Biography

Dapo Akande is Professor of Public International Law at the Blavatnik School of Government, a Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford and Co-Director of the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict (ELAC). From January 2023, he will be a Member of the United Nations International Law Commission. Before moving to the Blavatnik School, he was Professor of Public International Law at Oxford Law Faculty. He has held visiting professorships in the US, Europe and Australia including at Yale Law School and as the 2015 Sir Ninian Stephen Visiting Scholar at the University of Melbourne Law School’s Asia-Pacific Centre for Military Law.

Dapo is a generalist international lawyer who has worked across many areas of the field, including the law of international organizations, the law of armed conflict, international criminal law, the law relating to cyber operations, international dispute settlement. He is one of the authors of Oppenheim's International Law: The United Nations (2017, OUP), which was awarded the 2019 Certificate of Merit by the American Society of International Law. He is co-editor of the Oxford Guide to International Humanitarian Law (2020 OUP); of Human Rights and 21st Century Challenges: Poverty, Conflict and the Environment (2020, OUP) and the Practitioners Guide to the Application of Human Rights Law in Armed Conflict (2016, OUP). He was a member of the International Group of Experts that prepared the Tallinn Manual 2.0 on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Operations (2017, CUP). Dapo has led several research projects. He is a convenor of the Oxford Process on International Law Protections in Cyberspace. From 2012 to 2017 he was Co-Director of the Oxford Martin Programme on Human Rights for Future Generations and from 2014 to 2019 was one of the leaders the European Research Council-funded project called "The Individualisation of War: Reconfiguring the Ethics, Law and Politics of Armed Conflict". He was a member of the International Advisory Panel for the American Law Institute’s project on the Restatement Fourth, The Foreign Relations Law of the United States (2018).

Dapo is founding editor of EJIL:Talk! the widely read scholarly blog of the European Journal of International Law. He has served on the editorial or advisory boards of several leading international law journals, including the American Journal of International Law, the European Journal of International Law and the African Journal of International and Comparative Law. He has also served in leadership or board positions of scholarly societies and civil society organizations, including as Trustee of the Rhodes Trust; Counsellor of the American Society of International Law; Trustee of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law; on the Advisory Board of the International Centre for Transitional Justice; and member of the Africa Group for Justice and Accountability. 

He has acted as advocate, counsel or adviser in cases before international tribunals, including the International Court of Justice, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, the European Court of Human Rights, the International Criminal Court and the World Trade Organization panels. He has also acted as a consultant/advisor in cases in national courts, including the UK Supreme Court. Dapo regularly provides advice on international law issues to states, international organizations and civil society organizations. He been a member of several boards and advisory committees for governments and international bodies including, the Advisory Committee on International Law of the United States State Department; the UK Ministry of Defence AI Ethics Advisory Panel; the Ukrainian Government Working Group on compensation for damage caused to Ukraine as a result of the armed aggression by the Russian Federation; the ICRC’s Global Advisory Board on Digital Threats During Conflict. In 2017/18, he was legal adviser to the UK Parliament's All Party Parliamentary Group on Drone's inquiry into the Use of Armed Drones. From 2016 -2018, he was on the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Human Rights.

Dapo is frequently asked to speak to the media on issues of international law and has been invited to address several international bodies including the UN Security Council, the Human Rights Council, the Committee of Legal Advisers on Public International Law (CAHDI) of the Council of Europe. 

 

Publications

Recent additions

  • Miles Jackson and D. Akande, 'The Right to Life and the Jus ad Bellum: Belligerent Equality and the Duty to Prosecute Acts of Aggression ' (2022) 71 International and Comparative Law Quarterly 453
    DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0020589322000033
    General Comment 36 of the Human Rights Committee, adopted in 2018, asserts that ‘States parties engaged in acts of aggression as defined in international law, resulting in deprivation of life, violate ipso facto article 6 of the Covenant.’ One question about this claim is whether it reduces incentives for compliance with international humanitarian law for States and their agents—incentives provided through the principles of belligerent equality and combatant immunity. It is argued that it does not do so—such a worry about incentives is not a reason to reject the claim in General Comment 36. In the process, it can also be shown that, if accepted, this claim is interesting in another way: it entails, in effect, a duty on States to prosecute acts of aggression insofar as they entail killing, as they often will. This itself is doctrinally innovative. As to who is to be prosecuted, it is the political and military leadership of the State. It is their decision to wage war unlawfully that renders the killings arbitrary.
  • D. Akande and Katie Johnston, 'Human Rights and Resort to Force: Introduction to the Symposium' (2021) 32 European Journal of International Law 575
    DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/ejil/chab047
    While the relationship between the jus in bello and international human rights law has been the subject of considerable debate, less attention has been paid to the relationship between the jus ad bellum and human rights. The United Nations Human Rights Committee’s General Comment 36 on the right to life, adopted on 30 October 2018, brought these questions to the fore with the Committee’s pronouncement that ‘States parties engaged in acts of aggression as defined in international law, resulting in deprivation of life, violate ipso facto article 6 of the Covenant’. The contributions in this Symposium assess three ways of viewing the relationship between the protection of human rights and resort to force. First, the suggestion that resort to force in violation of the jus ad bellum will amount to a violation of the right to life is explored. Second, some contributions examine different arguments as to whether international law permits, justifies or excuses resort to force to protect human rights, and indeed whether it can change to permit such. Third, one contribution examines whether the crime of aggression, as defined in the ICC Statute, covers resort to force to protect human rights.

Journal Article (35)

Miles Jackson and D. Akande, 'The Right to Life and the Jus ad Bellum: Belligerent Equality and the Duty to Prosecute Acts of Aggression ' (2022) 71 International and Comparative Law Quarterly 453
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0020589322000033
General Comment 36 of the Human Rights Committee, adopted in 2018, asserts that ‘States parties engaged in acts of aggression as defined in international law, resulting in deprivation of life, violate ipso facto article 6 of the Covenant.’ One question about this claim is whether it reduces incentives for compliance with international humanitarian law for States and their agents—incentives provided through the principles of belligerent equality and combatant immunity. It is argued that it does not do so—such a worry about incentives is not a reason to reject the claim in General Comment 36. In the process, it can also be shown that, if accepted, this claim is interesting in another way: it entails, in effect, a duty on States to prosecute acts of aggression insofar as they entail killing, as they often will. This itself is doctrinally innovative. As to who is to be prosecuted, it is the political and military leadership of the State. It is their decision to wage war unlawfully that renders the killings arbitrary.
D. Akande and Katie Johnston, 'Human Rights and Resort to Force: Introduction to the Symposium' (2021) 32 European Journal of International Law 575
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/ejil/chab047
While the relationship between the jus in bello and international human rights law has been the subject of considerable debate, less attention has been paid to the relationship between the jus ad bellum and human rights. The United Nations Human Rights Committee’s General Comment 36 on the right to life, adopted on 30 October 2018, brought these questions to the fore with the Committee’s pronouncement that ‘States parties engaged in acts of aggression as defined in international law, resulting in deprivation of life, violate ipso facto article 6 of the Covenant’. The contributions in this Symposium assess three ways of viewing the relationship between the protection of human rights and resort to force. First, the suggestion that resort to force in violation of the jus ad bellum will amount to a violation of the right to life is explored. Second, some contributions examine different arguments as to whether international law permits, justifies or excuses resort to force to protect human rights, and indeed whether it can change to permit such. Third, one contribution examines whether the crime of aggression, as defined in the ICC Statute, covers resort to force to protect human rights.
D. Akande and Katie Johnston, 'Implications of the Diversity of the Rules on the Use of Force for Change in the Law' (2021) 32 European Journal of International Law 679
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/ejil/chab051
This article analyses the structural conditions within the jus ad bellum that affect whether and how that law changes. In particular, it examines how the diversity of the rules that form the law relating to the use of force affects the development of rules permitting the use of force to protect human rights. After noting some areas where it has been argued that aspects of the law relating to use of force have changed as a result of evolving state practice, it identifies a number of obstacles to accepting the argument that changes to customary international law can affect the law on the use of force in the UN Charter. It is argued that, unlike with self-defence, changes to customary international law would not automatically lead to changes in the Charter prohibition of the use of force. Since any rule permitting humanitarian intervention would create a new exception to the Charter prohibition of the use of force and to a norm of jus cogens, that change cannot occur on the basis of custom alone. Changes to interpretations of the UN Charter and to a jus cogens norm will be required, and such changes must occur in line with the rules regarding how such norms change. Finally, the article considers one concrete possibility for a change to the jus ad bellum that would allow humanitarian intervention without UN Security Council approval: approval of such a use of force by the UN General Assembly under the ‘Uniting for Peace’ Resolution of 1950. Leaving aside the political and practical challenges of achieving such change, the section explores the conceptual challenges that would need to be overcome.
D. Akande and A. Tzanakopoulos, 'Legal: Use of Force in Self-Defence to Recover Occupied Territory' (2021) 32 European Journal of International Law 1299
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/ejil/chab109
This article argues that, in certain circumstances, it is legal for a state to use force in self-defence in order to recover territory unlawfully occupied by another state as a result of an armed attack. Where occupation follows from an unlawful armed attack, the occupation is a continuing armed attack, and the attacked state does not lose its right to self-defence simply because of passage of time. It is argued that while it is trite law that territorial disputes cannot be resolved by recourse to force, it is important to draw the distinction between a territorial dispute, on the one hand, and a situation of armed attack resulting in occupation of territory, on the other. Furthermore, where years pass between the initial attack and the use of force in self-defence, that may suggest that there is no other reasonable means of bringing the armed attack and occupation to an end, rendering the use of force in self-defence the ultima ratio – which is precisely the point of the necessity requirement. On this view, time runs against, rather than in favour of, the aggressor.
D. Akande and E-C Gillard, 'Conflict-induced Food Insecurity and the War Crime of Starvation of Civilians as a Method of Warfare: The Underlying Rules of International Humanitarian Law' (2019) 17 Journal of International Criminal Justice 753
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/jicj/mqz050
This article examines the rules of international humanitarian law (IHL) relevant to avoiding or minimizing conflict-induced food insecurity. It is important to consider these rules in order to appreciate the range of protections to which civilians are entitled. Understanding these rules is also essential for interpreting the relevant provisions of international criminal law, including, most notably, the war crime of starvation of the civilian population. After providing a brief outline of the general rules of IHL respect of which can reduce the risk of food insecurity, the article focuses on two sets of rules of direct relevance to food insecurity: the prohibition of starvation of civilians as a method of warfare and the rules regulating humanitarian relief operation. With regard to the former, the article considers whether, under IHL, the prohibition requires that the party that has engaged in the conduct must act with the purpose of causing starvation. It is argued that while the general prohibition of starvation in IHL requires such purpose, there are other, more specific, rules of IHL directed at reducing food insecurity which do not require such purpose. Consideration is also given to the application of the principle of proportionality to measures which have the effect of causing starvation. While most of this article focuses on IHL, it also provides some reflections on the interplay between the rules of IHL relating to humanitarian relief operations and the war crime of starvation in the International Criminal Court’s Statute. Moving briefly away from IHL, the article also highlights a normative tension that can impede humanitarian action and therefore exacerbate food insecurity.
D. Akande and A. Tzanakopoulos, 'Treaty Law and ICC Jurisdiction over the Crime of Aggression' (2018) 29 European Journal of International Law 939
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/ejil/chy059
This article examines the question of who will be subject to International Criminal Court (ICC) jurisdiction with respect to the crime of aggression. One of the most contentious questions in the negotiations regarding the crime of aggression was whether the Court would have jurisdiction over nationals of a state that does not ratify the Kampala Amendments, but which is alleged to have committed an act of aggression on the territory of a state that has accepted the aggression amendments. The question is examined here against the background of the rules in the law of treaties regarding amendments and treaty interpretation. The article considers the legal effect that the resolution adopted by the ICC Assembly of States Parties in New York in December 2017 will have in determining this jurisdictional question. A resolution of an international conference adopted by consensus can, in principle, be regarded as subsequent practice or a subsequent agreement of the parties to the Rome Statute that establishes the authentic interpretation of the Statute within the meaning of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. It is argued, however, that this particular resolution does not, in itself, provide the definitive answer on the correct interpretation of the Rome Statute. Despite being adopted by consensus, and despite being highly relevant for the interpretation of the Rome Statute and the Kampala Amendments, this resolution does not necessarily amount to a subsequent agreement or subsequent practice that the Court is legally bound to follow. Nevertheless, it is further argued that the position adopted in New York with regard to the jurisdiction of the Court over nationals of states parties that do not ratify the Kampala Amendments is the correct legal position and the one that the Court ought to adopt. The answer to the question over whom the Court will have jurisdiction with respect to aggression is to be found in Rome rather than in Kampala, or even in New York. We argue that the key to addressing this issue is to understand how the amendment provisions of the Rome Statute work in conjunction with basic principles of the law of treaties.
D. Akande and Emanuela-Chiara Gillard, 'Humanitarian Actors’ Engagement with Accountability Mechanisms in Situations of Armed Conflict' (2017) 2016 Anuário Português De Direito Internacional 105
D. Akande and Emanuela Chiara-Gillard, 'Promoting Compliance with the Rules Regulating Humanitarian Relief Operations in Armed Conflict: Some Challenges' (2017) 50 Israel Law Review 119
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0021223717000048
In recent years, the increasingly frequent and, in certain contexts, extremely severe impediments to the provision of humanitarian assistance to civilians in need have focused attention on how to enhance compliance with the rules of international humanitarian law (IHL) that regulate humanitarian relief operations. Efforts to hold accountable parties to armed conflict and persons responsible for unlawfully impeding humanitarian relief operations face the challenge that the underlying rules give parties latitude in how to implement the central obligation to allow and facilitate the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian supplies, equipment and personnel. This article outlines the rules of IHL regulating humanitarian relief operations and highlights the difficulties, in the majority of situations, of determining whether they have been violated. It then presents current endeavours to promote accountability. It concludes with some reflections on whether the threat of accountability is the most effective way of enhancing compliance with this area of IHL, at least while efforts are under way to negotiate access.
D. Akande and Antonios Tzanakopoulos, 'The Crime of Aggression in the ICC and State Responsibility' (2017) 58 Harvard international law Journal Online 33
This is a short piece which discusses the implications of the ICC exercising jurisdiction over the crime of aggression for the responsibility of states.
D. Akande and Emanuela-Chiara Gillard, 'The Oxford Guidance on the Law Relating to Humanitarian Relief Operations in Situations of Armed Conflict: An Introduction' (2017) 2016 Anuário Português De Direito Internacional 23
D. Akande and E. Gillard, 'Arbitrary Withholding of Consent to Humanitarian Relief Operations in Armed Conflict' (2016) 92 International Law Studies 483
This article examines the requirement under international humanitarian law (IHL) that consent to humanitarian relief operations must not be arbitrarily withheld. It begins with a brief outline of the rules of IHL regulating humanitarian assistance in armed conflict. The article then considers the origin of the rule prohibiting arbitrary withholding of consent to humanitarian relief operations before proceeding to set out the circumstances when consent will be considered to have been withheld arbitrarily under international law. It proposes three tests for arbitrariness in this context, and also examines how international human rights regulates humanitarian assistance in armed conflict.
D. Akande, 'Selection of the International Court of Justice as a Forum for Contentious and Advisory Proceedings (Including Jurisdiction)' (2016) 7 Journal of International Dispute Settlement 320
This article was commissioned by the International Court of Justice as one of four background papers for a seminar held at the Court in April 2017 to mark the 70th anniversary of the Court. A French version of the article - "Le choix de recourir à la Cour internationale de Justice en matières contentieuses et consultatives (y compris la question de la compétence)" - was published in the same special issue of the Journal International Dispute Settlement as the English version.
ABSTRACT: The article identifies trends relating to the selection of the Court as a forum for contentious and advisory proceedings. It compares the use of the Court with other judicial or arbitral mechanisms and identifies how the use of the Court is affected by newer adjudicatory mechanisms. The article considers developments with regard to the invocation of the Court’s jurisdiction under Article 36 of its Statute and examines the factors that might influence states in selecting mechanisms for adjudicating inter-State disputes. The article also examines the significant increase in the use of the Court’s incidental jurisdiction to indicate provisional measures. In this regard, it analyses the ‘plausibility of rights’ criterion, as well as the issues that are likely to arise as the Court seeks to balance competing considerations of preventing misuse of provisional measures and the need to preserve the integrity of the final judgment. Finally, the article considers the use (or lack thereof) of the advisory jurisdiction of the Court, categorizing the types of questions that have been put to the Court and explaining why requests relating to some categories of questions have declined.
C. Heyns, D. Akande, L. Hill-Cawthorne and T. Chengeta, 'The Right to Life and the International Law Framework Regulating the Use of Armed Drones' (2016) 65 International and Comparative Law Quarterly 791
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0020589316000385
This article provides a holistic examination of the international legal frameworks which regulate targeted killings by drones. The article argues that for a particular drone strike to be lawful, it must satisfy the legal requirements under all applicable international legal regimes, namely: the law regulating the use of force (ius ad bellum); international humanitarian law and international human rights law. It is argued that the legality of a drone strike under the ius ad bellum does not preclude the wrongfulness of that strike under international humanitarian law or international human rights law, and that since those latter obligations are owed to individuals, one State cannot consent to their violation by another State. The article considers the important legal challenges that the use of armed drones poses under each of the three legal frameworks mentioned above. It considers the nature and application of the right to life in armed conflict, as well as the extraterritorial application of that right particularly in territory not controlled by the State conducting the strike. The article then turns to some of the key controversies in the application of international humanitarian law to drone strikes. It examines the threshold for non-international armed conflicts, the possibility of a global non-international armed conflict and the question of who may be targeted in a non-international armed conflict. The final substantive section of the article considers the law relating to the use of force by States against non-State groups abroad. This part examines the principles of self-defence and consent, in so far as they may be relied up on justify targeted killings abroad.
D. Akande and L. Hill-Cawthorne, 'The Lieber Code and the Regulation of Civil War in International Law' (2015) 53 Columbia Journal of Transnational Law 638
In this paper, we consider one particularly interesting feature of the Lieber Code, which is the fact that it was drawn up by the U.S. Government to regulate the conduct of its armed forces in a civil war. In so doing, we hope to explore the extent to which there maybe links between the Lieber Code and the contemporary regulation of non-international armed conflicts. In particular, we explore some similarities and contrasts between the views on the regulation of civil war that existed at the time of the drafting of the Lieber Code and the position that exists today.
D. Akande, 'The Effect of Security Council Resolutions and Domestic Proceedings on State Obligations to Cooperate with the ICC' (2012) 10 Journal of International Criminal Justice 299
The article considers whether the obligations of states, which have been referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) by the United Nations Security Council, are the same as the cooperation obligations of states parties to the ICC Statute. It is argued that despite the lack of clarity in the resolutions referring the situation in Darfur and in Libya to the ICC, the better view is that the obligation imposed on Sudan and Libya to 'cooperate fully' with the ICC should be regarded as an obligation to cooperate in accordance with the provisions of the ICC Statute. This means that those states are entitled to benefit from those limited provisions of the ICC Statute that permit a refusal to cooperate with the Court or permit the state to postpone the execution of a request by the Court for assistance. The article also considers the interaction between the obligations of states to cooperate with the ICC and domestic proceedings against those sought for ICC prosecution. It considers the extent to which the obligation of cooperation may be suspended by an admissibility challenge and addresses whether the permission to suspend the obligation of cooperation may extend to a suspension of the obligation to surrender an accused person to the ICC.
ISBN: 1478-1387
D. Akande, C. Jalloh and M. du Plessis, 'Assessing the African Union Concerns about Article 16 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court' (2011) 4 African Journal of Legal Studies 5
DOI: 10.1163/170873811X563947
This article assesses the African Union’s (AU) concerns about Article 16 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). It seeks to articulate a clearer picture of the law and politics of deferrals within the context of the AU’s repeated calls to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC, or the Council) to invoke Article 16 to suspend the processes initiated by the ICC against President Omar Al Bashir of Sudan. The UNSC’s failure to accede to the AU request led African States to formally withhold cooperation from the ICC in respect to the arrest and surrender of the Sudanese leader. Given the AU’s continued concerns, and the current impasse, fundamental questions have arisen about the Council’s authority to exercise, or not exercise, its deferral power. This culminated into a November 2009 African proposal for an amendment to the Rome Statute to empower the UN General Assembly to act should the UNSC fail to act on a deferral request after six months. Although ICC States Parties have so far shown limited public support for the AU’s proposed amendment to the deferral provision, this article examines its merits because a failure to engage the “Article 16 problem” could impact international accountability efforts in the Sudan, and further damage the ICC’s credibility in Africa. This unresolved issue also has wider significance given that the matters underlying the tension – how ICC prosecutions may be reconciled with peacemaking initiatives and the role and power of the Council in ICC business – will likely arise in future situations from around the world.
ISBN: 2210-9730
D. Akande and Sangeeta Shah, 'Immunities of State Officials, International Crimes and Foreign Domestic Courts' (2010) 21 European Journal of International Law 815
DOI: 10.1093/ejil/chq080
This article examines the extent to which state officials are subject to prosecution in foreign domestic courts for international crimes. We consider the different types of immunity that international law accords to state officials, the reasons for the conferment of this immunity and whether they apply in cases in which it is alleged that the official has committed an international crime. We argue that personal immunity (immunity ratione personae) continues to apply even where prosecution is sought for international crimes. Also we consider that instead of a single category of personal immunity there are in fact two types of such immunity and that one type extends beyond senior officials such as the Head of State and Head of Government. Most of the article deals with functional immunity (immunity ratione materiae). We take the view that this type of immunity does not apply in the case of domestic prosecution of foreign officials for most international crimes. However, we reject the traditional arguments which have been put forward by scholars and courts in support of this view. Instead we consider the key to understanding when functional immunity is available lies in examining how jurisdiction is conferred on domestic courts.
ISBN: 0938-5428
D. Akande, 'The Legal Nature of the Security Council Referrals to the ICC and its Impact on Al Bashirs Immunities' (2009) 7 Journal of International Criminal Justice 333
DOI: 10.1093/jicj/mqp034
This article considers whether states are obliged or permitted to arrest Sudanese President Omar al Bashir pursuant to a warrant of arrest issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC). The article considers the extent to which the ICC Statute removes immunities which would ordinarily be available to state officials. It is argued that the removal of the immunity by Article 27 of the ICC Statute applies also at the national level, when national authorities act in support of the ICC. The article examines the application of Article 98 of the ICC Statute and considers the legal nature of Security Council referrals to the ICC. It is argued that the effect of the Security Council referral is that Sudan is to be regarded as bound by the ICC Statute and thus by Article 27. Given that the Statute operates in this case not as a treaty but by virtue of being a Security Council resolution, the removal of immunity operates even with regard to non-parties. However, since any (implicit) removal of immunity by the Security Council would conflict with customary international law and treaty rules according immunity to a serving head of state, the article considers the application of Article 103 of the United Nations (UN) Charter in this case.
ISBN: 1478-1387
D. Akande and S Williams, 'International Adjudication and National Security Issues: What Role for the WTO' (2003) 43 Virginia Journal of International Law 365
60% contribution by this author
ISBN: 0042-6571
D. Akande, 'The Jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court over Nationals of Non-Parties: Legal Basis and Limits' (2003) (2003)1 Journal of International Criminal Justice 618
This article examines the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC) over nationals of states not party to the ICC Statute. The article first addresses the US argument that the exercise of ICC jurisdiction over nationals of non-parties without the consent of that non-party would be contrary to international law. The author considers the principles which support the delegation of criminal jurisdiction by states to international tribunals and discusses the precedents for such delegations. It is further argued that the exercise of ICC jurisdiction over acts done pursuant to the official policy of a non-party state would not be contrary to the principle requiring consent for the exercise of jurisdiction by international tribunals. Finally, the article explores the limits to the jurisdiction of the ICC over non-party nationals. In particular, the article addresses the circumstances in which ICC parties are precluded from surrendering nationals of non-parties to the ICC.
D. Akande, 'Nuclear Weapons, Unclear Law? Deciphering the Nuclear Weapons Advisory Opinion of the International Court' (1997) 68 British Yearbook of International Law
D. Akande, 'The International Court of Justice and the Security Council: Is there Room for Judicial Control of Decisions of the Political Organs of the United Nations' (1997) 46 International and Comparative Law Quarterly 309
D. Akande, 'The Legal Imperatives toward Supranationalism Inherent in the Process of Economic Integration' (1996) 8 Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the African Society of International and Comparative Law 103
D. Akande, 'The Role of the International Court of Justice in the Maintenance of International Peace' (1996) 8 African Journal of International and Comparative Law 592
D. Akande, S. Davis, M. Guerts and T. Doyle, 'New Trends in United Nations Peacekeeping" - a section in “Recent Developments in International Law 1993' (1994) European Law Students’ Association Law Review 71

Chapter (18)

D. Akande, 'Classification of Conflicts' in Saul & Akande (ed), Oxford Guide to International Humanitarian Law (Oxford University Press 2020)
DOI: 10.1093/law/9780198855309.001.0001
nternational humanitarian law (IHL) governs the conduct of participants in an armed conflict. Thus, to determine whether this body of law applies to situations of violence, it is necessary to assess first of all whether the situation amounts to an ‘armed conflict’. However, IHL does not recognize a unitary concept of armed conflict but two types of it: international (IACs) and non-international (NIACs). This chapter examines the history of the distinction between these two categories, the consequences of it, and whether it still has validity. It then discusses legal concepts relevant to the two categories, including the differences between a NIAC and other violence, extraterritorial hostilities by one state against a non-state armed group (NSAG), and conflicts in which multinational forces are engaged.
ISBN: 9780198855309
Talita de Souza Dias and D. Akande, 'Peace Negotiations as Interests of Justice' in Steinberg (ed), The International Criminal Court: Contemporary Challenges and Reform Proposals (Brill 2020)
ISBN: 978-90-04-38408-8
D. Akande, 'Understanding the Aggression Amendments' in Steinberg (ed), The International Criminal Court: Contemporary Challenges and Reform Proposals (Brill 2020)
ISBN: 978-90-04-38408-8
D. Akande, 'International Organizations' in Evans (ed), International Law (Oxford University Press 2018)
This chapter examines the legal framework governing international organizations. It begins with an examination of the history, role and nature of international organizations. It is argued in the chapter that although the constituent instruments and practices of each organization differ, there are common legal principles which apply to international organizations. The chapter focuses on the identification and exploration of those common legal principles. There is an examination of the manner in which international organizations acquire legal personality in international and domestic law and the consequences of that legal personality. There is also discussion of the manner in which treaties establishing international organizations are interpreted and how this differs from ordinary treaty interpretation. The legal and decision-making competences of international organizations are considered as are the responsibility of international organizations and their privileges and immunities. Finally, the chapter examines the structure and powers of what is probably the leading international organization—the United Nations (UN).
ISBN: 9780198791836
D. Akande, 'The Impact of the Genocide Convention on the Obligation to Implement ICC Arrest Warrants' in R. Steinberg (ed), Contemporary Issues Facing the International Criminal Court (Brill Nijhoff 2016)
The International Court of Justice (icj) has held that Article VI of the Genocide Convention imposes an implicit obligation on contracting parties to cooperate with an "international penal tribunal" that has jurisdiction over persons charged with genocide. Although it was envisioned in the drafting of the Convention that acceptance of such jurisdiction would occur by treaty, the ICC is to be regarded as a competent international penal tribunal under the Genocide Convention even in cases where the ICC exercises jurisdiction on the basis of a Security Council referral. This creates an obligation on parties to cooperate with the ICC where an accused person is charged with genocide. However, under the jurisprudence of the ICJ, this obligation of cooperation only arises where the contracting party in question has not only accepted the jurisdiction of the tribunal but also has a pre-existing obligation to cooperate. Applying this precedent would mean that in the Bashir case only those states that are parties to the ICC Statute have an obligation of cooperation under the Genocide Convention. However, a teleological interpretation of the Convention would permit use of the Genocide Convention as a basis for creating an obligation of cooperation for nonparties since they must be deemed to have accepted the jurisdiction of the ICC over the case, by virtue of a binding Security Council resolution conferring such jurisdiction. Relying on the Genocide Convention as a basis for cooperation would open up alternative arguments allowing ICC parties (and nonparties if the teleological interpretation were adopted) to bypass immunities otherwise provided for in international law.
D. Akande and A. Tzanakopoulos, 'The International Court of Justice and the Concept of Aggression' in C Kress and S Barriga (eds), The Crime of Aggression: A Commentary (Cambridge University Press 2016)
This paper reviews the contribution of the International Court of Justice in defining the concept of aggression against the background of the Kampala Amendments to the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. It argues that the ICJ, while not contributing directly to the elaboration of the concept of aggression, has indeed influenced the internal gradation of the concept of aggression through drawing an implicit parallel with the concept of armed attack. The paper then completes this picture by introducing a three-step parallel gradation of concepts: use of force-armed attack-serious breach of jus cogens and use of force-act of aggression-war and/or crime of aggression; and by discussing their potential relationship and interaction.
D. Akande, 'Classification of Armed Conflicts: Relevant Legal Concepts' in Wilmshurst (ed), International Law and the Classification of Conflicts (OUP 2012)
International humanitarian law governs the conduct of participants in an armed conflict. In order to determine whether it applies to situations of violence it is necessary to assess first of all whether the situation amounts to an ‘armed conflict’. However, international humanitarian law does not recognize a unitary concept of armed conflict but, rather, recognizes two types of armed conflicts: international and non-international. This chapter examines the history of the distinction between these two categories of armed conflict, the consequences of the distinction and whether it still has validity. The chapter then discusses legal concepts relevant to the two categories, including the differences between a non-international conflict and other violence, extraterritorial hostilities by one State against a non-state armed group and conflicts in which multinational forces are engaged. All these concepts are relevant to the understanding of the case studies which are the focus of the rest of the book.
ISBN: 978-0-19-965775-9
D. Akande, 'Arrest Warrant Case”; “Pius Nwaoga v. The State' in Cassese, Akande, et al (ed), Oxford Companion to International Criminal Justice (OUP 2009)
D. Akande, '“The Protective Principle”; “The Active Nationality Principle”; “The Passive Personality Principle”; “The Territoriality Principle”' in Cassese, Akande, et al (ed), Oxford Companion to International Criminal Justice (OUP 2009)
D. Akande, 'Act of State Doctrine' in P. Cane (ed), The New Oxford Companion to Law (OUP 2008)
D. Akande, 'The Jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court over Nationals of Non-Parties: Legal Basis and Limits' in Bekou & Cryer (ed), The International Criminal Court (Ashgate 2005)
also published as a journal article
ISBN: 0754624099
D. Akande, 'The Role of the International Court of Justice in the Maintenance of International Peace' in N. White (ed), Collective Security Law (Ashgate 2003)
This publication reproduces, in a collection of seminal works on collective security, an article first published in (1996) 8 African Journal of International Comparative Law. The chapter examiners the role and record of the international court in the settlement of disputes which are likely to affect international peace.
D. Akande, 'The Era of International Criminal Responsibility' in (ed), The Hutchinson Almanac (2000)

Edited Book (3)

D. Akande, Kuosmanen, McDermott and Roser (eds), Human Rights and 21st Century Challenges: Poverty, Conflict and the Environment (Oxford University Press 2020)
DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198824770.001.0001
The world faces significant and interrelated challenges in the twenty-first century which threaten human rights in a number of ways. This book examines the relationship between human rights and three of the largest challenges of the twenty-first century: conflict and security, environment, and poverty. Technological advances in fighting wars have led to the introduction of new weapons which threaten to transform the very nature of conflict. In addition, states confront threats to security which arise from a new set of international actors not clearly defined and which operate globally. Climate change, with its potentially catastrophic impacts, features a combination of characteristics which are novel for humanity. The problem is caused by the sum of innumerable individual actions across the globe and over time, and similarly involves risks that are geographically and temporally diffuse. In recent decades, the challenges involved in addressing global and national poverty have also changed. For example, the relative share of the poor in the world population has decreased significantly while the relative share of the poor who live in countries with significant domestic capacity has increased strongly. Overcoming these global and interlocking threats constitutes this century’s core political and moral task. This book examines how these challenges may be addressed using a human rights framework. It considers how these challenges threaten human rights and seeks to reassess our understanding of human rights in the light of these challenges. The analysis considers both foundational and applied questions. The approach is multidisciplinary and contributors include some of the most prominent lawyers, philosophers, and political theorists in the debate. The authors not only include leading academics but also those who have played important roles in shaping the policy debates on these questions. Each Part includes contributions by those who have served as Special Rapporteurs within the United Nations human rights system on the challenges under consideration.
ISBN: 9780198824770
Saul and D. Akande (eds), Oxford Guide to International Humanitarian Law (Oxford University Press 2020)
DOI: 10.1093/law/9780198855309.001.0001
International humanitarian law is the law that governs the conduct of participants during armed conflict. This branch of law aims to regulate the means and methods of warfare as well as to provide protections to those who do not, or who no longer, take part in the hostilities. It is one of the oldest branches of international law and one of enduring relevance today. This book provides an authoritative and practical overview of this important area of law. The book covers the foundations of international humanitarian law, including its sources, scope of application, and provides an overview of the classification of conflicts and domains of warfare. Chapters then deal with traditional issues that arise in the application of this body of law, such as the basic principles of the conduct of hostilities, the fundamental guarantees provided by this body of law, as well the law relating to weapons, detention, and specifically protected persons. The book also considers the implementation of this body of law, including through criminal prosecution for war crimes. Finally, it addresses the relationship between international humanitarian law and modern challenges relating to protection of the environment, human rights, and terrorism. The book targets professionals, as well as advanced students, with information and analysis of sufficient depth to enable them to perform their tasks with understanding and confidence. It also serves as a first port of call, a one stop shop, and a regular reference work for those interested in international humanitarian law.
ISBN: 9780198855309
A.Cassese, G. Acquaviva, D. Akande and others (eds), Oxford Companion to International Criminal Justice (Oxford University Press 2009)
The Oxford Companion to International Criminal Justice is the first major reference work to provide a complete overview of this emerging field. Its nearly 1100 pages are divided into three sections. In the first part, 21 essays by leading thinkers offer a comprehensive survey of issues and debates surrounding international humanitarian law, international criminal law, and their enforcement. The second part is arranged alphabetically, containing 320 entries on doctrines, procedures, institutions and personalities. The final part contains over 400 case summaries on different trials from international and domestic courts dealing with war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, torture, and terrorism. With analysis and commentary on every aspect of international criminal justice, this Companion is designed to be the first port of call for scholars and practitioners interested in current developments in international justice.
ISBN: 978-0-19-923832-3

Internet Publication (7)

D. Akande and Talita de Souza-Dias, 'A New Approach to the"Interests of Justice” in the Ten Years Ahead of the Rome Statute' (2018) ICCForum.com
We believe that a key reform that has the potential to make the international criminal justice project stronger, more efficient, and more effective is the consideration of peace negotiations as an additional factor in the Prosecutor’s decision of whether or not to pursue an investigation or prosecution “in the interests of justice,” in accordance with Article 53(1)(c) and 2(c) of the Rome Statute. At present, this would require a revision of the Policy Papers issued on this question, in particular, the 2013 Policy Paper on Preliminary Examinations and the 2007 Policy Paper on the Interests of Justice. Significantly, we believe that this reform has the potential to prevent or alleviate, at least in part, some of the most pressing problems mentioned by the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) in its question for this issue of the ICC Forum, namely, the lack of state cooperation, limited budget, and lengthy or complex proceedings.
D. Akande, 'An Analysis of why the ICC does not have Jurisdiction over the Crime of Aggression Committed by Nationals of ICC Parties which have not Ratified the Kampala Aggression Amendments' (2018) ICCForum.com
This piece examines the question of who will be subject to the ICC’s jurisdiction with respect to the crime of aggression. One of the most contentious questions in the negotiations that have taken place, since the adoption of the Rome Statute, regarding the crime of aggression is the question whether the Court’s normal jurisdictional regime should apply to the crime of aggression. A key point that divided the parties during the aggression negotiations was whether the Court should have jurisdiction over nationals of a state that does not ratify the aggression amendments but which is alleged to have committed an act of aggression on the territory of a state has accepted the aggression amendments. At the Kampala Review Conference, a provision was included in the aggression amendments by which states parties to the Rome Statute could opt out from the Court’s jurisdiction over aggression. While some states asserted that the Kampala Amendments essentially created an opt-out regime, under which nationals of states parties to the Rome Statute were covered by ICC jurisdiction unless their state opted-out, others maintained the regime for aggression was essentially an opt-in regime under which nationals of state parties were not within the jurisdiction of the Court unless their state opted-in. The dispute on this issue continued right up to the 2017 ICC Assembly of States Parties meeting in New York at which the ICC’s jurisdiction over the crime of aggression was activated. The resolution adopted in New York endorsed the “narrow view” of ICC jurisdiction and asserted that its jurisdiction over the crime of aggression was essentially based on states parties opting in. This comment first considers the legal effect that the New York resolution will have in determining this jurisdictional question. It is argued that the although an ASP resolution adopted by consensus can, in principle, be regarded as a subsequent agreement of the parties to the Rome Statute that establishes their authentic interpretation of the Statute, within the meaning of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, the New York resolution does not, in itself, provide the definitive answer as to the correct interpretation of the Rome Statute. It is argued that despite being adopted by consensus, and despite being highly relevant for the interpretation of the Rome Statute and Kampala Amendments, this resolution does not necessarily amount to a subsequent agreement or subsequent practice that the Court is legally bound to follow. Nevertheless, it is argued that the position adopted in New York with regard to the jurisdiction of the Court over nationals of states parties that do not ratify the aggression amendments is the correct legal position and the one that the Court, including the Office of the Prosecutor, ought to adopt. This comment argues that the answer to the question over whom the Court will have jurisdiction with respect to aggression is to be found in Rome rather than in Kampala and that the key to addressing that issue is to understand how the amendment provisions of the Rome Statute work, in conjunction with basic principles of the law of treaties.
D. Akande, 'The Genocide Convention and the Obligation of Cooperation with the International Criminal Court' (2011) UCLA Human Rights and International Criminal Law Online Forum (2011)
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has held that Article VI of the Genocide Convention imposes an implicit obligation on Contracting Parties to cooperate with an “international penal tribunal” that has jurisdiction over persons charged with genocide. Although it was envisaged in the drafting of the Convention that acceptance of such jurisdiction would occur by treaty, the ICC is to be regarded as a competent international penal tribunal under the Genocide Convention even in cases where the ICC exercises jurisdiction on the basis of a Security Council referral. This creates an obligation on parties to cooperate with the ICC where an accused person is charged with genocide. However, under the jurisprudence of the ICJ this obligation of cooperation only arises where the contracting party in question has not only accepted the jurisdiction of the tribunal but also has a pre-existing obligation to cooperate. Applying this precedent would mean that in the Bashir case, only those States that are parties to the ICC Statute have an obligation of cooperation under the Genocide Convention. However, a teleological interpretation of the Convention would permit use of the Genocide Convention as a basis for creating an obligation of cooperation for non-parties since they must be deemed to have accepted the jurisdiction of the ICC over the case by virtue of a binding Security Council resolution conferring such jurisdiction. Relying on the Genocide Convention as a basis for a cooperation would open up alternative arguments allowing ICC parties (and non-parties if the teleological interpretation were adopted) to bypass immunities otherwise provided for in international law.

Book (2)

D. Murray, D. Akande, C. Garraway, F. Hampson, N. Lubell and E. Wilmshurst, Practitioners' Guide to Human Rights Law in Armed Conflict (Oxford University Press 2016)
Although the relationship between international human rights law and the law of armed conflict has been the subject of significant recent academic discussion, there remains a lack of comprehensive guidance in identifying the law applicable to specific situations faced by military forces. Providing guidance for armed forces and practitioners on the detailed application of international human rights law during armed conflict, this book fills that gap. Part 1 of the volume details foundational information relating to international human rights law and human rights institutions, the types of operations that States' armed forces engage in, and how the law of armed conflict and international human rights law apply to regulate different situations. Part 2 provides practical guidance as to the legal regulation of specific situations, including discussion of the conduct of hostilities, detention operations, humanitarian assistance, cyber operations, and investigations. This book is the result of an in-depth process involving both academic and practitioner experts in the law of armed conflict and international human rights law who were convened in meetings at Chatham House chaired by Elizabeth Wilmshurst, Distinguished Fellow at Chatham House. The group included Professor Francoise Hampson, Essex University; Professor Dapo Akande, Oxford University; Charles Garraway, Fellow at Essex University; Professor Noam Lubell, Essex University; Michael Meyer, British Red Cross; and Daragh Murray, Lecturer at Essex University
ISBN: 9780198791393

Other (6)

D. Akande, Max du Plessis and Charles Jalloh, 'An African Expert Study on the African Union's Concerns About Article 16 of the Rome Statute of the ICC' (2010) Institute for Security Studies
This African expert study on the African Union’s (AU) concerns about article 16 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) seeks to articulate a clearer picture of the law and politics of article 16 deferrals within the context of the AU’s repeated calls to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to invoke article 16 to suspend the processes initiated by the ICC against President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan. The lack of a formal reply by the UNSC to the AU request has resulted in AU member states deciding to withhold cooperation from the ICC in respect of the arrest and surrender of Bashir. In light of the AU’s continued concerns, questions have arisen about the UNSC’s exercise of the controversial deferral power contained in article 16. This culminated in the AU proposing that article 16 be amended to empower the UN General Assembly to act should the UNSC fail to decide on a deferral request after six months. Although states parties to the Rome Statute have shown little support for the AU’s proposed amendment to article 16, the merits of the AU proposal must be considered. A failure to engage with African government concerns about the deferral provision could further damage the ICC’s credibility in Africa. Constructive suggestions about the ‘article 16 problem’ must be developed in order to contribute towards resolving the negative stance that some African countries have taken towards the ICC. The challenge is to devise both legally sound and politically palatable options. For many Africans, the ICC’s involvement in Sudan has come to reflect the skewed nature of power distribution within the UNSC and global politics. The result is that the uneven political landscape of the post-World War II collective security regime has become a central problem of the ICC. It is also important to pay attention to the AU’s concerns and its request for an article 16 deferral of the Bashir indictment because the matters underlying the tension – how ICC prosecutions may be reconciled with peacemaking initiatives and the role and power of the UNSC in ICC business – are likely to arise in the future with respect to other situations. Solutions must be found to problems that may arise in working out the relationship between the UNSC and the ICC. The study therefore makes practical suggestions about how to resolve the concerns raised within certain African government circles and other developing nations about the relationship between the UNSC and the ICC, and the relationship between the ICC and peacemaking initiatives of governments and regional organisations. The spirit underlying the study is that a strong, independent and successful ICC is ultimately in Africa’s best interest as the continent works to tackle impunity. By the same token, it is equally in the ICC’s long-term interest to show greater sensitivity towards the specific interests and views of African states. It is for this reason that the position paper includes proposals for possible amendment of article 16, despite agreement among the experts of the project’s working group that such an amendment is unlikely considering the amount of support that would be required from states parties to enable the passing of an amendment. . . . The expert study began with the writing of a draft position paper on the article 16 issue. The draft was then circulated to a group of African and international experts from civil society and government, who provided written comments and participated in a two-day meeting in Addis Ababa in June 2010 to discuss the draft paper. The experts participated in their personal capacities and their views do not reflect the views of their organisations. Although the final position paper reflects the outcomes of the inputs and discussions among the expert group members, the contents of this paper must be attributed to the three authors rather than to members of the expert group.
ISBN: 978-1-920422-24-0
D. Akande, 'Prosecuting Aggression: The Consent Problem and the Role of the Security Council' (2010)
This paper focuses on the conditions which ought to exist before the International Criminal Court can exercise jurisdiction over the crime of aggression. In particular, it addresses (i) whether the Court should be competent to exercise jurisdiction where the alleged aggressor State has either not accepted the amendment on aggression, or is not a party to the ICC Statute and (ii) whether ICC jurisdiction on aggression should be made dependent on the prior approval of the United Nations Security Council. The first issue is referred to here as the “consent problem” and the second the “Security Council problem/issue”. This paper argues that the consent problem raises a fundamental question of deeper significance than the textual or perhaps technical issues concerning the way in which the amendment concerning aggression might come into force under Article 121 of the Statute. The consent problem raises fundamental issues about the nature of the ICC as an international tribunal and about the principles governing the competence of international tribunals under international law. In particular, the consent issue raises important questions about the jurisdiction of international tribunals over non-consenting States and whether the ICC is to be regarded as bound by rules of international law that would ordinarily bind other international tribunals. This paper, outlines and explains the principle of consent as applied to the competence of international tribunals. There is a detailed discussion, in Section 2, of the application of the principle to cases before international tribunals where the tribunal is called upon to determine the rights and obligations of States not before the tribunal. In particular, this section discusses the Monetary Gold principle enunciated by the International Court of Justice. According to that principle, the Court will not adjudicate on a case where the Court would be required, as a necessary prerequisite, to adjudicate on the rights or responsibilities of a non-consenting and absent third State. It is argued that this principle is simply an application of the more general principle of consent and that the principle is derived from the more fundamental principle of the independence of States, i.e. the idea that States are not subject to external authority of other States or institutions created by other States. The paper argues, in Section 3, that because a determination that an individual has committed the crime of aggression requires a prior determination that a State has committed an act of aggression and a breach of the UN Charter, the ICC would act in violation of the consent principle in cases contemplated by the aggression amendment. The paper then turns, in Section 4, to an examination of whether the consent principle and the Monetary Gold principle (which is an application of that more general principle) are applicable to international criminal tribunals in general and to the ICC in particular. Referring to the case law of other tribunals, it is argued that these principles apply to all international tribunals and that the form in which the proceedings involving adjudication of the responsibilities of other States takes place is irrelevant to their application. Section 5 examines which States are to be regarded as non-consenting States for the purpose of the application of the consent principle. I then turn to the Nuremberg and Tokyo precedents in Section 6. I argue that the establishment and operation of these tribunals would not support the view that a rule has developed permitting departure from the consent principle in international criminal tribunals. I argue that neither tribunal was truly international and that in any event, in both cases, there was the consent of the relevant sovereign authority. The paper considers, in Section 7, whether the jurisdiction of the ICC over aggression can be justified on the basis of a transfer of authority from the State that is the alleged victim of aggression. It is argued that though victim States can prosecute for aggression and though transferred jurisdiction is an appropriate justification for the jurisdiction of the ICC in general, the principles and precedents which support transfers of jurisdiction to international tribunal do not apply to aggression. Section 8 returns to the Security Council issue and considers whether prior determination by the Council (or by the General Assembly or ICJ) would fall within an exception to the Monetary Gold principle. It is argued that the best way to expand the jurisdiction of the Court to non-consenting States while respecting the principle of consent is by referral of situations to the Court by the Council. When the consent problem is taken into account, the role of the Security Council in making referrals to the ICC with regard to aggression is not a limit on the competence of the Court. Rather the Security Council comes to the aid of the Court and expands its jurisdiction to situations where the ICC would otherwise be legally incompetent to act. On this view, giving the Security Council almost exclusive competence with regard to aggression cases is not to be regarded as a problem to be overcome, but rather as a means of overcoming an existing problem. The final section is the main theoretical contribution of the piece, considering whether the deviation from the consent principle contemplated with regard to the ICC’s jurisdiction over aggression is to be regarded as an evolution of the law or instead a violation.
D. Akande, 'Africa Have Your Say' (2000) BBC BBC World Service Duration: 54 mins
The programme discussed issues relating to the ICC and the pursuit of peace and justice.

Review (3)

D. Akande, 'The Settlement of International Disputes: Institutions and Procedures, Collier and Lowe (OUP, 1999).' (2001) 64 Modern Law Review 140 [Review]
D. Akande, 'Review of The International Court of Justice: Its Future Role After Fifty Years, Muller, Raic and Thuránszky (eds.), (Martinus Nijhoff, 1997).' (1998) 69 British Yearbook of International Law 524 [Review]
D. Akande, 'Review of National Treaty Law and Practice: France, Germany, India, Switzerland, Thailand and the United Kingdom, Monroe Leigh and Merritt R. Blakeslee (eds.), (ASIL, 1995)' (1995) 7 African Journal of International and Comparative Law 215 [Review]

Research projects