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Kenyan law professor gone international

Kenyan law professor Phoebe Okowa was on Friday elected to sit on the International Law Commission becoming the African woman to sit on a legal advisory body for the United Nations.

Professor Okowa scored 162 votes in a secret ballot conducted by the UN General Assembly winning the required two-thirds majority vote in the first round and Kenya’s Permanent Representative to the UN Dr Martin Kimani promptly congratulated her as a qualified legal expert.

Prof Okowa,an international law academic had looked likely to clinch the seat after the United Kingdom supported her as well as an endorsement from the African Union.

She is currently a professor of Public International Law at Queen Mary University in London and will now be among 34 members of the Commission who draft, research and expand on international law for the UN.

Prof Okowa has been a Member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague and had been drafted to be part of the legal team for Kenya at the maritime case at the International Court of Justice against Somalia. An Advocate of the High Court in Kenya, she has also lectured on international law for the United Nations as well as published articles and books on emerging issues of international law.S

he has promised to help build a body of law rooted in political reality and of practical use to Member States.

“My work will be informed by my dual experience as an academic and a practitioner of international law, which gives me a strong grasp of both the technical and the practical elements."

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Kenya Kenyan Okowa Phoebe Okowa Public International Law


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