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Fifty-four years old, Dr. Conteh who hails from Sierra Leone, was educated at King's College in London and Cambridge Universities. He obtained a Bachelor's Degree with honours in law and a Master's Degree from London University. In 1968, he won the Harold Porter Prize for Land Law at King's College. He went on to obtain the LL.B. Degree with honours and the Ph.D. Degree from Cambridge University. He is a member of Lincoln's Inn in London where he was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1970.

Dr. Conteh later taught law at both the University of Sierra Leone and the Sierra Law School for many years as well as practicing law in both his native Sierra Leone and The Gambia.

Dr. Conteh has also held several public offices in Sierra Leone: Minister of Foreign Affairs (1977-1984); Minister of Finance (1984-1985); Attorney-General and Minister of Justice (1987-1991) and First Vice-President and Minister of Rural Development (1991-1992). He was also for several years an elected Member of Parliament in the Legislature of Sierra Leone.

Dr. Conteh was a Senior Advisor to World Space Foundation in Washington, D. C., from 1997-1998, and a Senior Fellow at the International Center also in Washington since 1997.

Until his appointment as Chief Justice, Dr. Conteh was a Civil Affairs Officer with the United National Transitional Authority for East Timor (UNTAET), and was in charge of Judicial Affairs with responsibility for training lawyers and reconstituting the judiciary in East Timor.

Dr. Conteh is married and has several children.

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