The case concerning the Alfurnan migrants.

Position:Fifty-Fourth Annual Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition - International Law in a Multipolar World


The 2013 compromis raised four primary issues: (1) state extinction and the elements of statehood; (2) the status and treatment of persons displaced across international borders because of environmental disasters; (3) the treatment of detainees; and (4) the enforcement of sovereign to sovereign loans.

Alfuma is a developing nation made up of two islands, Batri and Engili, located in the Bay of Singri. Alfuma was first settled by Finutafu, a developed state approximately 800 miles west. As of 2011, Alfuma's population was approximately 53,000. Among its population is a group of about 1,500 residents of Nullatree Cove, a small coastal village in Engili, who have lived apart from other citizens for many years because they reject urbanization and technological development.

Rutasia is a large developed state on the eastern side of the Bay of Singri, about 350 miles east of Alfurna. Rutasia is heavily reliant on the burning of fossil fuels and has been slow to reform its carbon emission behavior, having committed to a massive public works program in the mid-1990s. It is also a frequent lender to impoverished nations and a member of the Paris Club, an informal group of official creditor nations.

The climate of the Bay of Singri includes rain-bearing monsoons in summer, with strong cyclones and torrential rains in spring and fall. The Bay also experiences undersea earthquakes, generating tsunamis, which have devastated the coastal regions of the nations surrounding the Bay. Within the first decade of Alfuma's settlement, it was clear that the islands were in frequent danger of being swamped. Seawalls were erected around the islands, which were maintained by Finutafu before Alfuma became an independent nation. However, Alfuma's post-independence monitoring and maintenance of the seawalls was hampered by financial difficulties.

By 1990, the rate at which sea levels were rising had increased to such an extent that many parts of the islands were underwater even at low tide. Because of its financial difficulties, Alfuma sought grants and loans from various foreign governments to finance repairs. In 1992, Rutasia agreed to a "climate change loan" of USD 125 million, tied to the use of Rutasia's expertise and resources for a long-term climate change remediation project, the Alfuma Climate Change Remediation Project (ACCR Project). Disbursement of the funds was conditioned on their use to repair the seawalls and related damage, and to implement other remedies and preventative measures, and the funds were deposited into Alfuma's account at Rutasia's provincial bank. The loan required Alfuma to contract a Rutasian company to perform the construction and maintenance work on the seawalls, and Mainline Constructions Limited (MCL) was the only such Rutasian private-sector construction company capable of performing the work. The loan agreement also required that funds be deposited into an account that Alfuma's central bank, the Alfuma Reserve Bank (ARB), maintained in the Provincial Bank of Lando, one of Rutasia's provincial reserve banks.

In January 1999, the...

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