Frontline international law expert and the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, Professor Damilola Sunday Olawuyi, SAN has been awarded the top prize in academic publishing by the American Society of International Law, ASIL

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria, who is also Vice Chair of the United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights, received the prestigious “ASIL Certificate of Merit for High Technical Craftsmanship and Utility to Practicing Lawyers and Scholars” for his book Environmental Law in Arab States published by Oxford University Press.

ASIL is the world’s most prestigious learned society in international law, and the Certificate of Merit Award its highest honour for academic scholarship.

The most recent recipients of the award include Amal Clooney (Columbia Law School), Dame Rosalyn Higgins (International Court of Justice), Philippa Webb (King’s College), and Lavanya Rajamani (Oxford), amongst other preeminent international law experts.

Olawuyi’s award winning book is the very first authoritative book on the essential features of environmental law and regulation in the oil and gas-rich Arab region. The 400-page book outlines how international and regional instruments on environmental law are applied across the 22 countries of the region. 

A distinguished expert in energy and environmental law, Professor Olawuyi has authored several influential articles, books and reports on energy, environment and sustainable resource governance.

He has practiced and taught law in Europe, North America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. In 2022, he was appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council to represent Africa on the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights for a six-year term.

Last year, he also received the BOK Visiting International Professorship, VIP, at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, United States and has served as visiting professor at Oxford, Cambridge, Columbia, and Birmingham universities amongst others. While commending the award-winning book, the ASIL Awards Committee said: “The book does a remarkable job demonstrating in precise detail the scope and depth of an understudied yet vitally important area of international law: the application of environmental law in nations that hold and produce the majority of the world’s oil.

“The volume’s thoughtful structure nimbly balances its thoroughness and precision, analysing its topic with remarkable granularity while remaining eminently readable… This systematic, comprehensive and insightful book exhibits high technical craftsmanship and offers exceptional utility to practicing lawyers and scholars.”

Professor Olawuyi received his award on March 31 at the ASIL’s Assembly in Washington DC, part of the Society’s Annual Meeting which brings together more than 1,200 scholars and practitioners of international law from around the world.

After receiving the award, Professor Olawuyi said: “It is an absolute honour to receive this book prize of the American Society of International Law.

“This is an award that has been in place since 1952 and over the years I have seen it been received by some of the most distinguished scholars that have shaped by own interest in the field of international law.

“For my book to be found worthy of recognition and mention in this elite category of legal scholars is indeed a special moment.

“I dedicate the award to my family, friends and mentors who have supported me to pursue my passion in the field of international law and I look forward to our further collaborations.”

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