The African Union Law Research Network Inaugural Workshop

The African Union Law project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council held its inaugural workshop on the 30th of June, 2017 at the Conference Centre, University of Sussex. The AU Law project aims to harness the AU norms as a critical tool in the quest for solutions to problems peculiar to the African continent. The project is led by Dr Femi Amao of the Sussex Law School.

The workshop featured scholars and policy makers from the continent of Africa, the UK and Ireland with the expertise in relevant fields necessary to support the emerging AU Law and devise strategies for its propagation. The workshop which was held over two sessions was chaired by Dr. Kamala Dawar (from the University of Sussex) and Dr. Michelle Olivier (University of Hull). The workshop explored the history, scope and creation of the African Union law-including lessons from the EU and the Caribbean.

Key papers presented at the workshop include Dr Michelle Olivier (University of Hull) on ‘Conceptualizing AU Law’, Mr George Lipimile, Direcror and Chief Executive Officer-COMESA Competition Authority on the experiences of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, Prof Lindsay Stirton (University of Sussex) spoke on the Caribbean perspective and its lessons for AU law, Dr Adaeze Okoye (Canterbury Christ Church University) reflected on the question ‘Is the African Union best placed to advance cross-cutting gender rights harmonization of customary law?’ and Dr Ginee Pillay (University of Essex) spoke on ‘Private International law, Corporate Social Responsibility and AU Law’.

Other key papers presented include Dr Dayo Ayoade (University of Lagos, Nigeria) on ‘Corruption and African Union Law’, Dr Onyeka Osuji (University of Exeter) spoke on ‘ An Optimal Consumer Protection Regime for African Union?’ Dr Ben Adodo (University of Leicester) on ‘Uniform Code for International Interbank Electronic Transfer & AU Law’, Dr Emmanuel Oke (University of Edinburgh) on ‘The Statute of the Pan-African Intellectual Property Organization and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights’ and Dr Eghosa Ekhator (University of Chester) on ‘International Environmental Governance: A Case for Sub-Regional Judiciaries in Africa’

The workshop exhaustively explored the relevance of AU law, its importance, the need to research it and the various dimensions that it takes. In addition it shows how the emergent law could feed into policy and act as a driver for change. Presentations at the workshop will be published in an edited book in the near future. The follow up workshop will be held from the 7th December (from 1-5pm) to Friday 8th (9am -1pm) at the London School of Economics (Myddelton Room). The theme of the workshop is ‘The Implications of African Union Law’. Topics will cover Conceptual Analysis, Peace and Security, Citizenship, Environmental/Land law and Commercial law.

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