The Declaration of a State of Emergency in Parts of Nigeria: Problems and Prospects (March 2014)


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Publication Date



Friday, March 28, 2014
Speaker: Epiphany Azinge (Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies)
Location: Osgoode, IKB 2027
Time: 12:30 -2:20pm


A distinguished scholar and jurist, Professor Epiphany Azinge, SAN, has served since 2009 as the 5th Director General of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Abuja (Nigeria’s apex institution for advanced studies in law) and is a renowned Senior Advocate of Nigeria (i.e. member of the inner bar). Professor Azinge has previously served as the Special Assistant to the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice where he served from 1991 to 1997, and as a member of Nigeria’s legal team at the International Court of Justice in the so-called Bakkasi Case (Cameroon v. Nigeria).

He holds the PhD (1986) and LLM (1983) degrees from the University of London and an LL.B in the Second Class Upper Division from the University of Lagos (1976). He was called to the Nigerian bar in 1980. His specializations are in comparative constitutional law, public law, and shipping law. His doctoral thesis was on “Electoral Laws in Nigeria”. The progression of his educational attainment has clearly portrayed a path of brilliance and excellence that his professional career has also been known for.

A talented educationist and administrator, Professor Azinge began his career as an academic at the University of Benin in 1981. As a lecturer in law, and later a professor of law, he taught several courses in a wide diversity of areas. He has also engaged in LLM and Ph.D thesis supervision. He has held several administrative positions including service as Assistant Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Benin and membership of the University Senate of the same institution.

His innovative and dynamic stewardship in the last five years as the Director General of the Institute has demonstrated sterling performance much to his credit and has brought an enhanced international and local profile to the Institute. For e.g, during his five-year tenure as Director General, the Institute has produced over 63 books and journals. It was during his tenure that a PhD programme in Legislative drafting was introduced at the Institute; the first ever free online pro-bono law clinic in the whole of the African continent was launched; and its E-learning and Distance Learning, Judicial Performance Evaluation, Restatement of Customary Law in Nigeria and the Traditional Administration of Justice, Political Financing, Nigerian Law Faculties Annual Ranking, and eleven other innovative projects, were introduced.

It was also due in part to his remarkable receptiveness and dynamism that the current Osgoode/NIALS Partnership Development project (funded by the SSHRC) was instituted. This project, hosted by the Nathanson Centre, has thus far led to two years of intensive research collaboration and exchanges between some Osgoode-based scholars and students and many of their equivalents at NIALS. It has also led to the forthcoming international conference on Canadian/Nigerian Cooperation in Human Rights, billed for this April, and the launch of a new international journal co-published between the Nathanson Centre and NIALS, the Transnational Human Rights Review.

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