In recent years, mediation has proven to be an effective alternative dispute resolution mechanism for startups and large businesses alike. It’s no secret that court proceedings are exhaustive and expensive, putting them out of the reach of startups and smaller corporations. In contrast, mediation brings both parties to the table with a mediator to find a solution. Yet, mediation remains an underdeveloped area of law in South Asia and Sri Lanka is no exception.
Recognising the benefits of mediation, The Moot Court Bench (MCB) is working towards increasing its awareness. Recently, it held a training programme for Sri Lankan law and business management students. Its goal was to give these students the knowledge of dispute resolution not offered in their courses of study. The programme consisted of 10 sessions where 39 students from Sri Lankan universities were trained in the basics of mediation.
At the conclusion of this training programme, the Moot Court Bench organized the first Sri Lanka Mediation National Rounds. The competition saw 8 teams participating with the support of their mentors and was attended by over 40 local and international mediators. In the end, APIIT Law School emerged as the winners and will participate at the International Chamber of Commerce Australia Asia Pacific Mediation Competition 2021. The runners up from The University of Colombo will participate in the Bucerius Law School mediation competition.
The Mediation National Rounds were made possible by the MCB’s Ecosystem Partner Hatch, and Knowledge Partners, Arteculate and Edwards Academy, USA. The MCB also partnered with CCC-ICLP as Institutional Partners, while Lex Infinitum joined the MCB Mediation Program as an Accelerating Partner.
In its inaugural year, the Moot Court Bench mediation programme saw the participation of several students alongside international and local mediators. This feat was largely enabled by utilizing an online platform like Zoom. Through technology, it was possible to bring expert mediators from across the world and pass on their knowledge of mediation to Sri Lankan students.