ONU awarded grant for moot court event

ADA — Ohio Northern University’s Center for Democratic Governance and Rule of Law has been awarded a $2 million grant from the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs of the U.S. State Department to administer the Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition in Afghanistan for the next two years.

The Jessup Competition is the largest international moot court competition in the world with more than 550 law schools from 87 countries participating. Now in its 58th year, the competition is sponsored by the International Law Students Association as well as White and Case, an international law firm which hosts the International Rounds in Washington, D.C., every spring.

ONU will manage the Afghan competition, which will include 18 law schools throughout the country competing in the Afghan National Rounds in Kabul, Afghanistan, in early 2017. As part of the program, the winning Afghan teams will travel to ONU to continue to practice their advocacy skills before competing in the International Rounds in Washington, D.C.

Center Director Howard Fenton will provide overall supervision for the project, while Mara Smith will be the program administrator, traveling between ONU and Kabul several times a year. Smith, a graduate of Capital University Law School with a degree from Glasgow University Graduate School of Law, has a long history of involvement with the Jessup program. She has competed for both of her law schools, judged at the International Rounds and worked with Jessup teams at law schools in Colombia, Russia and Bosnia for several years.

The ONU Pettit College of Law has a history of participation in the Jessup Competition, with last year’s team advancing to the International Rounds out of the Midwest region.

This is the third grant the center has received from the State Department since last October. All told, the center has received more than $5.2 million in awards to support its mission of promoting democratic governance and the rule of law.



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