Decolonising (Access to) Knowledge: Digitising African Law and Legal Scholarship

Key information

11:30 AM to 12:45 PM
Virtual Event

About this event

About this Event

This webinar, co-hosted by SOAS and the University of Cape Town, focuses on access to African law and legal scholarship. It brings together a panel of law, law and society, and open access academics and practitioners, who will share their experiences on law as lived in Africa.

The session will provide an opportunity for engaging with the challenge of open access legal scholarship in Africa, especially from the perspective of accessibility of this information. The panellists will share details of their own current or planned activities to expand open access law on the continent, shared in concrete personal and organisational contexts. The panel will then proceed to discuss and chart a possible way forward for a continental effort to mobilize African scholars for better open access to legal scholarship.

Many Africanists and African legal scholars agree that increasing access to African law and African legal scholarship will not only have distinct knowledge creation benefits but would also counter the narrative that there is limited legal scholarship within Africa. African legal knowledge, created, nurtured and built upon on the continent, by African scholars, will reflect their context, thoughts and aspirations. More and quality access to primary and scholarly legal information for teachers, researchers and librarians in law, will assist African legal academia to implement and teach a most relevant legal curriculum in law faculties across the continent and abroad.

In that sense, the primary purpose of the webinar is to promote ideas on accessibility of African law, written by Africans. The second purpose, a very practical one, is to establish a forum and continued conversations that will ensure projects, currently operating in silos, can begin to exchange ideas, actions and resources, so that wider, more impactful programmes are generated in the process.

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Decolonising (Access to) Knowledge: Digitising African Law and Legal Scholarship


Professor Ambreena Manji Professor of Land Law and Development, Director Center for Global Law and Justice, University of Cardiff (Former Director of the British Academy's British Institute in Eastern Africa 2010-2014)

Professor Dee Smythe Professor of Public Law and Interim NRF Chair in Security and Justice, Faculty of Law, founding Director of the Centre for Law and Society and Director of the Law, Race and Gender Unit, University of Cape Town).

Dr Azubike Onuora-Oguno Senior Lecturer in Law, Faculty of Law, Department of International law and Jurisprudence, University of Ilorin.

Dr Tinenenji Banda Lecturer in the Private Law Department, Assistant Dean for undergraduate studies in the School of Law, University of Zambia; Head of Legal Division, Southern African Institute of Policy and Research (SAIPAR), Lusaka, Zambia

Ms Mariya Badeva-Bright Project Director, African Legal Information Institute (AfricanLII), DGRU, Department of Public Law, University of Cape Town.

CHAIR: Dr Olivia Lwabukuna Law Lecturer, School of Law, SOAS, University of London


The seminar is organised by the SOAS Centre of African Studies and SOAS Law Department, in collaboration with the Department of Public Law, University of Cape Town.


If you would like to attend the event please register. Online registration

This event is Online at 12:30-13:30 SAST (11:30-12:30 BST) and you will receive the link to access the online platform prior to event.

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