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Studying with us during coronavirus in 2021

James Nyawo


  • PhD Candidate, Middlesex University School of Law, UK (Current)
  • MSc in Humanitarian Programme Management, Liverpool University, UK (2006)
  • BSc (Hons) Sociology, University of Zimbabwe (2000)

Research Interests

  • International Criminal Law
  • Transitional Justice
  • International Criminal Court
  • African Union-Peace and Security Architecture
  • Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and Refugees
  • Great Lakes and Eastern Africa Region

Current Research

Doctoral Thesis: The Selective Enforcement of International Criminal Law: the case of International Criminal Court (ICC) and the African Union

Supervised by Professor William Schabas and Dr Nadia Bernaz

The study applies the doctrine of international rule of law to evaluate the enforcement of international criminal law by the International Criminal Court during the first ten years (2002-2012) of its existence. It seeks to make a contribution in understanding the underlying factors behind the Court's selective focus on Africa and its failure to officially open investigations in other regions/states apart from Africa. The questions that the Study seeks to answer include, to what extent, and why, is the Court selectively focusing on Africa, and why is the Court not enforcing international criminal law in regions other than Africa.


Book Chapter: James Nyawo (2011),  Historical Narrative of Mass Atrocities and Injustice In Africa: Implications for the Implementation of International Criminal justice in  Africa and the future of international criminal justice Vincent O. Nmehielle (ed.) (2011) Eleven International Publications

Journal Publication

Risking Irrelevance: The Threat of Impunity to the African Union, The Jurist http://jurist.org/forum/2011/08/james-nyawo-africa-justice.php

Conference Papers

Hissène Habré case in Senegal - Do crimes committed by Africans need to be dealt with through African mechanisms by James Nyawo presented at Africa- Low Countries Network International Conference on Setting a research agenda for the law, the criminology, the victimology, and the research methodology of international crimes. 2nd – 5th of March 2013 in Nyanza, Rwanda

Relevant Contributions

Short Article: Prospects and challenges of the emerging multiplicity of African regional criminal justice system in Criminology and International Crimes Newsletter, Vol.7, nr 2 December 2012

Short Article: The Proliferation of Courts in Africa in Criminology and International Crimes Newsletter, Vol. 8, nr 1 July 2013

Awards and Scholarships 

Finalist: The Inaugural Benjamin B. Ferencz Essay Competition 2012

An essay on the conditions under which acts that constitute illegal use of armed force and that result in the widespread or systematic attack upon a civilian population may be prosecuted as crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court, pursuant to the Rome Statute, , Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute Washington University Law


Since graduating from the University of Zimbabwe in 2000, James has worked extensively in sub-Saharan Africa in conflict and post-conflict settings with IDPs, refugees and demobilised rebel groups principally in Angola, Northern Uganda, Sudan and South Sudan.  His experience includes negotiating humanitarian access with government authorities, designing humanitarian programme frameworks, carrying out assessments and strategic planning.  James' aim is that his current doctoral studies and his passion for the respect of human dignity combined with his practical experience of work in conflict zones will enable him to further his career both in the humanitarian sector and in academia.  He has a particular interest in peace negotiation and conflict resolution in Africa.

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