A Critical Appraisal of the International Legal Tradition of Taslim Olawale Elias
James Thuo Gathii
Loyola University Chicago School of Law
Leiden Journal of International Law, Vol. 21, p. 317, 2008
This essay critically examines the legal theories of the Nigerian jurist T.O. Elias concerning Africa’s contribution to international law and the ways in which its rules could be reformulated to benefit the newly independent states. In this respect, he influenced many contemporary international lawyers in Africa and elsewhere. In particular, his singling out of sovereignty as a barrier to reforming international law is shared by a generation of international legal scholars who have criticized states for placing too high a premium on their sovereignty, thereby placing insuperable barriers to their acceptance of egalitarian goals. The essay also contrasts Elias to scholars of international law who viewed Europe’s colonial legacy of international law as a barrier to reforming it so that it was consistent with the interests of so-called post-colonial African states.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 33
Keywords: colonialism, contributionism, T.O. Elias, Eurocentricity, sovereign-thy-sovereignty, TWAILAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: June 14, 2010
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