In recent times, the Anti-Corruption Commissioner, Francis Ben Kaifala informed staff of the Commission and the public that he will be embarking on a 9-month course at Harvard University in the US.
In a Facebook post, the commissioner described the course as a $100,000 scholarship package which President Bio has graciously approved.
Meanwhile, against the backdrop of his 9 month course, some critics earlier described his decision as one that raises intricate questions about how he intends to manage the dual responsibilities of being an ACC Commissioner and a student effectively. The complexities inherent in striking this equilibrium call for a more comprehensive explanation, not only for his team but also for the broader public, to ensure that the integrity of both roles remains intact.
The ACC Commissioner made a Facebook post today, 24th August on the rationale behind why he his doing LLM at Harvard University.
He states “Just before I left for studies at Harvard law School, a really close friend of mine asked “YOU ARE ALREADY ONE OF SIERRA LEONE’S MOST EDUCATED MEN, WHY ARE YOU GOING TO STUDY AGAIN?
I looked at him and smiled. I didn’t answer. He had a valid point. Here is why:
I had the LLB (Hons) degree from Fourah Bay College and Passed the Bar top of my class; and, in between, studied a bunch of law courses (winning awards in many) From Criminal Law, Torts to Civil procedure.
I hold an interdisciplinary LLM (Master of Laws) in Law and Economics jointly awarded by the School of Law and the School of Economics and Finance at Queen Mary, University of London. My Master’s thesis on Sovereign Debt Restructuring was graded “Distinction” for the Award. My areas of expertise cover Legal aspects of International Finance, International Economic Law, Private International Law, Regulation of Financial markets, Corporate Finance, Structured and Secured Finance, Banking Law, Central Banking and Regulation, International Financial Law, International Investment Law, International Trade Law, Climate Change and Energy, Term Loans and Syndicated Lending, Sovereign Finance and Public Debt Management, Sovereign Debt Restructuring, Project Finance, the Law of the World Trade Organization, International Financial Institutions (the IMF and World Bank), Arbitration and Mediation in International Trade and Investment Disputes (ICSID, UNCITRAL, etc.), Corporate Insolvency and Reorganization, Derivatives Contracts and Law, Competition and Antitrust Laws, Islamic Finance Law, Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Political and Constitutional Economics, Economic Analysis of Law, Behavioural Economics and Critical Thinking and Writing for Lawyers.
In addition, I am alumnus of the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship Program and hold the LL.M (Master of Laws) in Comparative Constitutional Law and International Human Rights from the University of Texas at Austin. This extensively covers Comparative Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, Labour, Equality and International Human Rights, Comparative Judicial Politics, Global Constitutionalism, Corruption in Africa, Constitutional Design, Constitutional Interpretation, Explorations in Global Constitutional Law and Politics and Human Rights Law in Africa.
In addition, I have some impressive list of fellowships and continued professional development specialties that cover extensive areas of leadership, political science, governance, anti-corruption, law, etc.
Why then Harvard (on a huge scholarship package)?
The answer is simple, all the above I did for myself – to become an EXTREMELY EDUCATED PROFESSIONAL LAWYER balanced AND VERSATILE in both Commercial/Civil Realm and Public Law Realm respectively.
Now what am I doing this LLM at Harvard Law School for? FOR SIERRA LEONE!
Here is why? Take a look at the courses I am now registered for and taking at the Harvard Law School (after an elaborate pocess involving me, AI (algorithms) and a Course Advisor) :
1. Global Anti-corruption Lab (Obvious why)
2. Public Problems, Advice, Strategy and Analysis (no need to explain
3. National Security Law (yes! All leaders need advise on this)
4. Global Governance (How states/international organizations/world corporations interrelate and rule the World)
5. Public International Law (One area that I needed to conquer at advanced level)
6. International Environmental Law (This is what the World is preoccupied with right now and Sierra leone can’t be left behind)
7.Legislation and Regulation (Obvious why – these hold everything together)
8.International Criminal Law (ICC needs a local expert in case!)
9. Processes of International Negotiation (Sierra Leone’s side of the Table needs a seasoned Negotiator)
10. Money and Empire (Money is used for global governance – understanding how that works is the beginning of our wisdom)
Why would I want to add all these to the elaborate specializations I had outlined earlier above that I already MASTER? The answer is simple:
I am an EXTREMELY EDUCATED LAWYER now. . .but I came to Harvard to become DANGEROUSLY EDUCATED. Why?
Under President Bio, Sierra Leone is paving a new path in the 21st Century. . .I want to be SIERRA LEONE’S MOST DANGEROUS LAWYER sitting on the other side of the negotiation table with the rest of the World!”