28 November 2022

Inequality of Harms, Inequality of Arms

On November 8th 2022 Channa Samkalden, lawyer for Esther Kiobel and three other widows of executed Nigerian community leaders, announced that her clients would be ending their lawsuit against Shell. Uncertainty about the outcome, combined with the fact that the case had already been (unsuccessfully) going on for over 20 years in multiple fora, had made the four widows decide to withdraw the appeal, “not without disappointment and frustration”. In this blog, I discuss this case's remarkable procedural history and why it, set against the particular facts of the case, illustrates the fundamental procedural unfairness between large corporations and victims trying to hold them to account.

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21 Mai 2022

Enabling Digital Authoritarianism in the Name of Counterterrorism

Nigeria's transition to a digital economy is in full swing. As terrorism and violent extremism are ravaging certain parts of the country, the mounting insecurity has necessitated huge budgetary allocations to national security, giving way to a new kind of digital authoritarianism. Serious concerns have been raised regarding the misuse of collected data and arbitrary surveillance, which undermine human rights and civic freedoms.

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07 Dezember 2021

The Changing Culture and Perception of Corruption

In Nigeria, coups d’etat have often been a cause for celebration. Ironically, even as a series of juntas promised to reform corrupt practices Nigeria’s perceived problems grew worse, leading to ever-more stringent rhetoric against corruption and, as Ugochukwu Ezeh suggests in his contribution to this symposium, a near consensus that corruption represents a fundamental threat to Nigerians’ personal security and that of the nation itself. While it is challenging to measure the prevalence or magnitude of corruption objectively, the perception of corruption is that it gets worse and worse, despite the struggle against it.

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02 Dezember 2021

Of Vampires and Enemies

Anti-corruption legalism is often a symptom of a broader phenomenon: the securitisation of corruption. Taken together, securitisation and anti-corruption legalism are counterproductive approaches: they undermine the evolution of democratic values, political accountability mechanisms, and independent constitutional institutions that form the bedrock of meaningful and sustainable anti-corruption strategies.

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18 Mai 2020

Nigeria’s Emergency (Legal) Response to COVID-19: A Worthy Sacrifice for Public Health?

Like many other countries across the world, Nigeria has called upon emergency powers to deal with COVID-19 without, however, having declared a state of emergency. The use of emergency powers in Nigeria in the fight against COVID-19 is not only peculiar but problematic for a number of reasons.

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