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Sierra Leone Excels at the 65th Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition

The 65th Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition witnessed the participation of 150 teams from 85 countries, among which IMATT College represented Sierra Leone with exceptional prowess and dedication. The competition, organized by ILSA and held at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from March 30th to April 6th, 2024, is one of the most acclaimed and esteemed moot court competitions in the field of international law. Established in 1960 and named after Philip C. Jessup, a distinguished American jurist and diplomat, the competition offers law students a unique opportunity to sharpen their advocacy skills, deepen their comprehension of international legal principles, and engage in rigorous legal research and analysis.

International law is the foundation of our interconnected global community, shaping interactions between nations, individuals, and entities across borders. For law students, participating in the Jessup Competition is not merely an academic pursuit but an essential aspect of legal education, with profound implications for their future careers and the well-being of their respective countries. The competition fosters cultural exchange and networking opportunities, facilitating interactions among students and legal professionals from diverse backgrounds and jurisdictions.

Sierra Leone's participation in the Jessup Competition has been spearheaded by The Advocacy and Mooting Society, founded by Karina Gbakie since 2019. Gbakie, who serves as the National Administrator of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, has worked tirelessly alongside a dedicated team to elevate Sierra Leone's presence and performance in the global legal arena.

Despite encountering challenges along the way, Sierra Leone achieved a significant milestone in this year's competition. Team IMATT showcased their legal acumen and advocacy skills, securing an impressive ranking of 89 out of 150 teams. Notably, they emerged as the second-best among African teams, outshining universities from prominent legal hubs such as Lagos, Zambia, Lesotho, Egypt, and Zimbabwe.

The Advocacy and Mooting Society extends heartfelt appreciation to esteemed national judges Justice Jamesina King J.A, Brima Koroma ESQ, Ebunoluwa Tengbe ESQ, and Juella Noldred ESQ for their impartial and credible adjudication throughout the competition. Furthermore, the Society acknowledges the invaluable support received from the Government of Sierra Leone, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rokel Commercial Bank (SL) Limited, The Embassy of Sierra Leone Washington DC, The United States Embassy, Freetown, and Prestige Apparels. Their moral and financial backing played a crucial role in empowering the participants from Sierra Leone to excel on an international platform.

While in Washington DC, Karina Gbakie, the founder of the Advocacy and Mooting Society, took proactive steps to foster connections with influential organizations. Notably, through Raymond Muhekyi, she established contact with the World Bank Group, paving the way for potential opportunities for Sierra Leonean law students. The delegation from Sierra Leone was graciously welcomed, and discussions with the Deputy General Legal Counsel hinted at the possibility of hosting Sierra Leonean law students yearly. This promising prospect opens new avenues for collaboration and knowledge exchange, further enriching the legal landscape of Sierra Leone.

The team also paid a courtesy visit to the Sierra Leone Ambassador to the United States at the Embassy in Washington DC.

The visit provided a platform for the students to meet and interact with the Ambassador and his staff.

The Ambassador commended the students' efforts and admonished them to continue to raise the flag of the nation higher.

As IMATT College basks in the glow of its achievements, Sierra Leone's legal luminaries continue their journey toward legal excellence. With unwavering determination and steadfast support, they are poised to leave an indelible mark on the global stage, embodying the spirit of resilience and excellence.


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