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Professor Phoebe Okowa, LLB (Nairobi) BCL (Oxon), DPhil (Oxon), Advocate (High Court of Kenya)

Professor of Public International Law

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 3961


Phoebe  Okowa

Phoebe Okowa is Professor of Public International Law at Queen Mary University of London. She holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Nairobi and a Bachelor of Civil Law and a Doctorate from the University of Oxford. An advocate of the High Court of Kenya, she previously taught at the University of Bristol and has held visiting appointments at the Universities of Helsinki, Lille New York and Stockholm. In 2015, Professor Okowa, will be a Global Professor of Law at NYU law school.  Professor Okowa is the joint editor of Foundations of Public International Law (Oxford University Press) and Queen Mary Studies in International Law (Brill).

Her teaching interests are in the broad area of Public International Law, especially the law of armed conflict, international environmental law and international criminal law. She has published extensively on a wide range of topics including the law of state responsibility, use of force and the protection of natural resources in conflict zones, as well as the relationship between state and individual responsibility for international crimes. In 2006, she completed a major study funded by the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council on International Law questions arising from the disintegration of the Democratic Republic of Congo. She has advised Public Sector Organizations on questions of Public International Law and served as a member of the IUCN Committee on Environmental Law and the International Law Association Committee on Transnational Enforcement of Environmental Law.


Undergraduate teaching:

  • LAW6032 Public International Law

Postgraduate teaching:


Research interests:

Dr Okowa’s research interests are primarily in the field of Public International Law, especially International Environmental Law, Use of Force, and State Responsibility.


Selected Publications


Key Articles and Essays

  • Phoebe Okowa and Malcolm Evans, ‘Approaches to Responsibility in International Courts’ in The International Responsibility of the European Union, (March 2013)
  • Phoebe Okowa, 'Sovereignty Contests and the Exploitation of Natural Resources in Conflict Zones', in Current Legal Problems (2013)
  • Phoebe Okowa, State and Individual criminal Responsibility in Internal Conflicts: Contours of an Evolving Relationship, 20 (2009) Finnish Yearbook of International Law  p. 143-188
  • The International Court of Justice and the Georgia Russia Dispute, 2011 Human Rights Law Review, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp. 739-757
  • Case Concerning Ahmadou Sadio Diallo (Republic of Guinea V. Democratic Republic of Congo),  2008 International and Comparative Law Quarterly,  Vol. 57, No. 1. pp. 219
  • Phoebe Okowa, Natural Resources in Situations of Armed Conflict: Is there a Coherent Framework for Protection? 9 (2007)  International Community Law Review, January 237
  • Phoebe Okowa, Congo’s War: The Legal Dimension of a Protracted Conflict, 2006, British Yearbook of International Law, Vol. 77 , 203
  • Phoebe Okowa, Case Concerning Armed Activities on the Territory of the Congo, International and Comparative Law Quarterly 2006, Vol. 55, pp. 742
  • Phoebe N. Okowa, ‘Case Concerning the Gabcikovo-Nagymaros Project (Hungary / Slovakia)”, International and Comparative Law Quarterly, 1998, Vol. 47, 688
  • Phoebe N. Okowa, Procedural Obligations in International Environmental Agreements” 1996, British Yearbook of International Law, Vol. 67, p. 275
  • Phoebe Okowa, ‘Legal Consequences of EC Participation in International Environmental Agreements’ in M. D. Evans (ed.) Aspects of Statehood and Institutionalism in Contemporary Europe (Dartmouth Press, Aldershot, 1997), pp. 301
  • Phoebe N. Okowa,  ‘The EC and International Environmental Agreements,’ Yearbook of European Law, 1995, Vol. 15,  pp. 169
  • Ojwang’, J.B and Phoebe N. Okowa,  ‘The One Party State and Due Process of Law: The Kenyan Position in a Comparative Framework’, African Journal of International and Comparative Law, 1989,  Vol. 1, pp. 177-205

Book Chapters

PhD Supervision

Dr Okowa welcomes proposals for postgraduate supervision on most aspects of public international law especially, armed conflict, state responsibility and international environmental law.

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