The International Academy of Dispute Reasolution’s 10th International Law School Competition concluded yesterday. The rounds happened Friday and Saturday with 34 teams coming to London from 23 schools, 8 countries and 4 continents! After three rounds the tabulation room began to work, while students, coaches and judges enjoyed lunch. There was, naturally, tension amongst the teams as they anxiously awaited word of who made it to the finals. The entire group would be slashed to the top 4 mediator teams and top 4 client/advocacy teams who would enter the final round. INADR’s own Fred Lane atempted to distract the students with his talents as a magician. The audience appreciated his mastery of magic and his humor.
Shortly thereafter, the four of us ( Judge Allan Goldberg, Retired Judge Ben Mackoff, Retired Judge Stephen Walter and myself) who were asked to judge the Finals were asked to leave the room so that we wouild not know which teams were to appear in our rooms.
The Final teams were as difficult to judge as one could imagine. The teams were flawless in all respects. The stress upon the judges, pales compared to that of the participants and their coaches, it was still present. Someone must “win,” but in the end we know they are all winners in the larger picture.
We completed and checked our ballots, turned them in and ran off to our respective hotels to change for the Awards banquet. While no one ( save one) knew the results, the cocktail hour eased tensions. As dinner began, the teams and individuals were duly honored and recognized.
I will not attempt here to completely recount the awards, but only mention memories that struck me from the evening.
— The outstanding success of a team from The Institute of Professional Legal Studies, in Belfast, Northern Ireland in its first year of participation, whose energy and emotion carried the night.
— The superb results in all categories from the Murdoch University School of Law, Perth, Australia.
— The great results turned in by teams from Loyola/Chicago; UC Hastings; Tulane; Norhteastern; Chapman and South Texas Law Schools.
— The great conversations over dinner with the Loras College undergraduate team.
As the awards ceremony concluded, the DJ appeared and the awards ceremony truned into an international collaboration and celebration to the tunes of JayZ; Cee-Lo Green; U-2; and a host of others.
I left as the Irish, Americans, Aussies, Brits and Germans were all dancing and singing along to everone’s international favorite — Bono. This was truly inspirational for me as I and friends and colleagues begin to explore a project that uses music in conflict transformation with young adults in high conflict areas around the world.
It was truly an honor to be part of this group dedicated to fostering an atmosphere of dispute resolution that is commtited to creating peaceful problem-solving discussions in an environment that encourages collaboration and cooperation.
“Music can change the world because it can change people.” – Bono
Official Tournament results can be obtained next week on INADR ‘s website (www.INADR.org) .