar College of Law (VMSCL), India in collaboration with the Association for International Dispute Resolution (AIDR). Students globally had the opportunity to interact with experienced mediators, negotiators and were able to showcase their mediation and negotiation skills at this competition. 

The trio are from the NUS Law Collaborative Dispute Resolution Club and were coached by competition alumni Nikhil Angappan, Utsav Rakshit, and Samuel Wittberger and advised by Victoria Tay. Victoria and Nikhil were the champions of Lex Infinitum 2020. 

The team was touched by the dedication of their coaches and seniors in organising multiple training sessions and patience whenever they encountered problems.

Kaezeel pointed out that another valuable win was the friendship forged with teammates and coaches during countless brainstorming and late-night practice sessions. "Having Hui Wen negotiating alongside me taught me to trust in my partner and to be transparent with each other about how we can grow. After each round of the competition, we would write down the things we needed to improve and encourage each other to do better. The rapport we built up over time brought us through the competition."

Sarfaroj concluded, "Preparing for Lex Infinitum VI taught me that no man is an island. Having never done mediation, I could never have gone so far on my own without the guidance and support of my coaches and friends. I'm happy I could do justice to their efforts at the end of the competition."

NLIU INADR International Mediation Tournament 2021

In its ninth edition, the NLIU-INADR competition is Asia's oldest and most prestigious mediation tournament. Students from the NUS Law Collaborative Dispute Resolution Club were on top of their game at yet another dispute resolution competition. The Client and Counsel Team made up of Jolene Gina Abelarde, Joshua Lim Jing Kai and Edwin Chan emerged champions in the 9th National Law Institutional University and International Academy of Dispute Resolution (NLIU INADR) International Mediation Tournament which was held virtually from 10 to 14 Mar.

With a strong turnout of 42 skillful international teams such as India, Lithuania and the United States, the competition provided an opportunity for students to be a part of disputes akin to actual altercations witnessed by legal professionals. After five intense days, the team entered the Grand Finals to emerge as the winner after defeating Boston University.

The winning team recalled that the final negotiation problem had 10 pages full of numbers about how universities have dealt with COVID-19 restrictions, and they only had one hour for preparation. But their training had prepared them well, and they emerged victorious.

The team felt honoured to represent NUS Law on the international stage and relished the good learning experience and the privilege to mediate against teams from around the world. The team also extended their appreciation to their coaches for their invaluable advice.