SOAS University of London

School of Law

Dr Olivia Lwabukuna

LLB (Swaziland) LLM (Cape Town) PhD. (Pretoria) Advocate (Tanzania)
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Olivia Lwabukuna
School of Law

Lecturer in Law

Centre of African Studies


Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies


Centre for Human Rights Law


London International Development Centre (LIDC)


Dr Olivia Lwabukuna
Email address:
+44 (0) 207 074 5120
Paul Webley Wing (Senate House)
Office No:
Academic Support Hours:
Please note that I am on research leave.


Olivia is currently based in the School of law where she has convened and taught on a range of undergraduate and postgraduate modules including International Law, Foundations of Human Rights Law, Research Methods in Law, Legal Systems of Asia and Africa and Law and Development in Africa. She is also the deputy editor of the Journal of African Law (Cambridge). Olivia is a Tanzanian lawyer and advocate of the High Court of Tanzania and has worked within professional, policy research and academic roles in South Africa, Tanzania, Swaziland, Kenya, Nigeria and the United Kingdom. During this time she has also carried out field research in Tanzania, Kenya, Madagascar and Ghana. Olivia has additionally held prestigious fellowships and visiting lectureships in and on Africa, including being a Cadbury (African Studies) research fellow in the Center for West
African Studies (now DASA), at the University of Birmingham, and was previously a visiting lecturer and then an extra-ordinary lecturer in the Faculty of Law of the University of Pretoria. She is currently a research fellow at the Free State Human Rights Center of the University of the Free State in South Africa.

Olivia’s research interests lie in the area of law’s interaction with development, specifically within an African regional and transnational context. She is interested in how contextual law, governance, policy and regulation influence/impede development. She has particularly worked on internal displacement, extractivism and property rights. In this respect, she researches on the governance of extractive natural resources, women’s land and property rights and displacement emanating from conflicts induced by resources pillage or property/resources claims related to land and development projects on land. She engages the above within the context of national, transnational
and international law institutions and frameworks and their complex framing of, and contested relationship with inequality, inequity, plurality, fragility, sustainability and coloniality in Africa. These research areas straddle fields of human rights law, migration law, international economic law and law and development .

With the support of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation’s Rule of Law Programme for Sub-Saharan Africa, Olivia has convened the Annual Regional Rule of Law and Inclusive Development in Africa Workshops since 2017 (Namibia, Malawi, Tanzania) covering aspects of the research described above and bringing together key policy makers, activists, academics, law makers and judges from various African regions.


Research Fellow-Free State Human Rights Center, University of the Free State, South Africa



Development, Displacement, Resource Governance, Women’s Property Rights and African Legal Theory and Legal Systems


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Available for
  • TV
  • Radio
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  • Briefings
  • Special Study Programmes
  • Short Term Consultancy
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Regional Expertise
  • Africa
Country Expertise
  • Kenya
  • South Africa
  • Swaziland
  • Tanzania
  • Swahili



Durojaye, Ebenezer and Lwabukuna, Olivia and Oette, Lutz and Williams-Elegbe, Sope (2021) 'Introduction: COVID-19 and the Law in Africa'. Journal of African Law, (65) S2, pp 173-180.

Adeola, Romola and Lwabukuna, Olivia and Oette, Lutz and Viljoen, Frans (2021) 'Introduction: Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons in Africa'. Journal of African Law, (65) S1, pp 5-8.

Lwabukuna, Olivia (2021) 'The Responsibility to Protect Internally Displaced Persons in Africa'. Journal of African Law, (65) S1, pp 73-100.

Lwabukuna, Olivia (2016) 'International Rule of Law and Development: Underpinnings of the MDGs and the Post-2015 SDGs Agenda'. Journal of Peacebuilding & Development, (11) 2, pp 89-94.

Lwabukuna, Olivia (2015) 'Natural Resources for Socio- Economic Development in Africa: Legal Governance of Extractive Industries in Ghana'. Africa Insight, (44) 4, pp 47-60.

Lwabukuna, Olivia (2012) 'Internal displacement in South Africa : Reflections on law, memory and contemporary forced removals'. Southern Africa Public Law, (27) 1, pp 210-230.

Edited Books or Journals

Durojaye, Ebenezer and Lwabukuna, Olivia and Oette, Lutz and Williams-Elegbe, Sope, (eds.), (2021) COVID-19 and the Law in Africa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (Journal of African Law Special Issue Volume 65 - Supplement S2).

Adeola, Romola and Lwabukuna, Olivia and Oette, Lutz and Viljoen, Frans, (eds.), (2021) Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons in Africa. Journal of African Law, vol. 65, supplt 1. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Book Chapters

Lwabukuna, Olivia (2017) 'Power, Prejudice and Transitional Constitution-Making in Kenya: The Gender of Law and Religious Politics in Reproductive Choice'. In: Lahai, John Idriss and Moyo, Khanyisela, (eds.), Gender in Human Rights and Transitional Justice. Cham: Springer, pp 45-72.

Lwabukuna, Olivia (2016) 'Interrogating and reviewing legal and policy frameworks governing acid mine drainage in South Africa'. In: Mujuru, Munyaradzi and Mutanga, Shingirirai S., (eds.), Management and Mitigation of Acid Mine Drainage in South Africa: Input for Mineral Beneficiation in Africa. Pretoria: Africa Institute of South Africa, pp 123-148.

Lwabukuna, Olivia (2015) 'Fragility, Trade and Inclusive Development in Resource-Rich African Countries'. In: Ewusi, Samuel, Kale, (ed.), Managing Fragile and Security Challenges in Africa. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: United Nations University for Peace-Africa Programme, pp 42-53.

Monographs and Working Papers

Lwabukuna, Olivia (2016) Lwabukuna, O. (2016) Governing African extractives for development: lessons from Ghana's petroleum revenue management law. (AISA Policy Brief, no. 122, July).. Pretoria: Africa Institute of South Africa.


This list was last generated on Saturday, 2nd July 2022, 22:13 Europe/London.