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Law and Global Justice group welcomes Professor James Gathii to Cardiff lecture

30 November 2016

Professor James Gathii
Professor James Gathii, Professor of International Law at Loyola University Chicago.

Our Law and Global Justice Research Group welcomed eminent Professor, James Gathii to Cardiff this November to present the Annual International Law Lecture of the Welsh Centre for International Affairs (WCIA), co-hosted with and the law schools in Wales and the South West.

Professor James Gathii is Professor of International Law at Loyola University Chicago.  He has a distinguished record of scholarship, teaching, and practice in the field of international human rights and trade which has made a lasting impact on law and policy in Africa and around the world.

The lecture, which took place in Cardiff’s Temple of Peace, historic home of the WCIA on 21 November, addressed the way in which global trading rules are contributing to Africa’s deindustrialization and what can been done about it. Professor Gathii was joined by Dr. Celine Tan, an expert in international economic law from Warwick Law School.

This year’s lecture was particularly timely in the aftermath of Brexit, given the need for the UK to engage in trade negotiations with developing countries on its own account. On a more local level the lecture was also relevant given the passage of the Well Being of Future Generations Act this year by the Welsh Assembly. This obliges public bodies in Wales to adhere to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and to act in a ‘globally responsible’ way.

The lecture was well attended by students, academics, representatives from Welsh Government, legal practitioners, European Commission (Wales Office) staff and guests including Sir Malcolm Pill, former Lord Justice of Appeal, Cat Jones, Head of the Hub Cymru  Africa Partnership and Ffion Storer, Fair Trade Wales. Dr Tara Smith, lecturer in international law, attended with a group of students from Bangor University Law School.

Sir Malcolm Pill said, “Professor Gathii’s important and engaging lecture made vital and realistic proposals for promoting development in sub-Saharan Africa.”

Dr Tara Smith, lecturer in international law described the lecture as “an inspiration to legal scholars to widen their horizons and develop interdisciplinary research on global justice.”

Cat Jones, Head of the Hub Cymru Africa added, “For Wales based groups supporting projects, and campaigning for Fair Trade in Africa, Professor Gathii gave a helpful insight into the challenges facing small farmers and independent traders, and explained how World Trade Organisation rules are often stacked against poorer countries. The inspiring lecture has given plenty of food for thought to groups planning projects.”

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