Past Seminars

Immunities of Heads of States & the International Criminal Court

Presented by: Professor Dapo Akande, Professor of Public International Law, University of Oxford

Monday October 28th, 12:30pm – 2:00pm
Osgoode Hall Law School, Room 1004

This talk will consider the recent decision by the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court, in the case against former Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir, that heads of states and other senior state officials are not immune, under customary international law, from the jurisdiction of international tribunals. It will be argued that the finding is not only wrong as a matter of law but failed to properly understand the legal basis on which the Court exercises its criminal jurisdiction. There was a clearer and more persuasive basis on which to hold that the former President Bashir was not immune from arrest and surrender to the Court. The talk will explore the implications of the ICC’s ruling for the Court as an international institution.

Dapo Akande

Dapo Akande is a Fellow at Exeter College and co-director of the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict (ELAC). Before moving to the Blavatnik School, he was Professor of Public International Law at Oxford Law Faculty and was, from 2012 to 2017, co-director of the Oxford Martin Programme on Human Rights for Future Generations. He has held visiting professorships at Yale Law School, the University of Miami School of Law and the Catolica Global Law School, Lisbon. He was the 2015 Sir Ninian Stephen Visiting Scholar at the University of Melbourne Law School’s Asia-Pacific Centre for Military Law. Before taking up his position in Oxford in 2004, he held positions at the University of Nottingham and the University of Durham, and from 1994 to 1998, he taught part-time at the London School of Economics and at Christ’s and Wolfson Colleges, Cambridge

Dapo Okande – Event Poster


On the need for Intellectual Property Rights in ECOWAS

Presented by: Juliet Ogbodo, School of Law, University of Eastern Finland

Thursday October 31st, 3:30pm – 5:00pm
Osgoode Hall Law School, Room 2028

In the present digital economy era, the nexus between trade and intellectual property rights (IPR) is undeniably stronger. IPR have become an imperative part of bilateral and multilateral trade negotiations. Thus, the new generation of trade agreements all make provisions for the protection of IPR. In the global south countries, however, specifically, in West African countries, the struggle to negotiate implementable and beneficial IPR terms in trade negotiations is apparent. The contributory factors to this struggle, besides the lack of capacity, include the failed legal transplantation of IP laws into West Africa during the colonisation period. This research thus examines the limiting factors that exist for West African countries in negotiating IP terms contained in trade agreements. It questions the existing IP legal frameworks in West Africa and argues that the de-colonisation of IP laws in these countries, followed by a tailored IP framework, regulated on the regional level in ECOWAS, has the potential of equipping West African countries to negotiate practical IP terms in future trade negotiations. 

Juliet Ogbodo is an early stage researcher at the School of Law, University of Eastern Finland. Her doctoral research focuses on the nexus between intellectual property rights and trade, specifically in the West African region. Juliet holds a master’s degree in International Economic Law from the University of Eastern Finland. Her research interests include regionalism approaches in West Africa, legal transplants, EU law, and the ECOWAS Free Movement of Goods provisions.

Julie Ogbodo – Event Poster


Migrant Rights in Transit

Presented by: Professor Jaya Ramji-Nogales, Beasley School of Law, Temple University

Wednesday January 22, 12:30pm – 2:00pm
Osgoode Hall Law School, Room 1004

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The talk will critically examine contemporary international legal regimes that touch on migrants and migration, and explain the ways in which these legal frameworks fall short of providing important fundamental rights for migrants from the Global South. It will argue that these shortcomings should not come as a surprise given that international law is drafted and enforced by sovereigns, largely from migrant-receiving states in the Global North, interested primarily in guarding their territorial borders. The talk will examine the harms faced by undocumented migrants from the Global South in transit through other states in the Global South, and discuss how and why international law could play a role in ensuring safe transit for all of these migrants, including those fleeing various types of harm as well as those seeking economic opportunity.

Jaya Ramji-Nogales is Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and the I. Herman Stern Research Professor at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law. Her current work seeks to generate conversations around the concept of global migration law, including a symposium in the AMERICAN JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW UNBOUND. Prof. Ramji-Nogales’ current works examine refugee law under the Trump administration, the first a comparative look, with co-author Tally Kritzman-Amir, at nationality bans in Israel and the United States, and the second an evaluation of refugee rhetoric in the United States since the Refugee Act of 1980. Her recent publications uncover the role of international law in constructing migration emergencies and critique human rights law as insufficiently attentive to the interests of undocumented migrants. Prof. Ramji-Nogales has also authored articles on the situation of forced migrants under international criminal law and international humanitarian law, as well as on regional migration law in Southeast Asia.

Jaya Ramji-Nogales – Event Poster


The Search for Energy Justice and Sustainable Development in the Global South

Presented by: Damilola S. Olawuyi, Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) College of Law

Wednesday Jan 29th, 12:30pm – 2:00pm
Osgoode Hall Law School, Room 1004

Despite the conceptualization and promotion of the energy justice paradigm globally, inequity in the distribution of the benefits and burdens of energy resources remains a major threat to sustainable development in the Global South. The need to address inadequate access to energy, or energy poverty, has been given renewed impetus by the United Nations’ Sustainable Energy for All and the associated Sustainable Development Goal 7 which encourage countries to develop projects and initiatives aimed at providing access to energy to the over 1 billion people who do not have access to reliable energy. The problem of climate change, as well as the quest for a ‘just’ energy transition also add new layers to the debate on energy justice. This presentation offers critical perspectives on the search for energy justice in the Global South. It examines the multi-dimensional and intersectional nature of designing responsive legal frameworks that can address rising energy poverty levels in the Global South.

Damilola S. Olawuyi is an associate professor of energy and environment law at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) College of Law, Doha, Qatar. He is also Chancellor’s Fellow and Director of the Institute for Oil, Gas, Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development (OGEES Institute), Afe Babalola University, Nigeria. A prolific and highly regarded scholar, Professor Olawuyi has practiced and taught energy law in Europe, North America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. He has served as a visiting professor at Columbia Law School, New York, China University of Political Science and Law and senior visiting research fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. He is currently a Herbert Smith Freehills visiting professor at Cambridge University. He was formerly an international energy lawyer at Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP where he served on the firm’s global committee on energy investments in Africa. He has delivered lectures on energy law in over 40 countries. Further information about his profile and publications can be found at:

Damilola S. Olawuyi – Event Poster