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.
So far, we have found that an uncritical Western perspective is favored in the teaching of international law in the region. In many cases, international law is generally presented as a single and objective law that must be applied uniformly in any part of the world and, therefore, leaving no place for regional contextualization or for questioning its premises. Likewise, it is widely preferred to teach it using a bibliography originated in the Global North, despite the substantive contributions of Latin American scholars in International Law and in the Humanities and Social Sciences. These contributions have been made invisible by the colonial past and globalization processes based on asymmetrical power-knowledge relationships.
In fulfilling this 'global' role, I highlight a growing propensity of sub-national governments to challenge the status quo. More importantly, I argue that as the intermestic nature of trade and investment norms are becoming more evident, the COVID-19 Pandemic offers us an opportunity to reflect on the changing role of sub-national governments as activists and sites of resistance against inequalities in international trade and investment rules.
Although developing countries are very eager to attract FDI through BITs, for most parts, they deliberately water down the environmental concerns. However, recently we have witnessed the incorporation of environmental standards and provisions in BITs. This ambitious effort however is usually frustrated by decisions of international arbitration tribunals.
By infusing international economic law curriculum both with doctrinal and policy-based critical analysis future African legal experts will not only understand what the rules of international economic law are but also be able to challenge the assumptions and biases of those rules that work to the determinate of their respective states. While encouraging black-letter law teaching it should also be a requirement for students to take non-doctrinal international economic law courses.