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On Friday, November 12, 2021, during elections held at the United Nations (U.N.) headquarters in New York, the U.N. General Assembly elected FIU Law Professor Charles C. Jalloh, the Fulbright-Lund Distinguished Chair in Public International Law (2018-2019) and a President’s Council Real Triumphs Faculty Awardee (2021), to a second term on the International Law Commission (ILC).

The ILC, comprised of 34 lawyers who serve as independent experts, is mandated to assist member states by initiating studies and making recommendations for the purpose of encouraging the progressive development of international law and its codification. The contributions of the ILC have been critical to the development of modern international law and helped to shape the peaceful conduct of international relations.

Professor Jalloh, who was elected to the ILC in 2016 for a first five-year term, was nominated in October 2021 for a second term by Sierra Leone for one of the African Group’s nine seats. He was endorsed by the African Union, the regional organization comprised of all 55 African States, and subsequently co-nominated by Chile, from the Group of Latin American States, and New Zealand, from the Western European and Others Group.

In a contested election, Professor Jalloh received the support of 169 U.N. member states out of 192 valid votes. He received the most votes of all the candidates nominated by states in the African Group and the second highest vote overall of all 48 candidates presented for election.

Dean Antony Page of the FIU College of Law observed, “Professor Jalloh’s re-election to the Commission with such overwhelming support is a testament to his important contributions and hard work during his first term on the Commission. I witnessed this firsthand in 2018, when the College of Law hosted the 70th anniversary symposium on the Commission’s historic contributions to the development of modern international law. We are very fortunate to have him at FIU Law. Professor Jalloh’s work demonstrates that our internationally minded faculty can make an impact not only locally and nationally, but also globally. We are tremendously proud of his continuing contributions to the development of international law, and are excited to follow his efforts on the Commission during his second term.”

Since his election in 2017, Professor Jalloh has been an active member of the ILC. He proposed two topics for the ILC’s Long-Term Work Program, “universal criminal jurisdiction” (70th session) and “subsidiary means for the determination of rules of international law” (72nd session). His commitment to the ILC has been recognized through election to leadership positions, including serving as the Chair of the ILC’s Drafting Committee, in 2018, and in 2019, as General Rapporteur.

“I am profoundly grateful to Sierra Leone for nominating me for re-election to the ILC, and to Chile and New Zealand for co-nominating me and the African Union for endorsing my candidacy,” said Professor Jalloh. “The confidence bestowed upon me by the U.N. member states in New York was humbling. I am, at the same time, immensely appreciative of the terrific Sierra Leonean diplomats in New York, who led the re-election bid, with the support of their wonderful colleagues in Geneva and Addis Ababa. Their hard work, with the support of the leadership in the Foreign Ministry in Freetown, was critical to the result. Together with my current and future ILC colleagues, and with the usual support of the Sixth (Legal) Committee, I am confident that the ILC can contribute to the role of the U.N. General Assembly in promoting international cooperation and encouraging the development of rules of international law.”

Besides collaborating with the FIU Law Review to host an international symposium celebrating the ILC’s work and initiating a special issue of the African Journal of International Criminal Justice on the 2019 ILC draft articles on prevention and punishment of crimes against humanity, FIU Law students have benefited directly from Professor Jalloh’s serving as a member of the ILC. He initiated an FIU International Law Internship and an International Law Commission’s Fellows program. Each year several FIU law students are selected for the program. They work with him and other ILC members as research assistants, thereby gaining exposure to critical global legal issues, some of which also bear local relevance. (For example, the ILC topic on sea level rise in relation to international law is particularly relevant to South Florida.) To date, ten FIU Law students have served as Fellows in Switzerland and viewed ILC’s operations firsthand at the U.N.’s European Office. Professor Jalloh and Dean Page are working with donors to expand the internships to include placements in international courts and international organizations.

“I wish to take this opportunity to express my deep appreciation for Dean Page, who has shown great interest and offered great support for the international work that I do at the U.N., as well as my excellent colleagues in the faculty and staff at the College of Law and in the F.I.U. central administration for their amazing support,” said Professor Jalloh.