Living up to those high expectations
Despite having to juggle academic studies and preparation for International Alternative Dispute Resolution Mooting Competition 2011, members of the winning team from City University (CityU) enjoyed the mooting experience from beginning to end.
'Prior to this competition, our team had already participated in two other moots,' says Tereza Gao Shang, a bachelor of laws (LLB) student in her third year of study at CityU. 'Our personalities are very compatible and we haven't experienced any problems while working together. Our preparation for the moot went smoothly.'
Gao and her teammate Karen Ngai Wing-nga, another third-year LLB student at CityU, felt nervous because the university was the host of the moot.
'We had high expectations of ourselves,' Gao says.
The initial research into the moot problem was challenging, Ngai says. 'I was responsible for the part on jurisdiction, which was new to me. I had never studied arbitration or mediation, and so I was learning about the issues as we prepared for the competition,' she says, adding that professional arbitrators and mediators have offered her and others a lot of guidance.
Gao and Ngai, who aspire to be barristers, believe the moot was an 'extraordinary learning experience' in alternative dispute resolution (ADR). And given the growing trend towards using ADR in Hong Kong, they say they will explore the opportunity of developing their careers in the field other than litigation.
Ashleigh Boyce, a member of the team from Australia's Murdoch University that came second in the final, says the moot helped her enhance and expand the scope of her legal skills.
'We have learned how to conduct research effectively and quickly and how to speak clearly in front of many people,' she says. 'It is the easiest way to learn all these skills within a short period of time.'
Boyce's teammate, Liam Nicholls, says he enjoyed competing in the moot better than doing examinations or assignments. 'Mooting is more rewarding for me because I know straight away [from the judges' feedback] whether we have done right or not,' he says.