About the Website
About the Site Website
The website addresses the question of Power and Justice in the context of contemporary international law. In pursuit of that objective, my main area of interests and research concern the use of violence in international armed conflict (IAC), non-international armed conflict (NIAC) and in peace time through the prism of international humanitarian law, international human rights law, international criminal law and the theory of public international law. My research investigates the relationship between these different disciplines of law, at the international and national level, and how their interpretation as well as implementation impacts the general civilian population, particularly women and children. The research explores whether
the right of self-defence, as provided in Article 51 of the UN Charter, general principles of law and jurisprudence of international courts and tribunals, can ever be effectively exercised by “weak, incapable, failing, unwilling or vassal states”, that is, states that exist only because of the ‘good will’ of the Major Powers and fully dependant on foreign funding, aids and grants, like most African states do, and usually with strings attached;
The legal position of non-state actors and the use of violence, and whether the relationship between the states and the non-state actors is or ought to be legitimate in light of Common Article 3 of the four 1949 Geneva Conventions and its Additional Protocol II of 1977. Further, my research consider whether use of violence by state-centred regimes is eroding legitimacy of international humanitarian law or whether it is possible to imagine a public-law system where states are not the only actors allowed to use military force or other harmful or weapons of dubious legality or means and
At the philosophical level, whether the structural bias in international law unfairly privileges the state vis-à-vis non-state actors particularly as under contemporary legal norms, non-state actors (particularly rebel forces and their commanders who sometimes control large parts or region of a sovereign state) are not necessarily subjects of international law.
In my earlier PhD project, I examined whether in establishing individual criminal responsibility of political leaders and military commanders, international law can direct a sovereign state what to do or what other legitimate stake holders can within a given sovereign state. We came to the conclusion that often it is the ‘international community’ that has a choice between prosecuting sovereign leaders and/or their senior advisors for violations of international laws at an international criminal court, such as The Hague-based ICC, and a corrupt national court, even when there is evidence that the leaders of that corrupt state do kill their own people without consequences. Challenges of handing over former President of Sudan, Gen Al Bashir are a case in point. Determination of criminal responsibility of perpetrator leaders under contemporary understanding of international law when sovereign states have authority to use force while non-state actors are criminalized under domestic law tend to provide for impunity for ‘criminal’ leaders at the national level, and unequal justice before international courts or tribunals for victims or survivors of that ‘criminal’ regime. To that extent, conceptions of political authority and the right to war enjoyed by the state is easily conflated and abused with no guaranteed legal protection for the civilian population, including women and children, persons who are often the victims and survivors of armed conflicts and bad governance. It is these and other relevant areas of legal concern that relate to the exercise of Power and its apparent correlation to Justice that are explored in this website.
Doctor of Laws Degree (1993-1997) specialising in international humanitarian law, international human rights law and International Criminal Law. The title of my LLD thesis is The Judging of War Criminals: Individual Criminal Responsibility under International Law.(Stockholm University, 1997)
Master of Laws degree (LLM) at Stockholm University specialising in the Laws of War and Public International Law (1990-1991). The title of my LLM thesis is The Concept of the term “Refugee” as used in the OAU Convention and its application to the Specific Aspect of Refugee Problems in Africa (Stockholm University, 1991)
Called to the Uganda Bar – Advocate of the High Court of Uganda and all Courts subordinate thereto (January 1977); Commissioner for Oaths (1983)
The Law Development Centre, studied for and graduated with a Post-Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (1974-1975)
Studied for a Bachelor of Laws degree (LLB) at Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, and graduated with an honours degree (1971-1974)
A student at Nabumali High School (1969-1970) where I studied Economics, History, Literature in English, as Principal subjects, and General Paper as a subsidiary subject. I obtained 3P 1S and awarded East African Advanced Certificate of Education.
Summary of expertise experience
Founder & Executive Director, Alternative Policy Forum, a non-profit organization that provides pro bono legal services to migrants and asylum seekers. The Forum conducts policy-centred research on multi-disciplinary subjects. While the research is focused on Uganda and other members of the East African Community, the scope of our research and studies covers the entire African continent (since May, 2019)
Managing Partner at Consultancy & Legal research on topical issues concerning international human rights law, Migration and Refugee laws (since March 2011)
United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, in senior positions including Chief of Appeals and Legal Advisory Division (ALAD) responsible for the conduct of interlocutory and final appeals before the Appeals Chambers, providing legal advice to the trial teams, investigators and the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP). I served at both Kigali (Rwanda) and Arusha (Tanzania) OTP (2000-2010)
Visiting Scholar at the Department of Law, University of Swaziland taught criminal law, Criminal Procedure and Evidence, and Land Law (1998-1999)
Visiting Research Scholar, Office of Legal Affairs, United Nations, New York where I conducted post-doctoral research on international terrorism and non-state actors in armed conflict situations. (1997-1998)
Doctoral candidate and Lecturer-in-Law, Department of Law, Stockholm University where I taught international humanitarian law and international criminal law (1993-1997)
Founder & CEO of a Law Firm, ODORA & CO Advocates, Kampala Uganda where I practised law as senior partner responsible for management of the Law Firm, the conduct of both civil and criminal cases representing clients before Magistrates Court, High Court and Court of Appeal of the Republic of Uganda and an active member of Uganda Law Society. I was also professional adviser for the Law Development Centre delivered lectures to students studying for Diploma and Certificate in law. I was also responsible for supervising post-graduate students in law during their internship at our Law Firm (1981-1987)
State Advocate, Department of Public Prosecutions, Ministry of Legal Affairs, Government Republic of Zambia responsible for conducting cases before the High Court and Supreme Court of Zambia. My responsibilities included providing legal advice to Police investigators and giving lectures at the Zambia Police College (1977-1980)
Assistant Lecturer-in-Law, Law Development Centre. I delivered lectures to post-graduate studies as well as editing the Uganda Law Digest, a monthly summary of cases before the Uganda High Court, Uganda Court of Appeal and the East African Court of Appeal (1975-1977)