By KABS KANU:
Sierra Leone was handed a significant victory at the United Nations on Friday November 3rd, 2016 when one of her citizens, Legal scholar and luminary, Charles Chernoh Jalloh — a Professor of International Law at the Florida International University (FIU) College of Law in Miami, USA — was elected by the UN General Assembly, along with 34 other candidates from other countries, to serve a five-year term at the International Law Commission (ILC) from January 2017 to December 2021.
AMBASSADOR SUMAH ( RIGHT ) SHAKES HANDS WITH PROFESSOR JALLOH
The ILC was established by the General Assembly in 1947 under article 13 (1) (a) of the Charter of the United Nations to “initiate studies and make recommendations for the purpose of … encouraging the progressive development of international law and its codification”. This speaks loudly of how significant is the election of Professor Jalloh, who was elected along with eight other candidates from Africa; seven from Asia; four from East Europe; and seven from Latin American and Caribbean states.
Sierra Leone will be serving on the ILC for the second time after Judge Abdul G. Koroma did several years ago.
MR. JALLOH ( CENTRE ) AND COUNSELOR FAWUNDU ( LEFT ) AND SECOND SECRETARY SAIFU GEORGE ( RIGHT )
Professor Jalloh is also an FIU Top Scholar for 2015 and the Founding Director of the African Court Research Initiative, funded by the Open Society Foundation. In 2013-14, he was selected as the Buchanan Ingersol and Rooney Faculty Scholar while he taught International Law at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. He was also one of only three United States Branch- nominated members to the first ever Committee on Complementarity in International Criminal Law in the prestigious International Law Association in 2014, an organization for which he is Rapporteur.
THE STAFF OF THE SIERRA LEONE MISSION TO THE UN POSE WITH PROF. JALLOH , AFTER CONGRATULATING HIM DURING THE VICTORY CELEBRATION
Before Professor Jalloh joined academia, he distinguished himself in local and international legal practice. After he was called to the bar in Canada in 2004, he served as counsel in the Department of Justice and the Department of Foreign Affairs of International Trade; an Associate Legal Officer in the UN International Criminal Tribunal For Rwanda. He was also a Legal Advisor in the Special Court of Sierra Leone, based in Sierra Leone as well as in The Hague and he also served as a Visiting Professional in the International Criminal Court.
AMBASSADOR SUMAH ( RIGHT ) AND PROFESSOR JALLOH
According to Prof. Jalloh’s faculty page at FIU, “Professor Jalloh is the Founding Editor-in-Chief of the African Journal of Legal Studies and the African Journal of International Criminal Justice. His education includes degrees in Common and Civil Law from McGill University and a Master’s in International Human Rights Law, with distinction, from Oxford University, where he was also a Chevening Scholar and graduated in the top of his class. He holds a doctorate degree (Ph.D.) in law with a specialization in International Law from the Faculty of Law, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.”
FROM LEFT : AMBASSADOR SUMAH , PROF. JALLOH AND MR. PAUL MINAH, DEPUTY DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF THE FOREIGN MINISTRY
Though Professor Jalloh is well-qualified for the position, credit must also be given to the Permanent Mission of Sierra Leone to the United Nations, especially the two Elections Officers of the Mission — Counselor Franklyn Fawundu, lead campaign officer, (who thanked the PR and the two DPRs as well as the Head of Chancery whose full support provided the congenial political and administrative environment and necessary guidance to carry out the campaign) and 2nd Secretary Mr. Saifu George — who mounted an efficient diplomatic advocacy for Professor Jalloh among UN delegates and Permanent Missions.
Mr. Franklyn Brima Fawundu also thanked what he described as the auxiliary staff Madams Sherene Ranasinghe , Iris Max Macarthy and Fatmata Pemangbi and his colleagues Messrs Allan George and Lamin Khan for “Our hanging heads “, which , he said, went a long way to rejuvenate him whenever he faced obstacles. He also commended the staff at the Sierra Leone Permanent Mission to the African Union in Ethiopia, especially the Permanent Representative, Ambassador Osman Keh Kamara, for their coordination with the project.
The Head of Chancery/Minister Plenipotentiary, Mr. Alhusine M. Sesay, in thanking staff of the Mission for their collective inputs in the effective work that led to the victory, recognized the efforts of the former Permanent Representative, Ambassador Vandy C. Minah for his kind reception of the idea when Professor Jalloh first approached the Mission with his interest in the contest; the Foreign Minister Hon. Samura M. W. Kamara for his approval when Mr. Minah introduced the proposed candidature of Professor Jalloh at the Mission in New York and for personally winning the necessary presidential and cabinet approval. He also commended the present Permanent Representative, Ambassador Adikalie Foday Sumah, who he noted, paid keen attention to the process by seeking his (HoC) updates on progress of Professor Jalloh’s candidature.
Meanwhile, the Mission is appealing to qualified Sierra Leoneans at home and abroad to come forward and aspire for positions in various international organizations and to make their interests known either directly to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation or through the nearest Embassy or High Commission.