Tag Archive | "Sturm College of Law"

Photo Credit: The Himalayan Times

DU’s Foreign Direct Investment Moot Team Travels to Argentina To Compete

Photo Credit: The Himalayan Times

Photo Credit: The Himalayan Times

The Foreign Direct Investment (“FDI”) International Arbitration Moot competition this year was in Buenos Aires, Argentina at the stunning Facultad de Derecho at the Universidad de Buenos Aries. Four students from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law (“SCOL”) competed in this event as one team.

The FDI Moot competition was created in 2008 with a specific focus on investor-state disputes that “involve not only vast sums, but also a panoply of rights, duties, and shifting objectives at the juncture of national and international law and policy.” The FDI Moot is an arbitration for resolving a fictional international investor-state dispute. It is a complicated and intricate field of law—I assure you. Investor-state dispute settlement (“ISDS”) is fast becoming a widely-known mechanism (even in the public sphere, in light of the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement) for resolving disputes between a foreign investor and a sovereign state. In fact, ISDS is the theme of the upcoming Denver Journal of International Law and Policy volume 45.2.

The SCOL team began its journey in adjunct Professor Todd Well’s International Investment Arbitration course in Spring 2016. While waiting for the official problem to be released, the class scratched the surface of this interesting world of ISDS arising from Bilateral and Multilateral Treaty breaches. In the months following the official release of the problem in March 2016, the SCOL team was selected, and the real challenge began. First, the team had to organize research, topics, ideas, and concepts and create two Memorandums—one for the Claimant and one for the Respondent—in the fictional dispute between Peter Explosive, an arms producer, and the Republic of Oceania. The Memorandums were 16,000 words maximum, which we quickly learned required serious condensing skills. Then, the oral advocacy work began until October 27th, when the team left the U.S.A. to compete.

Three of the four SCOL team members attended the FDI Pre-Moot competition in Sao Paulo, Brazil from October 28th-30th, and all four attended the FDI competition in Buenos Aries, Argentina from November 3rd-6th. The Pre-Moot competition was held at the beautiful Headquarter Office of TozziniFreire Advogados. We were welcomed with both hospitality from TozziniFreire’s brilliant attorneys, and fierce competition from the learned opposing counsel. We met people from all over the world who participated in the Pre-Moot. We saw our new friends again in Buenos Aries for the Global Orals. In BA, 57 teams from 31 countries participated in this international competition. The Paris Bar School won at UBA, and Harvard Law School came in 2nd. The Universitas Gadjah Mada, Faculty of Law was the highest ranked (written & oral) team. As for team SCOL, we exceeded our expectations, surpassed personal goals, and met established practitioners and scholars in this growing field.

This short article cannot encompass every emotion, triumph, breakdown, and vast improvement that each team member felt at different points of this six-month-long effort. But, I can tell you this experience, which tested the limits of each team-member’s sanity, was well-worth it.

Ashley Lloyd is a 3l at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, and the Business Editor with DJILP. She participated in the Foreign Direct Investment International Arbitration Moot competition this year in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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L. Kate Campbell

Recent Sturm College of Law Grad Credits War Crimes Class for Once-in-a-Lifetime Internship

L. Kate Campbell

My name is Kate Campbell.  I am a recent grad of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and its International Legal Studies Program.  I’d love to take this opportunity to tell you about my current internship and how my participation in Professor David Akerson’s War Crimes Practicum led to this exciting opportunity.   On June 27, 2010, I began a six-month legal internship with the Registry branch of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (“SCSL”) in Freetown, Sierra Leone.  The SCSL was created to bring justice to victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity perpetrated in Sierra Leone in the last decade.  In March, the SCSL concluded its trial of Charles Taylor, the former President of Liberia, accused of organizing, planning, and sponsoring the atrocities in the region, and a judgment is expected in the next few months.  The Registry branch of the SCSL is responsible for supporting and coordinating all the various bodies of the court– Chambers, Prosecution and Defense – as well as for internal and external communications and victims’ assistance programs– work which continues to serve a critical role, even, and perhaps especially, during the judgment phase.  Additionally, the Registry is the body responsible for enacting legacy projects that communicate the work of the court to the people of Sierra Leone and preserve its story for posterity.

My current duties at the SCSL are twofold.  First, I assist the Registry in a general capacity.  In collaboration with the Registrar’s Legal Officer, I conduct legal research and analysis of issues relating to the functions of the Registry; review and draft internal policies and procedures; and contribute to the formulation of the Special Court’s completion strategy.  Second, I am introducing and training  members of the various court branches to a Casemap document created by DU SCOL Professor David Akerson and a team of University of Denver law students in the International Criminal Law Practicum, in hopes that various bodies of the court will soon be able to employ this valuable tool in their work.  Professor Akerson’s course – taught in the fall of 2010 and spring of 2011 – allowed students to engage in learning about international criminal law in an active manner via creation of an interactive database using CaseMap software.  Using the transcripts from the trial of Charles Taylor, former President of Liberia, accused of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sierra Leone, we analyzed and condensed the transcript data into pertinent facts, highlighting all critical information, including names, dates, locations, etc, and then hyperlinked this information to both other relevant facts and the transcript itself.   The goal of this process was to make over two years of testimony easily accessible and searchable, thus potentially assisting staff working on Taylor’s case, in addition to the myriad individuals inside the court and in the general public who would find this information either useful in their work or of interest in telling their own story.  Because the work for the course was based on a current trial, and was intended for delivery to the Special Court, students were challenged to grapple with complexities of international law and the international criminal trial process in a new way.

Following the close of the spring semester, Professor Akerson presented our database to a group of SCSL staff in Freetown.  In response, they offered me a chance to come to Freetown to make further the software
and train them to use it to better facilitate the work of various branches during the judgment phase and for future use in appeals, as a tool for research, and as a part of outreach and legacy projects.  Additionally, as the Registry organizes all outreach, using CaseMap, I will help devise and implement strategies for using this interactive software to provide clear information about the trial to victims, students, and the general public. Such outreach might manifest as a resource at the Peace Museum, a legacy project currently being enacted at the SCSL, or through various civil societyorganizations that are working to better inform and heal the victims of the atrocities in the region.

I am extremely excited about the opportunity to continue this work.  I will be based in Freetown, for approximately six months, with the possibility of some travel about the country, as well as to The Hague.  I came to DU’slaw school in order to make a career of assisting the marginalized and oppressed, and while I was there, I discovered the excellent work that was being done by the ad hoc tribunals to address human rights violations of tremendous magnitude.  I am delighted
that, in exchange for providing me with this opportunity, I will be able to share the Casemap software as a resource for the court to find better and more efficient paths to create justice and to communicate its work to victims and to the global community.  In this capacity, I hope to develop new ways to use Professor David Akerson’s work to enable innovations in both court procedure and practice and in victim outreach and education.

Originally posted in www.denverlawplan.com

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University of Denver Sturm College of Law