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 Dr. Anthony C. Diala

Position: Senior Lecturer
Department: Private Law
Faculty: Faculty of Law
Qualifications: Bachelor of Laws, Enugu State University (2002)
Postgraduate Diploma, Nigerian Law School (2004)
Diploma in French, Makerere University (2007)
Master of Laws in Human Rights & Democratisation in Africa, University of Pretoria (2007)
Doctor of Philosophy, University of Cape Town (2016)
Tel: 021 959 3316
Fax: 021 959 0000
Email: adiala@uwc.ac.za
Research:
 
 
 
 

Biography

 Specialist in Customary Law and Legal and Cultural Pluralism.
Anthony C. Diala joined UWC in 2018 from the University of Cape Town, where he was a University Research Committee Fellow in the Centre for Comparative Law in Africa. He teaches African Customary Law, Legal and Cultural Pluralism, and Private Law and the Bill of Rights. From 2014 to 2017, he co-convened African Law and Common Law for the LLM in Comparative Law in Africa at the University of Cape Town. Earlier, he convened Introduction to Human Rights, International Law, and Comparative Legal Systems in Madonna University, Nigeria. His research and postgraduate supervision interests are African customary law, legal theory, human rights, family law, and comparative constitutionalism.

Diala has over sixteen years of research and advocacy experience in sixteen countries spanning four continents. Aside the academia, he has worked in the International Criminal Court, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative, Uganda, and the Justice and Peace Commission, Nigeria. He was managing editor of the Journal of Comparative Law in Africa, chair of the University of Cape Town Postdoctoral Fellows’ Association, and Head of Department, Jurisprudence and International Law at Madonna University.

Diala is the (non-residential) 2020 Diaspora Scholar at the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies. Among others, he serves on the Law Faculty Management Committee, the African Studies Association Task Force on Academic Freedom, and journal editorial boards in South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria. He is a facilitator for the Next Generation in Africa Fellowship programme of the Social Science Research Council of New York, a member of the RQ+ College of Reviewers of Canada’s International Development Research Centre, and a member of the College of Senior Mentors of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa. His research has received support from bodies such as the American Council of Learned Societies, the Nordic Africa Institute, the Social Science Research Council of New York, the Institute of International Education, the German Academic Exchange Service, and the South African National Research Foundation.

Publications

Peer reviewed book chapters

1.  (2019) ‘Courts and transformative constitutionalism: Insights from South Africa’ in SM Sterett & L Walker (eds.) Research Handbook on Law and Courts (Edward Elgar Publishing) pp. 95-104.

2. (2018) ‘Legal pluralism and social change: Insights from matrimonial property rights in Nigeria’ in C. Rautenbach (ed.) In the shade of an African Baobab: Tom Bennett's Legacy (JUTA & Co.) pp. 155-174.

3. (2013) ‘The dawn of constitutionalism in Nigeria;’ in​ Mbondenyi, M. K., and Ojienda T. (eds.) Constitutionalism and democratic governance in Africa: Contemporary perspectives from sub-Saharan Africa (Pretoria University Law Press) pp. 135-160. 


Peer reviewed journal articles

4. (2019) ‘Our laws are better than yours: the future of legal pluralism in South Africa’ 26 Revista General de Derecho Público Comparado pp. 1-23 [Link].

5. (2019) with S Bagni ‘Introduction to special issue: The role of customary law in the shaping of new models of pluralistic states’ 26 Revista General de Derecho Público Comparado pp. 1-5 [Link].

6. (2019) ‘Peacebuilding and the interface of state law and indigenous market laws in Southern Nigeria’ 64(1) Journal of African Law 1-26 [DOI].

7. (2019) ‘Curriculum decolonisation and revisionist pedagogy of African customary law’ 22 Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal pp. 1-37 [DOI].

8. (2019) ‘A butterfly that thinks itself a bird: The identity of customary courts in Nigeria’ 51(3) Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law pp. 381-405 [DOI].

9. (2019) with B Kangwa ‘Rethinking the interface between customary law and constitutionalism in sub-Saharan Africa’ 52 De Jure Law Journal pp. 189-206 [DOI].

10. (2018) with S Cotton ‘Silences in marriage laws in Commonwealth Africa: Women’s position in polygynous customary marriages’ 32(1) Speculum Juris pp. 18-32 [Link].

11. (2018) ‘The shadow of legal pluralism in matrimonial property division outside the courts in Southern Nigeria’ 18(2) African Human Rights Law Journal pp. 706-731 [IBSS].

12. (2018) ‘A critique of the judicial attitude towards matrimonial property rights under customary law in Nigeria’s southern states’ 18(1) African Human Rights Law Journal pp. 100-122 [IBSS].

13. (2017) with JC Diala ‘Child marriage, bridewealth, and legal pluralism in Africa’ 4(2) Journal of Comparative Law in Africa pp. 77-104 [Link].

14.  (2017) ‘The protection of traditional cultural expressions in Africa: Book review’ 4(2) Journal of Comparative Law in Africa pp. 200-203 [Link].

15.  (2017) ‘The concept of living customary law: A critique’ 49(2) Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law pp. 143-165 [WOS].

16.  (2015) ‘Lessons from South Africa on reform of the customary law of inheritance in Nigeria’ 3 Diritto delle successioni e della famiglia pp. 891-914 [Link].

17. (2014) ‘Reform of the customary law of inheritance in Nigeria: Lessons from South Africa’ 14(2) African Human Rights Law Journal pp. 633-654 [IBSS].

18. (2014) with LJ Udofia ‘Legal feasibility of a lawsuit against the United Nations’ 3 Madonna University Law Journal pp. 158-171.

19.  (2012) ‘The Arab uprising: Implications for self-determination and good governance in the African Union’ 1 Pan African Yearbook of Law pp. 19-30 [Link].

20.  (2012) ‘Realising the right to adequate housing in Nigeria’ 2 Madonna University Law Journal pp. 155-173.

21.  (2011) ‘Lessons from South Africa in judicial power and minority protection’ 1 Madonna University Law Journal pp. 164-187.

22.  (2011) ‘Victims’ justice and re-characterising facts in the Lubanga trial at the ICC’ 7 (1) Eyes on the ICC Journal 59-84 [Link].​ 


Reports/Monograph​s/Others

1.  (2020) ‘Waiting to die?’ 76,000-word manuscript submitted to Penguin Fiction.

2. (2018) ‘Editorial’ 5(1) Journal of Comparative Law in Africa pp. i-v.

3. (2017) ‘The last president’ unpublished radio play.

4. (2016) ‘Judicial recognition of living customary law in the context of matrimonial property rights in South-East Nigeria’ doctoral dissertation, University of Cape Town.

5. (2013) ‘Successful marginalised group inclusion in customary governance structures and processes: Case study of the Osu people in Owerri South-East Nigeria,’ report for J Hedström and J Smith eds. Overcoming political exclusion: Strategies for marginalized groups to successfully engage in political decision-making (Stockholm, Sweden: International IDEA).

6. (2011) ‘Security of human rights defenders in Nigeria’ in Strategie de Securite des Defenseurs des Droits de L’Homme: Experiences du Nigeria et de la Gambie (February) Report for the West African Human Rights Defenders’ Network, Togo pp. 28-50.

7. (2011) ‘The strange child’ in J. Bassett (ed.) Oxford Bookworms Library: Stage 2: Songs from the soul: Stories from around the world (Oxford University Press) pp. 46-52. 

 

Peer-reviewed international conference presentations

1.  (2019) with S Cotton ‘Strange bedfellows: Legal positivism, pluralism, and access to justice under customary law in South Africa’ (28-29 October) Engendering Access to Justice for Development in Sub Saharan Africa International Conference, Nordic Africa Institute, Sweden/University of the Western Cape, South Africa.

2.  (2019) ‘The Constitution as customary law, or: the future of legal pluralism in sub-Saharan Africa’ (15-17 April) 6th Juris Diversitas Annual Conference: “Law, Roots and Space” Faculty of Law, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa.

3. (2019) with B Kangwa ‘Rethinking the interface between customary law and constitutionalism in Africa’ (1-3 April) 2nd Biennial Law and Society in Africa Conference: “Africa and the Middle East in an era of Global Fragility” The American University in Cairo, Egypt.

4. (2018) Panel convenor, Indigenous courts, commerce and (intellectual) property at the Biennial Conference of the Commission on Legal Pluralism: “Citizenship, legal pluralism and governance in the age of globalization” (17-24 August) Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa, Canada.

5. (2017) Panel convenor, Identity, scholarship, and Africa’s next generation leaders, Biennial Conference of the African Studies Association of Africa: “African studies and global politics” (12-14 October) University of Accra.

6. (2017) ‘Indigenous Market Laws in Southern Nigeria: Past, Present, and Future’ (10-12 July) 5th Juris Diversitas Annual Conference: “Law and Food” Université Jean Moulin, Lyon, France.

7. (2016) ‘Judicial recognition of living customary law in the context of matrimonial property rights in South-East Nigeria’ (9-11 December) International Conference on Law and Society in Africa: “Dynamism, Liminality, and Reality? Policy, Research and the Law in an Afropolitan Era” River Club, Observatory, Cape Town.

8. (2016) ‘What is living customary law?’ (1-3 December) African Studies Association 59th Annual Meeting, “Imagining Africa at the Centre: Bridging Scholarship, Policy and Representation in African Studies” Washington Marriott Wardman Park, Washington, DC, United States of America.

9. (2016) ‘Judicial protection of women’s matrimonial property rights in Nigeria’ (30 May - 1 June) 4th Juris Diversitas Annual Conference: “Unity and/or Diversity” Louisiana University Law Centre, Baton Rouge.

10. (2015) ‘Towards an adaptation theory of customary law in post-colonial societies’ (14-16 December) Biennial International Conference of the Commission on Legal Pluralism, ‘Normative Interfaces of Globalization and High-Tech Capitalism: Legal Pluralism and the Neo-Liberal Turn’ Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, India.

11.  (2015) with KA Maphalle ‘Customary law and intellectual property rights: The protection of indigenous knowledge systems in sub-Saharan Africa’ (14-16 December) Biennial International Conference of the Commission on Legal Pluralism, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay.

12.  (2015) ‘Implications of an adaptation theory of indigenous law for legal pluralism in Africa’ (2-4 June) 3rd Juris Diversitas Annual Conference: “The State of/and Comparative Law” School of Law, University of Limerick, Ireland, United Kingdom.

 

Local conference presentations

13. (2019) ‘Legal pluralistic interfaces in the development of customary family laws in Nigeria’ (4-5 April) 22nd Annual Family Law Conference: Customary marriage updates The President Hotel, Sea Point, Cape Town.

14.  (2018) ‘The elders’ viewpoint: Shifting perceptions of matrimonial property rights in Southern Nigeria’ (26 October) Mandela and the Law Conference, University of the Western Cape, South Africa.

15. (2015) ‘Towards a revisionist approach to African customary law’ (19-21 November) Humboldt Kolleg: “Modern Day Impact of Culture on Science: The Influence of Cultural Diversity on Theory and Practice North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa.

16. (2014) ‘Reform of the customary law of succession in Nigeria’ (10 April) Postgraduate Law Seminar, Faculty of Law, University of Cape Town.

17. (2014) with A Ordor ‘The space between: Significance of a vertical theory of living customary law for development’ (17 October) Southern African Development Community/National Research Foundation Conference: “Interplay of customary law rights in land and legal pluralism” University of Cape Town.

18. (2013) ‘The place of customary law in the Nigerian legal system’ (20 June) Postgraduate Law Seminar, Faculty of Law, University of Cape Town, South Africa.

19. (2010) ‘Basic dissertation writing’ (May) Dissertation Seminar, Faculty of Law, Madonna University, Nigeria.

20. (2007) ‘Strategies for realising the right to adequate housing in Uganda’ (November) Socio-Economic Rights Conference, Foundation for Human Rights Initiative, Kampala, Uganda ​​​​​

 

Networks

 — Visiting Professor, University of Hargeisa, Somaliland
— Member, African Studies Association (ASA) Task Force on Academic Freedom
— Member, International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Research Quality Plus College of Reviewers
— Workshop leader, Next Generation in Africa Doctoral Fellowship programme, Social Science Research Council of New York
— Member, College of Senior Mentors, Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA)
— Member, Editorial Board, Africa Journal of Comparative Constitutional Law
— Member, Editorial Board, Journal of Comparative Law in Africa
— Member, Juris Diversitas
— Member, International Commission on Legal Pluralism

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