Former Post-Doctoral Fellows:

  1. Dr Emma Witbooi

Dr Emma Witbooi was a research fellow from 1 February 2014 to 31 January 2017. She has a Masters degree in Environmental Law from the University of Cape Town, focusing on South African subsistence fisheries, and a Doctorate in Marine and Environmental Law from University College London. Her doctoral thesis examined sustainability in marine fisheries relations between the EU and certain West African countries and was subsequently published as a monograph Fisheries and Sustainability: A Legal Analysis of EU and West African Agreements in 2012. She was a researcher and assistant lecturer at UCT during the years 1999-2003 and has returned to guest lecture in International Marine Living Resources law at Masters Level.

During her first year as a post-doctorate fellow, Emma conducted research into the fisheries crime approach in South Africa. She presented a paper titled "The fisheries crime paradigm: Towards a new approach to addressing illegal fishing" at the "AIM Strategy: Legal Challenges & Opportunities" Conference organised at NMMU on 13-14 November 2014 as well as a seminar presentation of the same title at the European Centre of Tort Law in Vienna (Austria) on 21 January 2015. Emma published  "Illegal Unreported and Unregulated fishing on the High Seas: The Port State Measures Agreement in Context" in (2014) 29 International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law 290-320 and co-authored an article with Eve de Coning on the fisheries crime approach entitled "Towards a new 'fisheries crime' paradigm: South Africa as an illustrative example" in (2015) 60 Marine Policy 208-215. A further article, co-authored with Phil Snijman, "Law Enforcement responses facilitated by a fisheries crime approach: The South African example" is forthcoming in the Journal of Ocean Law and Governance in Africa in 2017. She is an active member of the PescaDOLUS international research network on transnational organised fisheries crime including via her involvement in co-organising the highly successful first international symposium on fisheries crime, FishCRIME, in Cape Town in October 2015; her ongoing work with the United Nations Drugs and Crime Office (UNODC) in the sphere of criminal law enforcement towards addressing transnational organised fisheries crime; and as a co-editor and chapter author of the network's forthcoming seminal book on transnational fisheries crime.


Former Doctoral Candidates

1. Dr Obinna Emmanuel Nkomadu

Dr Obinna Emmanuel Nkomadu commenced his doctoral program in March 2014 and graduated December 2017 at the Faculty of Law, Nelson Mandela University, Port-Elizabeth South Africa. Dr Nkomadu thesis is entitled: Maritime Piracy Legislation for Nigeria, under the supervision of Professor Patrick H.G Vrancken. Prior to the doctoral program Dr Nkomadu has been conferred Master of Laws (LL.M) degree with a strong weighted average at the Faculty of Law, University of Ibadan Nigeria and thereafter became a Law Lecturer at College of Law, Afe Babalola University Nigeria. He taught second year students Constitutional Law and Administrative Law and fourth year students Intellectual Property Law at this university. Dr Nkomadu has been in active legal practice where he drafted legal documents for clients and represented clients in Criminal and Civil trial in the Nigerian Courts. Dr Nkomadu is currently a Research Associate in the Department of Public Law, Faculty of Law, Nelson Mandela University and his primary research focus is on the Law of the Sea.

2. Dr T Sanni

Tajudeen Sanni was awarded his LLB (Common Law) at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria,  Kaduna State, Nigeria in 2006, after which he proceeded to the Nigerian Law School, Abuja, from where he graduated and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2007. A former sub-editor, before his university education, of a local magazine, The Path, Tajudeen had an extensive practice of different aspects of legal practice such as corporate, environmental and human rights law across Nigeria while running his post-graduation National Youth Service in the chambers of Yunus Ustaz Usman-SAN in Kaduna State, Nigeria until 2008. At that time, he was also a part-time tutor at the Nigerian study center of Houdegbe North American University, Benin Republic, teaching Environmental Health Law. His experience at Yunus Ustaz and a stint at another law firm, Dr Ariyoosu & Co, led to the co-founding of his own law firm: Ishola and Sanni, in Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria, currently being run by his partners. In 2010, Tajudeen was awarded the LLM degree (Common Law) at the University of Ilorin, as the overall best student, specializing in aspects of International Economic Law relating to International Petroleum Transactions. The topic of his LLM thesis was:  Organisation of Petroleum Producing Countries and the Law and Dynamics of Oil Price Fluctuation: The Case of Nigeria. Currently, Tajudeen is a lecturer at the School of Law, Kampala International University, Kampala, Uganda. He teaches International Economic Law, Public International Law, International and Comparative Petroleum Law, the Law of the Sea and the Law of Sale of Goods.

His first exposure to the Law of the Sea dates back to his undergraduate days as a student of International Law,  later broadened by aspects of the Law of the Sea in such course units as International Economic (and Trade) Law and International Environmental Law during his LLM studies. Tajudeen has attended both local and international conferences and has a number of publications to his credit. The title of his doctoral thesis is: The Legal Framework of Ports in Nigeria, an urgently needed and relevant research considering the legal uncertainties that recently plagued the operation of Nigerian ports despite the significance of the ports as the backbone of the Nigerian economy and their being an important link in intra-africa trade and investment.

Dr Sanni graduated on the 14th of December 2017.

3.  Dr D Metuge

Dr D Metuge has a licence en droit (University of Buea, Cameroon, 2008), a maitrise in Business Law (University of Yaounde 2, Cameroon, 2009) and a LLM in Mercantile Law (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa, 2012). His thesis title is: "Port State control with regard to the safety of navigation in South Africa".

Dr Metuge graduated on the 14th of December 2017.


LLM dissertations / treatises:

  • Ms L Kekana "Renewable ocean energy"
  • Mr M Mokgwetsi "The 2009 FAO Port State Control Agreement"
  • Ms N van den Berg "Protection of copyright aboard cruise ships at sea" (supervisor: Ms T Wagenaar)
  • Ms B Vilakazi "Marine plastic pollution"
  • Du Plooy I "The Combined Exclusive Maritime Zone of Africa" (2016).
  • Massamba-Animbo S "Petroleum contracts and development in the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CAEMC) States and South Africa" (2015).
  • Ntola SY "Exploitation of non-living marine resources within national jurisdiction in East Africa" (2015).


LLB treatises / assignments:

Bhengu T "The legal relationship between South Africa and Antractica and the Southern Ocean" (2015).

Bior DM "Exportation of the South Sudan oil resources: a legal perspective" (2013).

Burger ME "Legal aspects of boat-based tourism" (2016).

Dwayi N "The re-opening of environmental courts as maritime courts" (2016).

Hamukuaya N "The Benguela Current Convention" (2014).

Hosking C "Privacy and Remotely Piloted Aircraft" (2015).

Kachara T "Traditional Knowledge Aspects of Bioprospecting within the South African Territorial Sea and Exclusive Economic Zone" (2015).

Kora D "Ecopiracy: The Arctic Sunrise Case" (2014).

Lekika FJ "Offshore exploitation of natural resources in Gabon" (2013).

Madlongolwana T "The South China Sea Award on Jurisdiction" (2017).

Mokgwetsi M "The 2009 FAO Port State Control Agreement" (2017).

Phuduhudu G "Botswana and the law of the sea" (2017).

Roberts SL "The Grand Prince case and the Volga case" (2013).

Vilakazi B "Land-based marine pollution" (2017).


Last updated on 11 November 2019 TS. NH

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