Conference: Remaking Law in Africa Transnationalism, Persons and Rights, 05/03

Conference: Remaking Law in Africa Transnationalism, Persons and Rights, 05/03


21-22 May 2003


Overall Rationale

In 2003, the Centre's annual international conference will examine the ways that law is embedded in and shaped by processes that have an impact upon political, economic, and social development in Africa.

Scholars have observed that law represented the cutting edge of colonialism in its attempts to control and govern its subjects while bringing about their transformation and that of the societies in which they lived. Its role continued to have a powerful presence in the postcolonial period when many newly independent countries turned to law as a form of social engineering within the nation-state. In recent years attention has focused on globalisation as a phenomenon and local communities' responses to it. This has led to a growing recognition of the importance of transnational forms of law and ordering derived from diverse sources, including the World Bank, the European Convention on Human Rights, the WTO, the WHO, the IMF, the African Union, and religious movements. The success or failure of polities and persons' access to, and use of, law raises questions about the power and authority to construct meaning at multiple levels, including, local, regional, national and international domains that intersect with one another in a variety of ways. This conference aims to explore the ways in which law operates in different places at different levels and at different moments in the historical record, in order to gain a more informed view of the processes that underpin continuity, transformation, and change.

In the tradition of the Centre it is hoped that participants will be drawn from a number of academic disciplines including history, social anthropology, politics, economics, health, education and law, as well as from international agencies, state institutions, NGOs and development actors.

Themes include

Human Rights; Constitutional Issues; Tribunals and other forms of Justice; Law, Development and Gender; Resource Entitlement; Rights to Health, Education and Intellectual Property

Speakers at the conference will include:

Abdullah An-Naim (Emory University); Yash Ghai (Hong Kong University); Issa G. Shivji (University of Dar es Salaam); Hon Aloysea Inyumba (Governor of Kigali, Rwanda); Catherine Jenkins (SOAS); Hon Winnie Byanyima (MP and Chairperson of Forum for Women in Development, Uganda); Anne Stewart (University of Warwick); Albert Barume (Democratic Republic of Congo); Fareda Banda (SOAS); Anne Hellum (University of Oslo); Charles Clift (Department for International Development); Chidi Odinkalu (Interrights); Fr. Matthew Hassan Kukah (Nigeria); Patrick Watt (ActionAid); Olive Shisana (Human Sciences Research Council, Pretoria); Zackie Achmat (Treatment Action Campaign, Cape Town).

The Steering Committee for the Conference includes: Dr. Anne Griffiths, School of Law; Dr. Paul Nugent, School of History; Dr. Stephen Neff, School of Law; Professor Alan Barnard, School of Social and Political Studies; Pravina King, Centre of African Studies; Jude Murison, Centre of African Studies; and Professor Kenneth King, Centre of African Studies

The conference will include a keynote Royal African Society lecture on Wednesday evening


You may return the completed registration form by email to: or return to the address below.

A full conference programme will be available nearer the date of the conference.

The conference will begin at 1.30 on May 21 and finish at 6.00 on May 22.

On the evening of Wed 21 there will be a Royal African Society Scotland Lecture and a conference dinner.

Full conference Fee: Pound 60.00 Edinburgh Staff: Pound 40.00 Student: Pound25.00 Dinner: Pound15.00 [the Conference fee, whether for students, Edinburgh staff or other participants, includes a full set of the conference papers, teas, coffees and a reception. The conference dinner is extra.]


Conference Registration Centre of African Studies University of Edinburgh 21 George Square Edinburgh EH8 9LD, Scotland.

Tel. +44 (0)131 650 3878; Fax: +44 (0)131 650 6535; Email:

Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar
Previous MenuHome PageWhat's NewSearchCountry Pages