Milestone: Nigeria makes it to the world round of John H. Jackson Moot Court Competition – for the first time

Nigeria pioneer university, the University of Ibadan (UI) has again excelled as it qualified for the final-world round of John H. Jackson Moot Court Competition. This came by after it won at the African regional round that took place from 23rd to 28th of March, 2021.

As described in its LinkedIn account, “the John H. Jackson Moot Court is San international competition with rounds of five continents, gathering students from the center glove to practice World Trade Law in from of a panel of experts”.

Interviewing Mr. Faith Oyewale, an Associate Attorney at ÆLEX and whose practice covers Dispute Resolution and International Trade & Investment Law, he further explained the concept and details of this competition.

He said: “The Competition is a simulated hearing of the WTO dispute settlement system. The competition is organized in a way where the teams prepare and analyse a fictive case and present their arguments both for the Complainant and the Respondent in front of a Panel which consists of WTO and trade law experts.

“The competition is structured into Regional and World rounds. Regional Rounds are usually composed of 6 elimination rounds, which take place all over the world: an All-American Round, two Asia-Pacific Rounds, two European Rounds, and an African Round.

“The best teams from all over the world will be qualified to participate in the Final Oral Round, which usually takes place in Geneva, Switzerland.”

Speaking on behalf of his team, Olulewa Oluwagbemi, who represented UI in the African Regional Rounds alongside Ridwaan Adeniyi, Victory Ekanem, and Ayo-Salako Faithful also said this annual competition to be centered around “World Trade Law, the scope, treaties, and real-life applications,” while he narrated the experiences they had.

“I am currently studying Law at the University of Ibadan alongside my teammates. We are all in our penultimate year, save Victory Ekanem who is in her third year,” he commenced.

“We got to know about it through International Law Students Association, chapter of our university, we tried out and our team was picked for the competition.

“We recently participated in the African Rounds and faced off against scholars across Africa. We emerged one of the winners which automatically puts us in the World Rounds in Geneva, Switzerland,” he mentioned.

Oluwagbemi highlighted how a lot went into the competition, from funds sourcing to researches to drafting of briefs. “It took a lot of teamwork, consistency, and understanding to get here,” he noted.

Ridwaan Adeniyi mentioned not knowing exactly, the schools that participated as “the organizers adopted a non-disclosure method”. Participants were only identified by team numbers. He however was sure of the teams that his own team faced to have been “students from Rhodes University, Kenyatta University School of Law and the University of Witwatersrand.

The management of the University of Ibadan had been key in the process of the competition. The candidates attested to the management being the reason for the waiver that they got on the competition fee.

“Much respect to the Dean of our faculty, Prof. Simisola Akintola, and the Dean of Student Affairs, Prof. A. Abiona. They are still actively involved in getting us to the world rounds,” Olugbemi said.

The team has advised Nigerians to exit comfort zones as opportunities abound outside.

“Nigerians, our message is simply that we are much more than what we have been given. I look at my teammates and see the growth and development we have been through by simply building on what we have learnt in and outside the classroom. Also, try to put yourself out there. There are numerous opportunities to tap into,” Olulewa Oluwagbemi said on behalf of the team.

The Vent Republic learnt that the African regional round, which took place virtually is still going on in some regions. Regardless, the world round competition is set to take place between 23rd and,27th of June, 2021 in Geneva Switzerland. As of the time of filing this report, it has not been announced that the competition will also be virtual.

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