The African Edition of the 2023 Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court recently concluded on the 12th of May, and students from the Faculty of Law at the University of Calabar (UNICAL) from Nigeria emerged as winners after years of the regional win circulating in Southern Africa. The University of Pretoria from South Africa took second place. Thus, from 2 – 6 October 2023, UNICAL will represent Africa in a face-off with other regional champions in Baku, Azerbaijan, at the International Institute of Space Law (IISL) colloquium within the margins of the International Astronautical Congress.
UNICAL’s winning team consisted of three students: Musa Omma-Agbon Zaiki, Felix-Uche Richard Chikeziri, and Akpoiroro Victory Oghenekparobor. Each member contributed their unique expertise and dedication to the team’s success. Furthermore, they were guided by their coach and staff adviser, Mr Owoche Antai, who provided valuable support and guidance throughout their journey. Together, this talented group of students and their dedicated adviser played a crucial role in securing the victory for the University of Calabar in the competition.
In the world finals, the teams will be judged by the three members of the International Court of Justice. In addition to the primary awards, UNICAL was awarded as the team with the best memorials, while the best oralist came from the University of Pretoria.
The International Institute of Space Law organised the competition, which was hosted locally in South Africa by the Department of Trade and Industry and the South African Council for Space Affairs (SACSA) under the leadership of the regional coordinator.
The Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court competition serves as a platform for engagement for legal professionals and academics with the space sector through legal debates on matters of international space law. This year’s hypothetical case was based on laser activities and using anti-satellite weapons in outer space. In addition, the case is a simulation of a fictional dispute between countries before the ICJ, the judicial organ of the United Nations. This competition develops the space law curriculum in tertiary institutions and promotes the next generation of space lawyers.
- Click here for the unabridged version of the moot case.
- Click here for the one-page synopsis of the problem.