Dr. Pontian Okoli (University of Dundee): Negotiating the Enforcement of Obligations: A Comparative Appraisal of Legal and Institutional Impediments

Private International Law in Africa

  • Date: Oct 13, 2021
  • Time: 02:00 PM (Local Time Germany)
  • Location: online

About the speaker:

Dr. Pontian Okoli completed his PhD in 2018 at the University of Dundee where he was a Scrymgeour Scholar. He also obtained his LLM with Distinction (International Commercial Law, 2011) from the University of Dundee. His comparative doctoral research, concerning the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments, built on his law practice since 2007, when he qualified as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Nigerian Supreme Court. He obtained his LLB from the University of Nigeria in 2006. Dr. Pontian Okoli’s law practice focused on International Commercial/Corporate Law and investment risks generally. He worked in two Nigerian law firms and as In-House Counsel in a leading Nigerian financial institution with several international branches in Africa and the United Kingdom. During his law practice, Pontian represented clients based in Europe/the United States and worked with European law firms on various international commercial legal transactions. Dr. Pontian Okoli is currently a Lecturer in Law at the University of Stirling.

About the topic:

The world has changed significantly since some traditional principles of private international law were established. Many such principles remain foundational but sometimes need to be adapted to factor in contemporary challenges. This need applies to the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments. The complexities of modern ways of life and international commerce compel a reimagination of how private international law rules can facilitate the enforcement of foreign judgments in Africa. But this reimagination has proved to be contentious as there is no consensus on how to forge a viable path in this regard. African countries must contend with peculiar challenges in their commercial relations within and outside the region. The African Continental Free Trade Agreement and the Hague Judgments Convention are important developments that have direct or potential implications for Africa. These treaties have front-loaded the need to examine major impediments to the enforcement of obligations that underpin the movement of foreign judgments. This lecture will examine some possible ways forward.

About the new virtual workshop series:

There is a growing interest in the study of private international law in Africa. In an environment of growing international transactions in both civil and commercial matters, private international law can play a significant role in Africa in addressing issues such as globalization, regional economic integration, immigration, etc. The series intends to discuss new scholarly work on private international law in Africa and advance solutions on how the current framework of that field can be improved on the continent.

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