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IGLP Regional Workshop 2016: Africa

January 17, 2016 - January 23, 2016

Signature Initiative IGLP African Regional Workshop January 17-23, 2016 / Cape Town, South Africa

IGLP Regional Workshop 2016: Africa | January 17 – 23, 2016 | Cape Town, South Africa

The group poses for a photo.

Participants of the IGLP African Regional Workshop in Cape Town, South Africa | January 2016

About the African Regional Workshop

From January 17-23, 2016, the IGLP held its first African Regional Workshop in Cape Town, South Africa, co-hosted by the University of Cape Town Faculty of Law and convened in collaboration with Bowman Gilfillan African GroupOld Mutual, and the Center for African Studies at Harvard University. This Workshop was the second in a series of new regionally-focused and concentrated academic programs launched by the IGLP.

The 2016 IGLP African Regional Workshop in Cape Town brought together doctoral scholars, post-doctoral scholars and junior faculty from Africa and around the world for thought-provoking research, collaboration, and debate alongside IGLP junior and senior faculty from universities across the globe. Modeled on the IGLP global Workshop, and following the success of the IGLP Latin American Regional Workshop in Bogota, the African Regional Workshop nurtured innovative ideas and alternative approaches to issues of global law, economic policy, and social justice with an emphasis on how they relate to ongoing legal and policy debates throughout Africa.

Workshop Structure

The Regional Workshop was an intensive week-long program in which participants met in small groups to discuss their work-in-progress over the course of five days. Additional programming, ranging from plenary round-tables to mini-courses (streams) convened by senior scholars, also took place. The primary engagement was peer-to-peer conversations in small groups with careful mentoring from the faculty.

Writing Workshops

Intensive writing workshops formed the core of the IGLP African Regional Workshop. Each day, participants met in small groups to share their own scholarship and discuss their own ongoing research. The IGLP writing workshops areorganized to promote learning from others working on similar projects as well as to promote cross training by engaging with projects quite different from one’s own. The smaller group format allowed participants to engage on a one-on-one basis with their peers and specialist faculty members, as well as to share ideas and receive feedback on their work. Each of the writing workshop groups was led by a member of the IGLP’s Junior Faculty.

Each Participant was assigned to a group and paired with a partner. Partners were expected to comment on each other’s papers during one of their group’s sessions. A member of the IGLP’s Senior Faculty was present during each Writing Workshop session to give feedback on the papers being discussed that day.

Learn more about The IGLP Approach to Giving Feedback on the papers of colleagues.

Workshop Faculty

The following faculty members from institutions around the globe joined us during the African Regional Workshop to contribute in a variety of ways:

Mohammed Amin Adam, Africa Center for Energy Policy
Waheeda Amien, University of Cape Town
Penny Andrews, University of Cape Town
Diamond Ashiagbor, SOAS, University of London
Raymond Atuguba, University of Ghana
Mashood Baderin, SOAS, University of London
Adelle Blackett, McGill University Faculty of Law
Danwood Chirwa, University of Cape Town
Cyra Choudhury, Florida International University
Jean Comaroff, Harvard University
John Comaroff, Harvard University
Matt Craven, SOAS, University of London
Dennis Davis, High Court of Cape Town
Julia Dehm, University of Texas at Austin
Wesahl Domingo, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
Karen Engle, University of Texas School of Law
Jorge Esquirol, Florida International University
Guenter Frankenberg, Goethe University Frankfurt
Chris Gevers, KwaZulu University
Sylvia Kang’ara, Riara University
David Kennedy, Harvard Law School
Martti Koskenniemi, University of Helsinki, Faculty of Law
Vidya Kumar, University of Birmingham
Sandy Liebenberg, Stellenbosch University
Rashida Manjoo, University of Cape Town
Achille Mbembe, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
Zinaida Miller, McGill University
Joel Modiri, Department of Jurisprudence, University of Pretoria
Horatia Muir Watt, Sciences Po Law School
Kibet Mutai, Kenya Industrial Property Institute
Vasuki Nesiah, New York University School of Law
Clement Ng’Ong’ola , University of Botswana
Joel Ngugi, High Court of Kenya
Thandabantu Nhlapo, Former Deputy VC of University of Cape Town
Rugemeleza Nshala, Lawyers’ Environmental Action Team
Kate O’Regan, University of Cape Town
Sundhya Pahuja, Melbourne Law School
Nicolas Perrone, Universidad Externado de Colombia
Nikolas Rajkovic, Tilburg Law School
Kerry Rittich, University of Toronto, Faculty of Law
Hani Sayed, The American University in Cairo
Dee Smythe, University of Cape Town
Kendall Thomas, Columbia Law School
Karin van Marle, University of Pretoria
Robert Wai, Osgode Hall Law School
Lucie White, Harvard Law School
Mikhail Xifaras, Sciences Po Law School

Workshop Steams

The Challenges of Legal Diversity (CLD) | John Comaroff (Harvard University), Thandabantu Nhlapo (University of Cape Town) and Jean Comaroff (Harvard University)

A critical inquiry into the conjuncture and disjunctures of multiple legal cultures, founded on dissimilar principles, coexisting within a single nation-state and it’s implications for citizenship and the rule of law.

Legal Thought and Method (LTM) | Horatia Muir Watt (Sciences Po Law School), Hani Sayed (The American University of Cairo), Dee Smythe (University of Cape Town), Karin van Marle (University of Pretoria) and Mikhail Xifaras (Sciences Po Law School)

This stream will explore the range of intellectual and analytic methods that have animated innovative, heterodox and critical work in global law and policy. We will pay particular attention to the traditions of social thought and philosophy as they have influenced legal and policy analysis, of socio-legal and sociological analysis, and of critical traditions within the legal field.

Development and Labor (D&L) | Kerry Rittich (Faculty of Law, University of Toronto), Diamond Ashiagbor (SOAS, University of London), Adelle Blackett  (Faculty of Law, McGill University) and Dennis Davis (High Court of South Africa)

This Stream investigates legal reform strategies geared towards inducing economic growth and social welfare. We will explore the role of law in economic and social theories of development, the global and intellectual context that channels the range of development reform, and recent shifts in development theory and state practice as they impact labor and the working environment.

Human Rights and Social Justice (HRSJ) | Vasuki Nesiah (The Gallatin School, New York University), Karen Engle (School of Law, University of Texas at Austin), Rashida Manjoo (University of Cape Town) and Zina Miller (Faculty of Law, McGill University)

This stream will explore the human rights framework, its historical debates and contemporary preoccupations. Substantive areas of inquiry may include contemporary anti-violence work, post-conflict reconciliation efforts, and economic and social rights advocacy.

Law in a Global Economy (LGE) | Robert Wai (Osgoode Hall Law School, York University), Kibet Mutai (Kenya Industrial Property Institute) and Clement Ng’Ong’ola (University of Botswana)

This Stream explores theoretical approaches to plural economic governance and examine examples (such as the trade regime or international investment law) that illustrate how transnational economic regulation advances various and sometimes conflicting policy objectives ranging from facilitation of cross-border transactions to local development and social regulation.

International Law in a Diverse and Unequal World (ILDUW) | Martti Koskenniemi (Faculty of Law, University of Helsinki), Chris Gevers (School of Law, University of KwaZulu-Natal) and David Kennedy (Harvard Law School)

This stream will consider the history and destiny of universal norms and collaborative governance in a diverse world of struggle. We will consider the way Africa has been portrayed in legal histories by both Non-African and African scholars, investigating the question of the right focus for such histories – slavery, indigenous political communities and empires, “colonial treaties”, protectorates, decolonization, state building, war and civil war, and investment. It will inquire on the significance of Eurocentrism for legal history writing and the role of histories in African present development.

Property and Land Use (P&L) | Jorge Esquirol (Florida International University) and Sylvia Kang’ara (Riara University Law School)

This stream will explore the relationship between property structures and economic inequality in the region. With a few leading property law texts in the background, we will examine contemporary debates over agrarian reform and land titling in Africa. We will explore whether how new thinking and new solutions require more penetrating perspectives on the operation of property as a distributional regime of power and wealth across society.

Resource Extraction, Poverty and Development (REPD) | Lucie White (Harvard Law School), Mohammed Amin Adam (Africa Centre for Energy Policy), Raymond Atuguba (Faculty of Law, University of Ghana) and Rugemeleza Nshala (Lawyers’ Environmental Action Team)

This stream will examine resource extraction, economic development, and wealth distribution in African nations through the critical analysis of development ideologies, legal frameworks, and distributional consequences.  Through theoretical readings and case analyses, we will map such issues as colonial origins of contemporary extraction patterns, ideological foundations of extraction / development policies, and distributional effects of legal instruments like international extraction contracts, domestic concession statutes, bi-lateral investment treaties, and international trade regimes.  The stream’s goals will be both to give an overview of critical legal methods and to apply those methods to an industry that might drive equitable development on the African continent.

Postcolonialism and Law (P&L) | Sundhya Pahuja (Melbourne Law School), Matt Craven (SOAS, University of London), Achille Mbembe (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg) and Joel Modiri (Department of Jurisprudence, University of Pretoria)

This Stream will explore the history, meaning and significance of unequal encounters in global society with particular reference to Africa’s history of engagement with and by other regions of the world.   In particular we will ask how we might deepen our understanding of the history of colonialism to enrich our understanding of contemporary patterns of global legal ordering, as well as political-economic ordering.




January 17, 2016
January 23, 2016
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