I’m really proud of how this year’s students have really built those skills and professional qualities quickly.
Nine ANU international law students are in Japan to test their mooting skills and try winning back the title of best transnational arbitration and negotiation team in the Asia Pacific.
They’re among 22 students in Team Australia, which features law students from nine universities across Australia who will contest the Intercollegiate Negotiation Competition (INC), a competition Australia won in 2016 and finished runner-up last year.
“Team Australia is blessed with many alumni who return each year as mentors and coaches so that new teams can build upon the lessons of their predecessors,” says ANU Juris Doctor student and team co-coach, Tim Magarry, who mooted in 2017.
“My goal this year has been to share as much of that knowledge as I gained when I competed, so that this year's team enters stronger and more confident than before.”
The competition runs 1-2 December at Sophia University in Tokyo, with students arguing in both English and Japanese. Team Australia features three teams in English, while ANU student Yukino Kanazawa captains the Japanese-language team.
“The first day is an arbitration round, and the second day is a negotiation round,” Tim Magarry explains.
“The competition problem every year involves transnational commercial disputes and joint ventures. In this year's problem, the students must navigate an international sporting competition, somewhat akin to the Olympics, and the development of both elite athlete training and technology.”
“What I enjoy most about working with Team Australia is that, when students apply for a place on the team, they talk about ‘I’ but by the competition are only talking about ‘us’,” Professor Taylor says.
“More than anything, I think this competition requires teamwork, an ethic of care for each other and the ability to listen and to give – and take – performance feedback well.
“Those are professional skills for life. I’m really proud of how this year’s students have really built those skills and professional qualities quickly.”
Apart from 20 of Japan’s top law schools, the contest also features law students from Hong Kong, Singapore and Mongolia. In 2018, Team Australia is supported by funding from New Colombo Plan Scholarships in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and by mentoring contributions from lawyers at Ashurst, Baker & McKenzie, Colt Technology Services, Freshfields, and Herbert Smith Freehills.
It is an initiative of the Australian Network for Japanese Law (ANJeL) a consortium including ANU College of Law, University of Sydney Law School and Queensland University of Technology (QUT).