Commenting on the students’ know-how, Jim Lawrence, who acted as a judge in the semi-finals said: “I thought both teams were exceptional. It was clear that they reached this point in the Competition because they are very skilled. They’re ability to move forward and integrate the information that they had in such a short period of time is remarkable.”
Both universities are consistently strong competitors. Last year, Saint Joseph University of Beirut reached the second round and a University of New South Wales team won the 2016 edition of the Competition.
Reflecting on her team’s accomplishment, Saint Joseph University of Beirut team member, Rosy El-Kefrawi, said: “We are so happy to be going to the finals. The experience, all in all, has been amazing. The most important thing for our team was to take the feedback from the judges to heart with each session. Our goal is to work with each other and our coaches to evolve and advance. We are hoping for the best in the next round.”
Both teams are vying for the honour of being the Competition champion. As the race intensifies, long-time coach for the University of New South Wales, Rosemary Howell commended her team on its progress. She said: “It is an incredible opportunity to influence the next generation of mediators. All I can be is a catalyst in their lives and I am thrilled, as their catalyst, to have watched them turn into the most extraordinary team that I have ever seen.”
The Competition final is set to take place at a private venue in Paris, where the two teams will square off in front of a live audience of ICC Mediation Week participants.
“We are pleased to see the level of expertise among the students this year and how quickly each of the teams has developed over the course of the Competition. We look forward to witnessing the brilliance of both universities unfold in the final round,” said Alina Leoveanu, Manager of the International Centre of ADR.