Sierra Leone Participates In 2019 International Law Fellowship and Uganda Philip C Jessup Moot National Rounds Competition

On 15th and 16th February 2019, Fourah Bay College participated in the 2019 Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court National Rounds competition held at the School of Law, Makerere University. The team’s participation in the National Rounds in Uganda was to help them prepare for the competition to be held from 31st of March to 6th April 2019.

The competition is a simulation of a fictional dispute between countries before the International Court of Justice, (ICJ) which is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations and settles legal disputes between member states and gives advisory opinions to authorized UN organs and specialized agencies. The questions before the Court this year principally concern State’s responsibility and the interrelated rules of attribution, rights of indigenous people, appropriation of traditional knowledge for commercial purposes, conservation and sustainable use of migratory species and the sharing of benefits derived thereof. 

Each participating team for the national and international rounds comprises of four members – two members for the Applicant and two members for the Respondent. However, due to lack of enough funds, only two team members, Gbantudu Kutubu and Mohamed Muctarr Bah participated in the Uganda qualifying rounds. The other members of the team, Robert Paine, Fatmata Kamara and Menisa Sesay, could not attend.

The team from Sierra Leone was registered on the 8th November 2018 and joined over 700 Law Schools around the globe who annually participate in the competition. This is the first time that Sierra Leone will participate in the international rounds.

The team’s participation in Uganda was coordinated by Karina Krayem, Team Adviser. Reports indicate that the team performed very well in its competition against South Sudan and won the votes of all three judges.

Administered by the International Law Students Association (ILSA), it is also the world’s oldest international law competition. The competition, which has also been described as the world’s most prestigious moot court competition, provides law students with an opportunity to develop their skills in advocacy and research, prepares them for court-room proceedings and further enhances their skills as future legal practitioners.

Celebrating its 60th anniversary, the Jessup Competition boasts an established record of producing many of today’s leading lawyers in the field of international law.

On their return, the team expressed profound appreciation to institutions and individuals who provided them with funding and other support, including but not limited to lawyers Umaru Napoleon Koroma and Basita Michael and Walton Ekundayo Gilpin, Managing Director of Rokel Commercial Bank.

The team remained thankful to its sponsors for their invaluable support and for providing them with the opportunity to showcase their advocacy skills and compete at international levels. They are looking forward to more financial assistance from law firms and lawyers interested in promoting legal education for their trip to Washington DC to participate in the international rounds.

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