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School of Law

Dr Thoko Kaime

LLB (Hons)(Malawi), LLM (Pretoria), PhD (SOAS, London)


Thoko Kaime
School of Law

Senior Teaching Fellow

Law, Environment and Development Centre (LEDC)

Member, Law, Environment & Development Centre

Dr Thoko Kaime
Email address:
+44 (0)20 7898 4651
SOAS, University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
Office No:
Office Hours:
By Appointment


Dr Thoko Kaime is a Senior Teaching Fellow in the School of Law. He is a public international lawyer and maintains research and teaching interests in human rights and international environmental law. His work is an ongoing socio-legal critique of international legal arrangements which he expresses through a consideration of a number of critical issues in children’s rights and sustainability governance. He has written extensively on these subjects, focusing on the intersection between law, legitimacy and public participation in international rule-making and policy implementation. Amongst his publications are Cultural Legitimacy and the International Law and Policy on Climate Change (London: Routledge, 2013) and The Convention on the Rights of the Child: A Cultural Legitimacy Critique (Groningen: Europa Law, Publishing, 2011).

Thoko has previously served as Lecturer in International Environmental Law at the University of Leicester; Deputy Director of the Environmental Regulatory Research Group at the University of Surrey and as a corporate consultant for risk management firm Exclusive Analysis Limited where he was Head of Africa Division.

Beyond SOAS, Thoko is Senior Lecturer in Law and Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Essex; Convenor for Energy and Natural Resources at the International Environmental Law Research Centre; Visiting Professor at Fordham University School of Law; and co-Chair of the Community of Practice on Legal Aspects of Sustainable Access to Energy.


Courses Taught


Thematic interests
International energy law and policy (including sustainable energy for all; access to energy and human rights; energy finance and human rights) Law and natural resources (including law and policy for ecosystems services; regulatory frameworks for climate change; access to water; risk regulation in natural resources) International human rights law (including human rights in Africa; children's rights; refugee rights) Research methods (including socio-legal methodologies; disruptive discourse and innovation) 
Regional interests
Southern Africa; East Africa; West Africa; South America

Current work
Dr Kaime’s current work investigates role of disruptive discourse in shaping progressive action and accountability frameworks in international law. In particular, he is investigating the extent to which human rights language can be deployed as a strategic tool for the realisation of sustainable energy for all including the articulation of a general right of access to basic energy services.



For help in contacting SOAS academics and advice on services to business and the community, please contact SOAS Enterprise on +44(0)20 7898 4837 or email enterprise@soas.ac.uk.
For all press and media enquiries please call +44 (0)20 7898 4135 or email comms@soas.ac.uk


Languages: Chinyanja; Chiyao

Available for
  • TV
  • Radio
  • Press
  • Briefings
  • Short Term Consultancy
  • Long Term Consultancy
Regional Expertise
  • Africa
Country Expertise
  • Botswana
  • Kenya
  • Malawi
  • Rwanda
  • South Africa
  • Tanzania
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe


Authored Books

Kaime, Thoko (2011) The Convention on the Rights of the Child: A cultural legitimacy critique. Groningen: Europa Law Publishing.

Kaime, Thoko (2009) The African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child: A socio-legal perspective. Pretoria, South Africa: Pretoria University Law Press.

Edited Books or Journal Volumes

Kaime, Thoko, ed. (2013) Cultural Legitimacy and the International Law and Policy on Climate Change. Routledge. (Routledge Research in International Environmental Law) (Forthcoming)

Book Chapters

Kaime, Thoko (2009) 'Socio-legal approaches to children’s rights under the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child: A discussion of methodology.' In: Atkin, Bill, (ed.), The International Survey of Family Law 2009 Edition. Bristol: Family Law, pp. 255-274.

Kaime, Thoko (2008) 'The protection of refugee children under the African human rights system: finding durable solutions in international law.' In: Sloth-Nielsen, Julia, (ed.), Children’s rights in Africa: A legal perspective. London: Ashgate, pp. 183-197.

Kaime, Thoko (2004) 'Children’s right to health.' In: Coetzee, E. and Streak, J., (eds.), Monitoring child socio-economic rights in South Africa: Achievements and challenges. Cape Town: Idasa, pp. 127-169.


Kaime, Thoko (2011) 'Cultural legitimacy and regulatory transitions for climate change: A discursive framework.' Carbon & Climate Law Review, 3 . pp. 321-329.

Kaime, Thoko (2010) '’Vernacularising’ the Convention on the Right of the Child: Rights and culture as analytic tools.' International Journal of Children’s Rights, 18 (4). pp. 637-653.

Kaime, Thoko (2009) 'The foundations of rights in the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child: A historical and philosophical account.' African Journal of Legal Studies, 3 . pp. 119-136.

Kaime, Thoko (2009) 'The African Children’s Charter: Does it represent a relevant vision of childhood and children’s rights?' Children's Legal Rights Journal, 29 . pp. 11-29.

Kaime, Thoko (2009) 'The struggle for context in the protection of children’s rights: Understanding the core concepts of the African Children’s Charter.' Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law, 58 . pp. 33-68.

Chirwa, Danwood and Kaime, Thoko (2008) 'Where are the missing pieces? Constructing a mosaic of the CRC and the African Children’s Charter in Malawi’s law and policy.' Malawi Law Journal, 2 . pp. 85-114.

Kaime, Thoko (2005) 'The Convention on the Rights of the Child and the cultural legitimacy of children’s rights in Africa: Some reflections.' African Human Rights Law Journal, 5 (2). pp. 221-238.

Kaime, Thoko (2004) 'From lofty jargon to durable solutions: Unaccompanied refugee children and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.' International Journal of Refugee Law, 16 (3). pp. 336-348.

Kaime, Thoko (2004) 'Beyond social programs: The right to health under the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights.' East African Journal of Peace & Human Rights, 10 (2). pp. 192-205.

Kaime, Thoko (2004) 'Whose rights are they anyway?: A critical analysis of the international supervision mechanisms for economic, social and cultural rights.' Zambia Law Journal, 36 . p. 119.

Kaime, Thoko (2004) 'SADC and human rights: Fitting human rights into the trade matrix.' African Security Review, 13 (1). pp. 109-117.

Kaime, Thoko (2003) 'Culture or children’s rights...or both?' ChildrenFirst, 50 . pp. 15-26.

Book Reviews

Kaime, Thoko (2006) 'Review of J Hatchard, M Ndulo and P Slinn, 'Comparative Constitutionalism and Good Governance in the Commonwealth: An Eastern and Southern African Perspective'.' Journal of African Law, 50 (1). pp. 85-87.

Kaime, Thoko (2004) 'Review of T. W. Bennett, 'Customary Law in South Africa'.' Journal of African Law, 48 (2). pp. 271-273.

Kaime, Thoko (2004) 'Review of C. Grant Bowman and A. Kuenyahia, 'Women and Law in sub-Saharan Africa'.' Journal of African Law, 48 (2). p. 273.

This list was generated on Tue Dec 1 00:32:18 2015 GMT.