University of Juba

As previously mentioned in one of my earlier posts, the primary goal of IDLO’s South Sudan Team, of which I am a part, is to promote judicial capacity-building in the new nation. Presently, the College of Law, University of Juba, operates out of a single trailer. Imagine attending a law school that functions almost entirely out of a single room—library, classrooms, offices, etc., all on top of one another. The College of Law, even more nascent than its mother-institution, the University of Juba, only recently relocated with the rest of the departments from Khartoum to Juba, following independence. Subsequent to its relocation, only two of its full-time faculty moved with it—the others chose to remain behind in Khartoum. Currently, the college employs twelve full-time faculty members, one of whom is an assistant professor and three of whom are lecturers; the remaining seven are teaching assistants who possess only an LLB degree and no prior teaching experience. Given the newness of the nation, it is no surprise that there are no textbooks on substantive, South Sudanese law. Consequently, students rely heavily on regional or international textbooks that cover general aspects of law. In addition, with no computers available for student use, this academic resource gap cannot be filled by information available on the Internet.

Thus, part of IDLO's work in South Sudan currently involves the drafting and production of Criminal and Contract Law casebooks...both of which I will proof, edit, polish, and cite check, cover-to-cover, essentially completing the entire process of preparing a Law Review article for publication, except in the form of a textbook, and without the help and support of numerous and competent staff members. Thankfully, I have just under a month to accomplish this task, and ultimately it will be well worth the effort, knowing that at any given moment, a hundred South Sudanese law students are staring at the cover of a casebook trying to work out if my name pertains to a man or a woman.