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Friday, 14 May 2021 - 1.00pm
Location: 
Online webinar

This lecture will be based on my recently edited book, The Performance of Africa's International Courts: Using Litigation for Political, Legal, and Social Change, (OUP, 2020). The central claim made in the book is that Africa’s international courts have important impacts that have so far been underemphasized or are entirely ignored in the scholarship on international courts. This book departs from approaches that measure the performance of Africa's international courts based on compliance with or effectiveness of their judgments. The book does so by putting the users of Africa’s international courts and their broader strategies at the center of the analysis. It adopts an-depth case study approach that focuses on how the litigation process in these courts is used by litigants to advance and promote their commitment to their ideals. It delves into the messy world of legal, social and political mobilization. It examines the choices made by activists, litigants, and opposition parties who bring cases before these international courts against those in control of dominant and authoritarian party regimes. In doing so, the book complements the attention to legal and doctrinal questions as well as the challenges of compliance with decisions of these courts that the first generation of scholarship on Africa’s international courts emphasized.

James T. Gathii is the Wing-Tat Lee Chair in International Law and Professor of Law at Loyola University Chicago School of Law since July 2012.  He is a graduate of the University of Nairobi, Kenya, and Harvard Law School. He sits on the board of editors of the American Journal of International Law, the Journal of African Law and the Journal of International Trade Law and Policy, among others. He is co-editor in Chief of the African Journal of International Economic Law. He was the Grotius Lecturer at the 2020 American Society of International Law Virtual Annual Meeting. His research and teaching interests are in Public International Law, International Trade Law, Third World Approaches to International Law, (TWAIL), Comparative Constitutional Law and Human Rights. Professor Gathii served an Independent Expert of the Working Group on Extractive Industries, Environment, and Human Rights Violations in Africa formed by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights between 2012 to 2020. He is also an expert member of the Working Group on Agricultural Land Investment Contracts of the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law, (UNIDRIOT), the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the International Fund for Agriculture (IFAD). He has sat as an arbitrator in two international commercial arbitrations hosted by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague. He is a founding member of the TWAIL network. He is an elected member of the International Academy of International Law. He has consulted for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, (OHCHR), and the Economic Commission for Africa, (ECA), among others. Professor Gathii is a founding Editor of Afronomicslaw.org, the blog on international economic law issues relating to Africa and Global South. His books include African Regional Trade Agreements as Legal Regimes (Cambridge University Press, 2011, Paperback 2013); War, Commerce and International Law (Oxford University Press, 2010); and The Contested Empowerment of Kenya’s Judiciary, 2010-2015: A Historical Institutional Analysis, (Sheria Publishing House, 2016). His latest edited book is The Performance of Africa’s International Courts: Using Litigation for Political, Legal, and Social Change, (Oxford University Press in 2020). In addition to his books, Professor Gathii has authored over 90 articles and book chapters.

 

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The Lauterpacht Centre Friday lecture series is kindly supported by Cambridge University Press

 

 

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