Skip to Content
Humanity's lawyer

Humanity's lawyer

Professor Charles Jalloh represents Africa at the United Nations International Law Commission, where he makes sure his students have a front row seat.

March 1, 2022 at 9:00am

Charles Jalloh is serving his second five-year term as the representative for Africa at the United Nations International Law Commission and complements his teaching in the classroom with several weeks annually in Geneva. He has labored over issues related to holding war criminals to account and understanding the role of sea level rise in creating displaced populations.

The Sierra Leone native has contributed to cases concerning genocide at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and his recent book, “The Legal Legacy of the Special Court for Sierra Leone” (Cambridge, 2020), documents the impact of trials in the Hague that followed the brutal, decade-long “blood diamonds” civil wars that erupted in seven African countries.

Several years ago, Jalloh combined his professional expertise with his passion as an educator to establish an internship program that puts FIU law students front and center at the International Law Commission headquarters. There they assist top lawyers from around the globe and observe first-hand the rigorous methods of the commission’s drafting committee as it prepares and amends documents for adoption.

“I get to be at the table with the leading international lawyers of our time. We work on texts that aim to assist states in coming up with common rules that, if taken forward, enable them to function in a more peaceful way instead of going to war with each other.”