AfREC Fellow Wins United Nations Award for Research Article

AfREC Associate Director (Community Engagement) and Senior Lecturer in the UWA Law School, Dr Dominic Dagbanja, has won a prestigious UN award for his research article entitled The Intersection of Public Procurement Law and Policy and International Investment Law.

The 2020 UNCTAD-SEIL Award was established by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Division on Investment and Enterprise and the Society for International Economic Law (SIEL) to recognise the best early-career academic research work on international investment law and development.

According the Award announcement, “UNCTAD and SIEL invited contributions that provide state-of-the-art knowledge and analysis of the national and international legal frameworks and practices related to cross-border investment, and their impact on development, including its economic, social, environmental or institutional aspects. The papers submitted by 31 January 2020 were evaluated by a Review Panel consisting of UNCTAD DIAE leadership (James Zhan, Joerg Weber, Joachim Karl and Elisabeth Tuerk – formerly at UNCTAD, now UNECE) and eminent academics, including members of SIEL (Peter van den Bossche, Federico Ortino, Pietro Ortolani and Markus Wagner).”

The abstract of Dr Dagbanja’s winning article is as follows: “Most states are parties to investment treaties, which impose obligations on them with respect to the protection of foreign investment. This Article explores the seminal issue of whether investment treaties stand to limit the authority of states in the implementation of procurement legislation and policies. Based on textual analysis and arbitral case studies, this Article argues that treaty-based standards of investment protection can limit states’ authority on the implementation of methods of procurement and socio-economic policies in procurement”.

The Award carries an invitation to apply for a three-month consultancy contract at UNCTAD’s Division on Investment and Enterprise and an invitation to publish the winning paper in the peer-reviewed UN Journal Transnational Corporations.

Dr Dagbanja is also concurrently a Research Fellow (2019-21) in the Department of Mercantile Law, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, and serves as the Director of Research for the Organisation of African Communities in Western Australia (OAWCA).