Chief Justice, His Lordship Hon. Justice Desmond Babatunde Edwards has on the 30th March, 2023 disclosed at the United Nations Headquarters in New York that every Court would always be accused of being biased in favour of those who form it, but that presumption could be outlived if the Court personnel are dedicated to dispense justice in an independent, transparent and neutral manner.
The Hon. Chief Justice was addressing the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Working Group (WGIII) on the proposed establishment of a Multilateral Investment Court. He spoke about the criticisms against the Multilateral Investment Court, noting that “those criticisms are not new as every Court would always be accused of being biased.”
As the Keynote Speaker, the Hon. Chief Justice honoured the invitation of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Sierra Leone to the United Nations which is hosting a discussion on Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) reform and the proposed establishment of a Multilateral Investment Court (MIC). Chief Justice Edwards’ Keynote statement focuses on the “Future Relations between Domestic Courts and the Multilateral Investment Court.”
In his opening remarks, the Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone to the UN-Ambassador Alhaji Fanday Turay Esq. spoke about the relevance of the event, adding that it provides an opportunity for continuing engagement on the proposed Multilateral Investment Court.
Among the various speakers were Madam Anna Joubin-Bret, Secretary of UNCITRAL and Director, International Trade Law Division in the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs; Mr. Colin Brown, Head of Unit, Legal Aspects of Trade and Sustainable Development and Investment, European Commission, Directorate-General for Trade; Ambassador Dr. Michael Imran Kanu, Deputy Permanent Representative (Legal Affairs) of Sierra Leone to the UN; Dr. Martin Andrew Jarrett, Senior Research Fellow at Max Planck Institute; and Mr. Lauren Mandell, Special Counsel at WilmerHale and representative of United States Council for International Business.
The panel was moderated by Ms. Natalie Yu-Lin Morris-Sharma, Director at the Attorney-General’s Chambers of Singapore, and Rapporteur of UNCITRAL Working Group III.