For the 1st time in history, a team made up solely of women will represent Ethiopia in the final rounds of the Jessup International Law Moot Court competition, which begin this Sunday, March 31, in Washington, D.C.
Competing for Ethiopia will be 5 women, Adiam Zemenfes, Aklile Solomon, Liilnna Kifle, Maya Fresenay, Mintwab Afework, all of whom are students at the Addis Ababa University School of Law. They’re coached by a 6th woman, Blen Sahilu. The team is described in an ASIL Cable by New York Law School student Kienan D. Christianson, as follows:
‘These women are exceptional students and are ranked at the top of their class. Moreover, they are dedicated leaders and volunteers for the campaign ‘To End violence against Women’ known as the ‘Yellow Movement.'”
More than 500 law schools from 80 countries are expected to compete in this 54th annual competition. Its namesake, Philip C. Jessup (1896-1986), was a U.S. State Department diplomat, taught at Columbia Law, and served as a judge on the International Court of Justice (during which time he delivered the endowed Sibley Lecture at my own home institution, Georgia Law). It is that court, the ICJ, that student litigants address in this simulation contest. (credit for photo of winners’ trophy)
But there’s a hitch: The Jessup does not fund competitors, so the team has been fund-raising to assure its way to D.C. These women are still $4,000 short of their goal. If you’d like to support their efforts, please donate here, typing “Ethiopian Moot Court team” in the “on behalf of” box. I did.