The virtual Hamburg Lecture Series in Public & Comparative Law continues with a sixth event on „The International Law Commission: Challenges and Opportunities?“ on June 15 at 4.00 pm CEST.

The UN International Law Commission was established in 1947 to „initiate studies and make recommendations for the purpose of […] encouraging the progressive development of international law and its codification“. Since then, many of its projects have been adopted by states in the form of treaties, such as the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, or contributed to international law in a meaningful way, e.g. the 2001 ILC Articles on State Responsibility. Phoebe Okowa will address today’s challenges and opportunities of the Commission.

Spea­ker: Prof. Phoebe Okowa, Queen Mary University London and member-elect of the UN International Law Commission

Prof. Phoebe Nyawade Okowa is a Professor of Public International Law at the Queen Mary University of London. In 2021 she was elected to the UN International Law Commission for a period of five years (starting in 2023), becoming the first African woman to serve as a member of the commission. In 2017 she was nominated as an arbiter to the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague. Prof Okowa has acted as counsel and consultant to governments and non-governmental organizations on questions of international law before domestic and international courts, including the International Court of Justice. Phoebe Okowa graduated at the top of her class with a Bachelor of Law (LLB) from the University of Nairobi, Kenya. She proceeded to the University of Oxford on a Foreign and Commonwealth Office Scholarship, obtaining the degree of Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL). She completed her doctoral thesis (D.Phil.) at Oxford under the supervision of Ian Brownlie QC. Her monograph on State Responsibility for Transboundary Air Pollution, published by Oxford University Press, remains the definitive work on the legal challenges that environmental harm presents for traditional methods of accountability in International Law. Her work on the admissibility of claims in international adjudication has been cited numerous times by domestic courts considering questions of International Law. She is on the International Advisory Board of the Stockholm Centre for International Law and the Executive Committee of the International Society of Public Law (ICON-S).


Contact Dr. Anne Dienelt (anne.dienelt @ in case of questions.