NIGERIAN-born professor of public international law at the University of Oxford Dapo Akande has been jointly nominated by the UK and Nigeria as their candidate to serve on the International Law Commission for the 2023 to 2027 tenure.
Professor Akande has made history by becoming the first candidate running for an international office ever to be jointly nominated by the UK and Nigeria. This endorsement of his candidacy by both countries is as a result of his experience, expertise and commitment to upholding the highest standards in international law.
A world-renowned expert in public international law, as both an academic and independent practitioner, Professor Akande has more than 25 years legal experience. Raised in Ibadan, Oyo State, he qualified as a lawyer from the Nigerian Law School after receiving his LLB at Obafemi Awolowo University and is currently a professor of public international law at the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford.
Professor Akande began his legal career as a research assistant to Judge Bola Ajibola, and is an editorial board member for the Nigerian Yearbook of International Law. As counsel or adviser, Professor Akande has worked on international litigation before the International Court of Justice, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, the World Trade Organisation, the International Criminal Court and the European Court of Human Rights, as well as on cases involving public international law in domestic courts.
He has also served as a consultant to international organisations, including the United Nations, the African Union, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the International Criminal Court, the Food and Agriculture Organisation and the Commonwealth Secretariat. In addition, he has represented Nigeria before the International Court of Justice, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and at Arbitral Tribunals.
Furthermore, he has also provided training to the federal director of public prosecution and the Nigerian Army on strengthening justice and accountability in Nigeria and capacity building for prosecutors to address the most serious and complex crimes. UK foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, noted Professor Akande’s professional accomplishments and breadth of experience in a statement endorsing him.
Mr Raab said: “The United Kingdom is pleased to nominate Professor Dapo Akande as our candidate for the International Law Commission for the period 2023-2027. The UK has always been a strong supporter of the International Law Commission and is proud of the contribution that British international lawyers have made to its work and I believe that Professor Akande is perfectly positioned to strengthen this contribution yet further.”
Catriona Laing, the British high commissioner to Nigeria added: “I am delighted that the UK government and the government of Nigeria will be co-nominating Professor Dapo Akande for the International Law Commission election in November 2021. This joint support by both our countries for an eminently qualified legal scholar reflects the strong people-to-people ties between the UK and Nigeria.”