The United Kingdom has nominated a Nigerian-born professor of international law, Dapo Akande, as its candidate for the International Law Commission at the United Nations ahead of a UN election billed for November.
Professor Akande had his formative legal qualification in Nigeria and is presently an international law professor at the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford.
UK’s secretary of state for foreign, commonwealth and development affairs, Dominic Raab, said Mr Akande was picked because of his three decades of legal experience, making him “one of the finest legal scholars in the UK.”
“The United Kingdom is pleased to nominate Professor Dapo Akande as our candidate for the International Law Commission for the period 2023-2027. I believe that Professor Akande is perfectly positioned to strengthen this contribution yet further,” the foreign secretary said.
“With over twenty-five years of legal experience, Professor Akande is exceptionally well-qualified to serve as a member of the Commission. Not only is Professor Akande one of the finest legal scholars in the UK, he is also a world-renowned expert in public international law, as both an academic and independent practitioner.
“I strongly endorse the candidature of Professor Akande at the elections for the International Law Commission that will be held during the 76th session of the UN General Assembly in November 2021. I hope that UN members have the opportunity to meet and engage with him, virtually or in-person, over the coming months. In doing so, I am sure that you will recognise the tremendous expertise, energy and rigour that Professor Akande would bring to the work of the Commission,” Mr Raab concluded in his statement.
Mr Akande is expected to contest the position alongside nine other Western Europe nominees, eight of whom would hold the seats for the region. Nomination by member states is slated to end in June.
Aside from the eight nationals from Western Europe, eight of the 34 will be from African states; seven from Asia-Pacific countries; three nationals from Eastern Europe; six from Latin American and Caribbean states.
Professor Akande has acted 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.
As Counsel or Adviser, Professor Akande has also 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. In this work, he has represented both Governments and individual claimants.
Professor Akande has also provided training on international law to Governments across the world, demonstrating his commitment to promoting the highest standards in international law.
The International Law Commission was established in 1947 to initiate studies and make recommendations for the purpose of encouraging the progressive development of international law and its codification for the United Nations.
By Abel Ejikeme