Dapo Akande, a Professor of Public International Law at the University of Oxford, has been nominated as the UK’s candidate for the International Law Commission for the period 2023-2017. The Nigeria-born Professor Akande will see his bid co-nominated by the Government of Nigeria, making him the first ever candidate to be nominated by both the United Kingdom and Nigeria. The warm endorsement of Mr Akande’s candidacy by both countries demonstrates the high value they place on the professor’s experience, expertise and commitment to upholding the highest standards in international law. It also demonstrates our shared confidence that he will bring those high standards to the ILC.
Mr Akande is a world renowned expert in Public International Law, as both an academic and independent practitioner who has more than 25 years of legal experience. Raised in Ibadan, Oyo State, he qualified as a lawyer from the Nigerian Law School, and received his LLB at Obafemi Awolowo University and is currently Professor of Public International Law at the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford. Mr Akande began his legal career as a Research Assistant to Judge Bola Ajibola, KBE SAN, and he is an Editorial Board Member for the Nigerian Yearbook of International Law.
As Counsel or Adviser, Mr 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.
Mr Akande has also served as a consultant to international organisations, including the United Nations (UN), the African Union, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the International Criminal Court, the Food and Agriculture Organisation, and the Commonwealth Secretariat.
During his career, Mr Akande has demonstrated a strong and longstanding commitment to promoting the highest standards in international law and also to strengthening the Nigerian legal system. He has represented Nigeria before the International Court of Justice, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and at Arbitral Tribunals. He 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 under Nigerian criminal law.
The UK Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, noted Mr Akande’s professional accomplishments and breadth of experience in a statement endorsing him:
“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. I believe that Professor Akande is perfectly positioned to strengthen this contribution yet further.”
The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, reiterated the UK’s support for Mr Akande’s bid for the ILC position:
“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. It also demonstrates our support to UK leadership in important international institutions, and to advancing the rule of law across the globe.
Mr Akande describes his vision for seeking the ILC position by saying:
“I am humbled to have been co-nominated by Nigeria for the International Law Commission, alongside the UK. This is a great honour as I was born, educated and started my legal journey in Nigeria. Throughout my career, I have been proud to represent Nigeria before international courts, and to help strengthen its legal system by providing training in international law to lawyers and government officials.
“It would be a privilege to be elected to the International Law Commission and I believe I can make a meaningful contribution to its work. My vision is clear: the codification and progressive development of international law can strengthen the rules on which international cooperation is based, and help promote a just and peaceful system of international relations.”
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