Monrovia — The Assistant Minister for Litigation at the Ministry of Justice, Cllr. Wesseh Alphonsus Wesseh will on this Friday, July 9, 2021, will be among 43 persons including lawyers, judges and other professionals from around the world to be awarded the LL.M., ("Legum Magister") degree in Transnational Crimes and Justice (Criminal Justice), by the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) based in Turin (Torino), Italy after more than eight months of studies.
The LL.M, in Transnational Crimes and Justice, is jointly offered with the University for Peace (UPEACE), based in Costa Rica. UNICRI was established in 1968 pursuant to Economic and Social Council Resolution 1086 of 1965 of the UN General Assembly, which urged an expansion of the United Nations' activities in crime prevention and criminal justice. The Institute is an autonomous institution of the United Nations and is governed by its Board of Trustees.
UNICRI is one of the world foremost centers for Criminal Justice and law Enforcement and its LL.M is designed for lawyers, judges, young professionals and university graduates wishing to specialize in the fields of Competitive Criminal laws, International Law, International humanitarian law, international criminal law, Public International law and procedure, international human rights law, international law dimensions of peace and conflicts, transnational crimes and an in-depth knowledge on the theoretical and practical aspects related to the investigation and adjudication of international atrocities crimes and human rights violations: overall comprehension of the functioning of international criminal Court(Rome Statute), special and hybrid courts and their legacy to national courts; familiarity with the principle of rule of law and thorough understanding of the interdisciplinary processes and mechanisms related to transitional justice and justice reform in post-conflict situations and countries in transitions; unique insights into the policies and tools of the United Nations, other international organizations as well as national bodies for the prevention, investigation, control and punishment of transnational organised crime and transnational crimes such as corruption, trafficking in persons, smuggling of migrants, environmental crime, terrorism, and cybercrime.
The LL.M in Transnational Crimes and Justice is offered in two phases. With phase one, a Distance Learning running from November-January, 2020/2021, while the Residential phase is held on the UN campus in Turin, Italy and runs from late January to late June 2021
However, because of the surge in Covid-19 in Italy and Europe, nearly all Universities in Italy and Europe conducted their studies by zooms, hence, with this policy by the Italian Government, UNICRI residential phase for academic 2020/2021 was conducted remotely on zooms or webinars running three to four hours on every weekday, from January 28 to June 26, 2021.
The graduation ceremonies will however be held in Turin after a significant decline in Covid infestation in Europe. The dress code for UNICRI graduation is a regular national dress or business suit, as gowns are not allowed.
Cllr. Wesseh, the first Liberian to have graduated from the institution since its establishment in 1968, is full of praise for his boss Cllr, Frank Musah Dean and the Solicitor General Cllr. Saymah Cephus for giving him the time required to attend classes daily in his office while carrying out his official functions. He told The Daily Observer that the study was very tedious whenever he took up assignments outside of Monrovia where the internet services were difficult to access at times, but thank God that he was able to continue the studies having almost dropped out of classes from the initial stages because of the intensity of the zoom studies while also attending to functions like attending courts regularly.