Students from Strathmore University Law School in Kenya went head-to-head with Harvard University Law School students in a global moot competition - and won. This is a major first for the Kenyan team which has never even gotten to the finals before. Not only did they get to the finals, but they also beat Harvard. The team became the first-ever African team to win the John H. Jackson Moot Court on World Trade Organization (WTO) Law.
The Strathmore team was made up of two ladies and one gentleman, Mishael Wambua, Kandalla Maleehah, and Catherine Penda. The three first qualified among the 20 teams required to participate in the Final Oral Round, held in Geneva, Switzerland.
During the competition, participants are required to prepare and analyze a fictive case and present their arguments both for the Complainant and the Respondent in front of a panel which comprises of WTO and trade law experts. The competition usually starts in September of every year followed by regional rounds in Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa, and the Americas. Over 90 Law schools took part in this year's competition, with Strathmore Law ultimately winning.
An ecstatic dean of Strathmore Law tweeted, "Strathmore met Harvard in the final of the 17th John H. Jackson Moot Court on WTO Law in Geneva. It was the 1st time an African team made it to the finals. Strathmore Law won the Moot! Congrats great team! Kenya!"
There have been five previous African Regional Rounds, since 2014, four of which were hosted in South Africa. The fifth African Regional Round was hosted for the first time outside of South Africa by Strathmore University, Nairobi, Kenya from 24-29th April 2018. The Kenya School of Law started participating in this competition in 2016 at which it emerged third overall, in the continent. In 2017 and 2018, the Kenya School of Law beat about 20 African Teams to win the rights to represent the African Continent at the global round hosted at the Graduate Institute in Geneva, Switzerland.
Twenty teams from the entire continent and trade law scholars converged at the Kenya School of Law from 23 April 2019 to 27 April 2019 for the Regional Round. The competition attracted local sponsorship from law firms such as Robson and Harris Advocates, Kioko Kilukumi and Company Advocates, Coulson and Harney Advocates, National Council for Law Reporting, Prof. PLO Lumumba (former Director/CEO, Kenya School of Law) and Ms. Annah Konuche (Assistant Director, Advocates Training Programme, Kenya School of Law).
This is definitely one for the history books.
Header Image Credit: The Standard