Professional practice

Dapo Akande is a Professor of Public International Law at the University of Oxford. He joined Essex Court Chambers in December 2020 to develop his practice as adviser and advocate in public international law.

Professor Akande has acted as counsel, advocate, adviser or consultant in cases before the International Court of Justice, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, the European Court of Human Rights, international arbitral tribunals in mixed disputes, World Trade Organization and North American Free Trade Area Dispute Settlement panels. He has also acted as consultant/adviser in cases in national courts, including the UK Supreme Court.

He is one of the authors of Oppenheim’s International Law: The United Nations (2017, OUP), which was awarded the 2019 Certificate of Merit by the American Society of International Law. He is one of the editors of the Oxford Guide to International Humanitarian Law (2020, OUP); of Human Rights and 21st Century Challenges: Poverty, Conflict and the Environment (2020, OUP), and of Practitioners Guide to the Application of Human Rights Law in Armed Conflict (2016, OUP). He was a member of the International Advisory Panel for the American Law Institute’s project on the Restatement Fourth, The Foreign Relations Law of the United States (2018). He has acted as consultant, expert, or adviser on international law issues to United Nations bodies, the African Union Commission, the Commonwealth Secretariat, and the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). He was recently nominated by the UK for election to the United Nations International Law Commission.

 

Arbitration & related court applications
  • Enron Nigeria Power Holding Ltd (Cayman Islands) v Lagos State Government Nigeria; Power Holding Company of Nigerian & Federal Republic of Nigeria Case No. 14 417/EBS/VRO International Chamber of Commerce Arbitration in London: Expert, instructed by claimaints (2007)
  • Sandline v. Papua New Guinea Assistant to Professor Sir Elihu Lauterpacht CBE, QC, Counsel for the Sandline (1998).
Human rights & civil liberties
  • Counsel and advocate for the applicant in proceedings before the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights in Hanan v. Germany (Application No. 4871/16), a case dealing with the extraterritorial application of the Convention and its application in armed conflict (2019-20)
  • Adviser to applicants in a case before the European Court of Human Rights in Sydorenko v Ukraine and Russia (Application No. 60373/14); Obukhivskyy v Ukraine and Russia (Application No. 60400/14) ; Vakhovskyi v Ukraine and Russia (Application No. 71842/14), case dealing with the relationship between human rights law and international humanitarian law (2016)
  • International Law expert for Defence Counsel advising on termination of proceedings and exclusion of evidence where defendant is subject to torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment – The Prosecutor v. Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud (2020-date)
  • Adviser to Crown Prosecution Service in universal jurisdiction proceedings for torture, R v. Agnes Taylor, Crown Court, England (2018)
  • Adviser to Counsel team representing the UK Foreign Office in leading case about the application of the foreign act of state doctrine with respect to human rights claims – Belhaj v Straw, United Kingdom Supreme Court,  (2015)
  • Advised Counsel for General Pinochet (Clive Nicholls QC, James Cameron and others) on Head of State Immunity Issues with regard to extradition and prosecution for torture v. Evans, Metropolitan Stipendiary Magistrate & others ex parte Augusto Pinochet Ugarte (England: House of Lords, 1999).
  • Advised Government of Botswana on drafting of legislation to implement obligations under the Statute of the International Criminal Court (2010-2013)
  • He has provided Opinions on human rights and international criminal law issues to non-governmental organizations and international bodies.
  • He has sat on the advisory board of several international human rights organizations or initiatives, including:
  • Member, Africa Group for Justice and Accountability, 2016 – date
  • Member, World Economic Forum, Global Council on the Future of Human Rights, 2016-2018
  • Member, Advisory Board, Benjamin Ferencz International Justice Initiative, United States National Holocaust Museum, 2016-date
  • Member, Legal Advisory Board Protect Education in Insecurity (formerly Education Above All), 2010-13
  • Member, Advisory Board, International Centre for Transitional Justice, 2011-date
  • Member, Advisory Committee on Ratification and Implementation of the Statute of the International Criminal Court, International Bar Association, Human Rights Institute, 2006 – 2009
  • Member, Advisory Committee, Project on State Immunity and Accountability for Torture, Redress Trust (NGO that helps torture survivors, 2004-2005

He has provided training on human rights and international law (including international criminal law and international humanitarian law) to government officials and military personnel of various states.

Public international law

International Court of Justice – Counsel and Advocate

  • Armed Activities Case (Democratic Republic of Congo v. Uganda) Reparations Phase, Counsel and Advocate for Uganda, 2018-
  • Chagos Islands Advisory Opinion, Counsel and Advocate for Zambia, 2018

International Court of Justice – Assistant/Adviser to Counsel

  • Legality of the Use of Force case (Yugoslavia v. Belgium) ~ Assisted Mr. Daniel Bethlehem, Counsel for Belgium (2004)
  • Kasikili/Sedudu Island case (Botswana/Namibia) ~ Assisted Professor Sir Elihu Lauterpacht CBE, QC, Counsel for Namibia (1998)
  • Maritime Delimitation and Territorial Questions between Qatar and Bahrain ~ Assisted Professor Sir Elihu Lauterpacht CBE, QC, Counsel for Bahrain (1997-8)
  • Gabcíkovo‑Nagymaros Dam Project Case (Hungary/Slovakia) Assisted Professor Rosalyn Higgins QC, Counsel for Slovakia (1995)
  • Advisory Opinion on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons. Assisted Mr Daniel Bethlehem, Counsel for the United Kingdom (1995)
  • The East Timor Case (Portugal v. Australia). Assisted Professor Higgins QC, Counsel for Portugal, with the preparation of oral pleadings (1994)
  • Case concerning the Land and Maritime Boundary between Cameroon and Nigeria (Cameroon v. Nigeria). Provided research assistance to D.J. Freemans, the London firm of Solicitors representing Nigeria. (1994)

The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea

  • The M/T “San Padre Pio” Case (Switzerland v. Nigeria) No. 2, Counsel and Advocate for Nigeria (2019-date)
  • The M/T “San Padre Pio” Case (Switzerland v. Nigeria), (2019), Provisional Measures, Counsel and Advocate for Nigeria
  • The M/V Saiga (No. 2) Case (St. Vincent and the Grenadines v. Guinea) Assistant/Adviser to Dr. Richard Plender QC LLD, Counsel for St. Vincent and the Grenadines. (1998-99)

International Criminal Court

  • The Prosecutor v. Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud (international law expert for Defence Counsel) (2020-date)
  • Instructed to provide confidential advice the Office of the Prosecutor on possible international law arguments (2019)

Arbitral Tribunals

  • Enron Nigeria Power Holding Ltd (Cayman Islands) v Lagos State Government Nigeria; Power Holding Company of Nigerian & Federal Republic of Nigeria Case No. 14 417/EBS/VRO International Chamber of Commerce Arbitration in London: Expert, instructed by claimaints (2007)
  • Sandline v. Papua New Guinea Assistant to Professor Sir Elihu Lauterpacht CBE, QC, Counsel for the Sandline (1998).

European Court of Human Rights

  • Hanan v. Germany (Application No. 4871/16) (Grand Chamber), Counsel and Advocate for applicant (2019-20);
  • Sydorenko v Ukraine and Russia (Application No. 60373/14); Obukhivskyy v Ukraine and Russia (Application No. 60400/14) ; Vakhovskyi v Ukraine and Russia (Application No. 71842/14) adviser to the applicants (2016)

International Trade Tribunals

  • World Trade Organization Dispute Settlement Panels – Advice to an Asian State on a WTO Dispute (2020-date)
  • Assistant to Mr Daniel Bethlehem in cases before a North American Free Trade Agreement Panel and before a World Trade Organisation Dispute Settlement Panel (1996-97)

National Courts and Tribunals – England

  • The Queen (on the application of Campaign Against the Arms Trade) (Appellant) v Secretary of State for International Trade (Respondent) [2019] EWCA Civ 1020, (Court of Appeal) assisted (during pupillage) counsel representing the UK government;
  • R (on the application of Tony Michael Jimenez) v (1) First Tier Tax Tribunal & (2) HMRC [2019] EWCA (Civ) 51 (Court of Appeal) assisted (during pupillage) Counsel representing the UK government in this case about jurisdiction under international law to apply tax legislation extraterritorially (2018);
  • R v. Agnes Taylor, Crown Court, England, adviser to Crown Prosecution Service in universal jurisdiction proceedings for torture (2018)
  • Belhaj v Straw, United Kingdom Supreme Court, adviser to Counsel team representing the UK Foreign Office on Foreign Act of State (2015)
  • v. Evans, Metropolitan Stipendiary Magistrate & others ex parte Augusto Pinochet Ugarte (England: House of Lords). Advised Counsel for General Pinochet (Clive Nicholls QC, James Cameron and others) on Head of State Immunity Issues (1999)
  • Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC) v. Iraq Airways Company (IAC) (England: High Court). Assisted Professor Christopher Greenwood, Counsel for KAC (1997)

National Courts and Tribunals – United States, Pakistan, New Zealand

  • Public Inquiry into Operation Burnham (established by New Zealand Government), appointed International Law Expert for the Inquiry dealing with conduct of New Zealand Defence Forces in military operations in Afghanistan, prepared opinion and appeared in public hearings (2019)
  • United States v. Omar Khadr (United States: Proceedings in Military Commissions and Supreme Court)
  • United States v. David Hicks (United States: Military Commissions).
  • Led teams of students providing advice (under the auspices of Oxford Pro Bono Publico) to military lawyers (Lt Cdr. Bill Kuebler, Khadr case & Major Dan Mori, Hicks case) assigned to represent two of the three Guantanamo Bay detainees that have been charged before the US Military Commissions.  Provided advice on law of war, international criminal law and human rights law. (2006-2008)
  • In Re Yukos Oil Company (US: Fed. Bankruptcy Court) Assisted Professor Vaughan Lowe in the preparation of Expert Opinion on International Law Issues (advised Act of State doctrine) (2005)
  • Prepared an opinion for Montiel Davis & Woodward Kimber (Miami Law Firm) on international law aspects of immigration proceedings before US Immigration and Nationality Service. (2002-3).
  • Wine-box Inquiry: New Zealand Commission of Inquiry into Certain Matters Relating to Taxation. Assisted Professor Christopher Greenwood (1996)

Advisory Work

  • Advice to UN Food and Agriculture Organization on questions concerning the law of international organization (with Antonios Tzanakopolous) (2019)
  • Worked (during pupillage) with a team of external counsel providing advice to a UK government department on compatibility of domestic law with international law protections for foreign investment (2019)
  • Assisted Hugh Mercer QC and Jessica Wells (during pupillage) with opinion for P&I clubs on international law questions relating to billion US dollar claims arising out of marine pollution incident (2019)
  • Opinion on The Legality of the UK’s Air Strikes on the Syrian Government, commissioned by Tom Watson MP, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party (2018)
  • Joint Opinion (with Timothy Otty QC) for UN officials on international law implications of providing legal aid for negotiations on conditions and destination of forcible transfers prohibited by international law (2017)
  • Advice in connection with potential litigation in England regarding the use of drones by the UK (2016)
  • Advised Government of Botswana on drafting of legislation to implement obligations under the Statute of the International Criminal Court (2010-2013)
  • Advice to an African state on potential proceedings for revision of ICJ Judgment on territorial dispute (2012)
  • Advice on boundary dispute between African states (2012-)
  • Advice to the government of a middle eastern state on implementation of sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council on Iran (2010)

Government Training

  • He has been involved in the training of lawyers and government officials on matters of international law, particularly international humanitarian law and international criminal law.
Examples of Recent Cases

International Court of Justice – Counsel and Advocate

  • Armed Activities Case (Democratic Republic of Congo v. Uganda) Reparations Phase, Counsel and Advocate for Uganda, 2018-
  • Chagos Islands Advisory Opinion, Counsel and Advocate for Zambia, 2018

The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea

  • The M/T “San Padre Pio” Case (Switzerland v. Nigeria) No. 2, Counsel and Advocate for Nigeria (2019-date)
  • The M/T “San Padre Pio” Case (Switzerland v. Nigeria), (2019), Provisional Measures, Counsel and Advocate for Nigeria

International Criminal Court

  • The Prosecutor v. Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud (international law expert for Defence Counsel) (2020-date)
  • Instructed to provide confidential advice the Office of the Prosecutor on possible international law arguments (2019)

European Court of Human Rights

  • Hanan v. Germany (Application No. 4871/16) (Grand Chamber), Counsel and Advocate for the applicant (2019-20)
  • Sydorenko v Ukraine and Russia (Application No. 60373/14); Obukhivskyy v Ukraine and Russia (Application No. 60400/14) ; Vakhovskyi v Ukraine and Russia (Application No. 71842/14) adviser to the applicants (2016)

World Trade Organization Dispute Settlement Panel

  • Adviser to an Asian State on a World Trade Organization Dispute (2020-date)

National Courts and Tribunals – England

  • The Queen (on the application of Campaign Against the Arms Trade) (Appellant) v Secretary of State for International Trade (Respondent) [2019] EWCA Civ 1020, (Court of Appeal) assisted (during pupillage) counsel representing the UK government;
  • R (on the application of Tony Michael Jimenez) v (1) First Tier Tax Tribunal & (2) HMRC [2019] EWCA (Civ) 51 (Court of Appeal) assisted (during pupillage) counsel representing the UK government in this case about jurisdiction under international law to apply tax legislation extraterritorially (2018);
  • R v. Agnes Taylor, Crown Court, England, adviser to Crown Prosecution Service in universal jurisdiction proceedings for torture (2018)
  • Belhaj v Straw, United Kingdom Supreme Court, adviser to counsel team representing the UK Foreign Office on Foreign Act of State (2015)

Public Inquiry – New Zealand

  • Public Inquiry into Operation Burnham (established by New Zealand Government), appointed International Law Expert for the Inquiry dealing with conduct of New Zealand Defence Forces in military operations in Afghanistan, prepared opinion and appeared in public hearings (2019)

 

National Courts and Tribunals – England

The Queen (on the application of Campaign Against the Arms Trade) (Appellant) v Secretary of State for International Trade (Respondent) [2019] EWCA Civ 1020, (Court of Appeal) assisted (during pupillage) counsel representing the UK government;

R (on the application of Tony Michael Jimenez) v (1) First Tier Tax Tribunal & (2) HMRC [2019] EWCA (Civ) 51 (Court of Appeal) assisted (during pupillage) counsel representing the UK government in this case about jurisdiction under international law to apply tax legislation extraterritorially (2018);

R v. Agnes Taylor, Crown Court, England, adviser to Crown Prosecution Service in universal jurisdiction proceedings for torture (2018)

Belhaj v Straw, United Kingdom Supreme Court, adviser to counsel team representing the UK Foreign Office on Foreign Act of State (2015)

Public Inquiry – New Zealand

Public Inquiry into Operation Burnham (established by New Zealand Government), appointed International Law Expert for the Inquiry dealing with conduct of New Zealand Defence Forces in military operations in Afghanistan, prepared opinion and appeared in public hearings (2019)

Career
  • Professor of Public International Law, Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford April 2018 – date
  • Professor of Public International Law, Faculty of Law,  University of Oxford 2014 – March 2018
  • University Lecturer in Public International Law, then Associate Professor, University of Oxford 2004 – 2014
  • Fellow, Exeter College, Oxford, April 2018 – date
  • Yamani Fellow in Public International Law, St Peter’s College, 2004 – 2018
  • Co-Director, Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict 2009 – till date
  • Co-Director, Oxford Martin Programme on Human Rights for Future Generations 2013 – 2017
  • Co-Director, Oxford University/George Washington University Summer School on Human Rights Law 2007-2010
  • Director of Studies in Law, Regent’s Park College 2006-2008

2000-2004 University of Durham

  • Lecturer in Law

1998-2000 University of Nottingham

  • Lecturer in Law
  • Visiting Professor, University of Vienna 2018
  • Visiting Professor, Catolica Global Law School, Lisbon , 2014-2018
  • Visiting Associate Professor of Law and Robina Foundation International Fellow, Yale Law School (2008-09)
  • Visiting Professor, University of Miami School of Law, 2002 & 2009; London Summer Program 2000-07
Education
  • Master of Arts (MA), University of Oxford (awarded by resolution), 2004
  • Master of Laws Degree (LLM), London School of Economics & Political Science, 1993-94
  • Qualified as Barrister & Solicitor, Nigerian Law School  1992-93
  • Bachelor of Laws Degree (LLB) University of Ife, Nigeria, 1988-92
Awards
  • American Society of International Law’s 2019 Certificate of Merit for high technical craftsmanship and utility to practicing lawyers and scholars: Higgins, Webb, Akande, Sivakumaran & Sloan, Oppenheim’s International Law: United Nations (2017, Oxford University Press),
  • Sir Ninian Stephen Visiting Scholar, University of Melbourne Law School, 2015
  • Premio Regione Toscana Giorgio La Pira Prize [Prize for the Best Paper Authored by a Young Scholar], Journal of International Criminal Justice, 2003
  • Junior Award of the International Affairs Sub-Committee of the Gilbert Murray Trust, 1995
  • Irving and Bonnar Scholarship Prize, Best Student, LL.B Part III Examinations, 1991
  • A.B. Kasunmu Prize, Best Student in the Law of Evidence 1991
  • Justice Olu Ayoola Prize – Best Student, LL.B Part II Examinations 1990
  • Nigerian National Petroleum Company/Chevron National Scholarship, 1989-1993
Appointments and Memberships

 Membership of Academic Boards, Journals & Scholarly Organizations

  • Member, Board of Trustees, Rhodes Trust, 2020-date
  • Counsellor & Member of Executive Council, American Society of International Law, 2017 – 2019
  • Trustee (2017- date); Member, Advisory Council (2006-date); Member of Public International Law Advisory Board, (2008 –20), British Institute of International and Comparative Law,
  • Member, Advisory Board,  Oxford Investment Claims, 2017 -date
  • Member, Editorial Board, American Journal of International Law, 2013 –date
  • Member, Editorial Board, European Journal of International Law, (2014–2017); Emeritus Editor (2017 – date); Member, Scientific Advisory Board (2007-14);
  • Editor, EJIL:Talk! www.ejiltalk.org 2008 – date
  • Member, Editorial Board, African Journal of International and Comparative Law, 2007-2013
  • Member, Advisory Board, International Law Studies, 2013-date
  • Member, Steering Group, 77th Biennial Conference,  International Law Association, (2016); Member, Executive Council of the British Branch, (2006-date); Member, Study Group on Responsibility of International Organizations (since 2005-2012); Member, Committee on the Accountability of International Organizations & secretary of drafting committee for final report of the committee. (2000 to 2004)
  • Member, Advisory Board, Israel Law Review, 2015-date
  • Member, Editorial Board, Nigerian Yearbook of International Law, 2015-date
  • Member, Advisory Board, Ethiopian Yearbook of International Law, 2015-date
  • Member, Advisory Board, Institute for International Peace and Security Law, University of Cologne, 2015 –date
  • Member, International Advisory Panel, American Law Institute, Project on Restatement (Fourth) of Foreign Relations Law, 2014 – 18
  • Member, Advisory Board, African Association of International Law, 2013–date
  • Elected Member, International Institute for Humanitarian Law, 2010-date

Non-Academic Appointments

  • Member, Africa Group for Justice and Accountability, 2016 – date
  • Member, World Economic Forum, Global Council on the Future of Human Rights, 2016-2018