Analysis

The Analysis Section of Afronomicslaw.org publishes two types of content on issues of international economic law and public international law, and related subject matter, relating to Africa and the Global South. First, individual blog submissions which readers are encouraged to submit for consideration. Second, feature symposia, on discrete themes and book reviews that fall within the scope of the subject matter focus of Afronomicslaw.org. 

Conflict of Laws and Intra-African Commercial Disputes: To What Extent Does (Lack of) A Harmonized Pan-African Conflict of Laws Regime Support the AfCFTA Liberalization Agenda?

In addition to the pan-African convention, given the non-litigious nature of African countries, as hereinbefore stated, the jurisdiction of the AfCFTA DSM should be expanded to include private actors. The reality on the ground is that the state orchestrated bureaucratic diplomatic protection may not be a feasible option for a private party whose financial interests are at stake and need to be urgently resolved. Elsewhere, there have been calls for the establishment of an African Commercial Court as a one-stop court for the enforcement or annulment of the final award. However, it is my belief that just like calls for the establishment of a separate African Court of Justice led to, instead, the merger of the African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) and the African Court of Justice due to inter alia politics and finances, it would equally not be financially viable for the African Union to administer two courts, that is the African Commercial Court and the ACHPR. Alternatively, it may be financially sound to create a commercial division within the ACHPR or the African Court of Justice and Human and Peoples’ Rights as the case may be, to deal with commercial disputes that have commercial conflict of laws dimensions. The implication of this is that the AfCFTA DSM will still be active but only available to State Parties, whereas private actors whose home countries have made the Article 34(6) of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights declaration can opt for the ACHPR DSM. This may act as an incentive and mount pressure on State Parties to fasten the amendment procedure of the AfCFTA DSM to expand its jurisdiction to accommodate private actors. This will give private actors an opportunity to be a major part of the dispute resolution process thus deeper economic integration. Either way, the AfCFTA liberalization agenda is achieved.

A Panoramic Definition of Piracy under the SPOMO Act: Matters Arising

This paper has shown that having a comprehensive definition of piracy, as exemplified by the SPOMO Act, is significant in curbing piracy because piracy is a complex crime that requires a fluid definition. Thus, piracy definition must be adjustable to the specific nature of different areas of law. Due to the commercial nature of piracy in Nigeria, an expansive definition of the crime becomes necessary. However, the paper observed that having a comprehensive definition of piracy without a specialised maritime court and regular training programmes for judges may not culminate in piracy suppression. This means that despite covering the field in terms of violent attacks on the high seas and in the territorial waters of Nigeria, the SPOMO Act may not be properly interpreted and applied in cases. The paper, therefore, suggested the creation of a specialised maritime court and regular training of judges to navigate the complexities of piracy cases in Nigeria. This will promote sustainable adherence to international law regime for suppressing piracy in Nigeria. Also, it will create a conducive environment to coordinate antipiracy programmes and measures among the Gulf of Guinea countries since Nigeria is the only county in the region that has domesticated the LOSC Convention.

Using Law Clinic as a Means to Teach and Disseminate International Humanitarian Law in Nigerian Universities

This article is an experience-based article that the writer, a supervisor of Baze University IHL Clinic, seeks to show how the activities in an IHL clinic could be used to teach IHL within the African context. This article will emphasis the pedagogy of teaching IHL through clinical legal education. It will attempt to show how activities of the clinic have helped to achieve not only the objectives of the clinic but shows how there can be a paradigm shift of the seemingly abstract notion of IHL to the practical and applicable manner students can perceive and appreciate IHL.

Insecurity in Nigeria – Whither International Law?

Nigeria continues to play a leadership role in its engagement with international law at the global, continental and regional levels. Having ratified and acceded to numerous international law treaties and instruments, and further domesticating many of them, the question to be asked is whether these instruments continue to have any tangible impact on the development of law in Nigeria? The purpose of this short commentary is not to rehash what has already been written but as indicated already, to comment on the current impact of international law on the Nigerian state and legal system. Against the backdrop of the ongoing war on terrorism, this contribution intends to assess if international law, and the principles emanating therefrom, are of any relevance in the current state of insecurity in Nigeria.

Investment Governance in Africa to Support Climate Resilience and Decarbonization

African nations have only marginally contributed to global warming relative to developed and emerging economies in the Americas, Asia, and Europe. However, the African continent will bear a disproportionate burden of the negative impacts of climate change. Climate-related challenges like flooding, drought, and intense heat waves will increasingly confront the continent at a worsening rate. African nations should not be expected to take the lead in addressing a climate emergency they did not create. The priority for Africa is to receive support and investment to build resilience and adapt to climate impacts.

Nigeria and International Financial Crime Regulation: Past, Present and the Future

This essay argues that a correlation exists between Africa’s colonial history and its money laundering occurrences. Yet the global standards adopted to combat this crime do not consider the country’s peculiarities, a catalyst for unintended consequences. This argument is presented in three parts. The first part centers its discussion on the impact of Nigeria’s colonial history on money laundering and the regulation thereof. The second part focuses on the compliance trajectory of Nigeria and argues that the absence of a truly global framework hinders proactive compliance. The final part postulates that Nigeria has differing options to sustain a robust fight against ML/TF and concludes that a suitable outcome warrants the alignment of internal realities with the global standards.

Transnational Litigation and Climate Change in Nigeria

The foregoing analysis is analogous to the Nigerian situation where transnational litigation has been utilised by a plethora of stakeholders including local communities, civil society organisations (CSOs) and victims of environmental injustice arising from the activities of oil MNCs in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. CSOs in Nigeria have adopted litigation as a deliberate strategy in influencing the activities of government and MNCs in the oil and gas sector.

Nigeria’s Role in Shaping Pan-African Ideals at the National, Sub-regional, Regional, Continental and Global Levels

In this brief writeup, I contemplate Nigeria’s role in shaping pan-African ideals at the national, sub-regional, regional, continental and global levels. I suggest that Nigeria’s role in shaping pan-Africanism is evident when viewed through the prism of its afro-centric foreign policy agenda as well as its domestic policy of reasonable accommodation of nationals of other African countries. I also suggest that Nigeria’s leadership role in Africa is one that comes naturally to it as the most populous country on the African continent and one of its largest economies.

Mitigating the Effects of Climate Change through Marine Renewable Energy Development in Nigeria: Law, Issues and Prospects

This blog focuses on the legal and institutional framework for Marine Renewable Energy development in Nigeria. The blog examines Nigeria’s MRE potentials and how their maximization will assist Nigeria meet her climate change mitigation obligation under international climate regime. It further examines the possible impacts of exploring MRE sources in Nigeria and how this venture may co-exist with already existing uses of the sea and natural oceanic environment so as not to entirely alter the bio-diversity of the marine environment. It also examines emerging issues with MRE development in Nigeria. Finally, it makes suggestions on how Nigeria can develop an MRE legal framework that can balance all the competing interests.

Pre-colonial Trade in Africa and International Law: Setting a Research Agenda

It is accepted that legal doctrine is a normative discipline, which is not only describing and systematising norms, but also predominantly a discipline which takes normative positions and makes choices among values and interests. Consequently, the quest to find “better law” by adopting certain interpretative or normative positions often leads to elements external to law and legal doctrine such as philosophy, morals, history, sociology, economy, and politics. Hence, looking for better law involves empirical research particularly as better, in the context of this post, refers to a historical and sociological perspective on the balancing of the Eurocentric make-up of international law. Thus, the teaching of precolonial African trade usages should be explicitly embedded into the public international law (and international trade law) curriculum in Nigerian universities. This has already been done in international relations programmes in some Nigerian universities.