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Monday 11 September 2023


 By Abdullah Salaudeen 

Law students from the Olabisi Onabanjo University; Wuraola Okuneye, Oluwafunmilola Olubuse, and Alawode Afolabi represented the institution and Nigeria at the Nuremberg Moot Court Competition which took place at Nuremberg, Germany in July. 

Nuremberg International Moot Court Competition is an international competition held annually in Nuremberg, Germany where university teams from all over the world are invited to argue a fictitious case before the "International Criminal Court".  A moot court is a mock courtroom setting where law students participate in competitions, showcasing their skills in oral and written legal argumentation and presentations, representing both the prosecution and defense sides.

 The first phase of the competition requires participants to submit a motivation letter stating why they are interested in the competition, then the written phase where 125 teams are selected worldwide to write an argument on a fictitious case centered on international criminal law. The representatives of  Olabisi Onabanjo University got a remarkable score of 80% which qualified them  for the oral rounds as the only Nigerian university and one of the two African teams out of the 32 teams selected from 22 countries across the world. 

 Alawoade Afolabi, the lead representative said "We did not envision that we would qualify for the oral rounds. It started as a joke, but to the glory of God, we were happy to have qualified and to have also received funding". 

The competition has, among other things, opened the eyes of the participants and deepened their knowledge on world conflicts.  

As narrated by Afolabi,  “Participating in the competition has deepened my  grasp of International Criminal Law (ICL) and strengthened my commitment to the field.”  He added that, “his recent experience at the competition can now make him speak extensively from an ICL perspective on the ongoing conflicts in the Eastern and Northern regions of Nigeria, as well as other conflicts around the world.”

"I am now charged with gaining deeper exposure to ICL  jurisprudence and contributing to its growing jurisprudence, particularly in relation to the conflicts in Nigeria. I look forward to pursuing an LLM in ICL or Public International Law after my education at the Nigerian Law School". 

He also recounted the solid foundation of world-class education received at Olabisi Onabanjo University's Faculty of Law. The lecturers' insistence on citing authorities for every principle of law,  had prepared them well in advance. 

"We are trained to compete with our peers around the world. The regular assignments and classwork we received from our lecturers prepared us well in advance. God bless our lecturers in the Faculty of Law. They are all outstanding." 

“The challenges encountered  while drafting complex legal arguments, criminal responsibility for the defense memorandum could have discouraged many, but the team's resilience prevailed,” Afolabi told our correspondent. 

The team also noted that their success at the competition was as a result of teamwork amongst other things. 

"We had a tough time, the written phase clashed with our preparations for our exams and we almost gave up. But we are  resolute as a team and committed to doing our best".

 He also explained that their journey was punctuated by memorable moments,  from the exhilaration of qualification to presenting arguments before esteemed international criminal law experts. 

"I screamed at the top of my voice. I almost shed tears. It was a dream come true for me! Travelling abroad for the first time was a dream come true". 

Talking about what he learnt from the competition, he said, 

"Through my contribution to the growing jurisprudence of ICL, I aim to ensure that there is an end to impunity for parties involved in armed conflicts and that perpetrators of the most serious and gravest crimes of concern to the international community are investigated and duly charged". 

Afolabi also advised young law undergraduates struggling to balance academics and extracurricular activities to prioritise academics, seek mentorship, join meaningful associations, and believe in themselves. "Believe in God and always seek God's favour. With hard work and faith, I  believe anyone  will reach the pinnacle of their legal career. 

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