Recently, the Year 12 Legal Studies students experienced an excellent hands on learning opportunity, partaking in a mock mediation session.
The session was coordinated by a final year law student, Johnathan Brohier from the University of Adelaide, who was most ably assisted by Margaret Castles, Senior Lecturer in law and also solicitors from the Central Legal Community Service. The goal of the workshop was to demonstrate the significant benefits to be gained by litigants participating in alternative dispute resolution (ADR).
With the guidance of the guest presenters, students worked through activities to improve their understanding of how best to resolve legal conflict. The first activity was one containing hypothetical money, where groups could choose to work together and arrive at an equal amount of money, or work apart and attempt to gain as much money as possible. This game showed the students how working together with one goal is more effective than working against each other. The second activity was to run through a life-like scenario of an alternative dispute resolution (a fencing dispute between neighbours).
Most groups were successful in reaching an agreement that was fair and satisfactory for both parties. Although it was a fictitious scenario, the mediators took the matter and the points of the two parties in the conflict seriously, even when things did get a bit heated and out of hand because the students were so enthusiastic about their role play! This role play demonstrated to us accurately, what occurs in mediation, as well as how a mediator engages as an independent third party to try and bring the conflict to a resolution.
This experience was eye-opening! The students thoroughly enjoyed being able to apply the theory they had learned in class to the activities they participated in.
Emily & Jacob
Year 12 Legal Studies Students
University Senior College