School of Law
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Professor George E Holmes DL | President & Vice Chancellor
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Ellisse Vernon | BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing
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Professor Benedict Abrahamson Chigara is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (London). He is involved in the arbitration of commercial disputes in international contracts. His academic qualifications include: a BA (Hons) in Law & Psychology from Keele University; an LLM with Distinction & Best Performance Award from The University of Hull; a Doctorate in Law (Ph.D.) from The University of Nottingham; and numerous professional certificates.
He has taught at leading Universities including: The University of Warwick; and The University of Leeds. He has also held several International Visiting Fellowships including: Brandeis Law School - The University of Louisville, Kentucky, USA; The University of Cape Town; and Giessen University, Germany.
He became a UK Higher Education Full-Professor of Law in 2003. He has published with reputable European, American, and Australian Law periodicals. He has authored three research peer-reviewed books; two edited peer-reviewed research books; and contributed in excess of thirty peer-refereed journal articles, book chapters and other scholarly works. He has successfully supervised to completion sixteen Ph.D. students at Brunel University London where he was Full-Professor of Law for sixteen and a half years. Some of these doctoral theses have been published as peer reviewed books at reputable publishing houses including Routledge (London); Brill (Netherlands) and Springer (Netherlands). He is the founding-editor of State Practice & International Law Journal (SPILJ) - a Law periodical that charts evolving norms of customary international law under Article 38(1)(b) of the Statute of the International Court of Justice (1945).
He has numerous affiliations, including with the World Bank Global Partnerships Programme where he has contributed to the World Bank Policy Report (2022) on: The Global Forum on Law, Justice and Development Review of Legal Experiences and Global Practices Relating to Covid-19; along with The World Bank’s annual student internship programmes. He has a long collaboration with the International Labour Organization (ILO) dating back to its Century Project 1919-2009; and also, with the UNOHCHR and OECD among others.
His academic practice is diverse. He has enormous experience of reviewing professional matters as both a Professional Coach and a Mentor; and as a pedagogician; and as a University Executive Administrator. He has experience of adjudicating international commercial disputes as an Arbitrator at the London Court of International Arbitration.
He has a very long and on-going experience of reviewing Research Grant Applications for among others, the European Science Foundation (ESF), British Academy (BA), National Research Foundation - South Africa (NRF), European Commission FP6 and FP7; Qatar National Research Foundation (QNRF), and of supervising and examining PhDs across the UK, Germany, South Africa, India, Namibia, and Ireland.
His current research focuses on three themes that are linked to his first research book (2001) on Legitimacy deficit in customary international law. The first theme focuses on challenges that have arisen and persisted around the question of whether subsequent state practice is at all relevant to the interpretation of treaties or, treaty modification under Article 31 of the Vienna Convention on The Law of Treaties (1969). See also Benedict Abrahamson Chigara (2021) “Treaty-text-loyalists’ burden with Subsequent State Practice” Netherlands International Law Review, Vol. 68 (2021).
The second theme examines the opportunities for holistic dispute settlement in international law, particularly because Article 36(2) of the Statute of the International Court of Justice limits the Court’s jurisdiction to legal disputes only, precluding political disputes. See also Benedict Abrahamson Chigara “Politico-legal inter-state Disputes: Should the UN International Law Commission be requested to commence studies on the ‘Opportunities for Holistic Dispute Settlement?’” Oregon Review of International Law Vol 24 (2023).
The third theme investigates the challenges around fairness consequent upon adjustments that result in a duality in judicial adjudication, when states introduce Diplock-Court-like Judicial Commissions for the adjudication of particular matters, taking such matters completely out of the normal judicial process; and also, when the constitutional discretion of public decision makers undermines/ challenges the fairness principle. See also Benedict Abrahamson Chigara: “The Alertness, Sensitivity and Compliance test with the duty to give reasons: a sine qua non of human rights protection, ILSA Journal of International and Comparative Law Vol. 29 (2023)
An intellectual giver and pedagogic innovator, Benedict says of his new role as The Director of the School of Law at the University of Bolton:
“This is a wonderful opportunity to press, develop and realise the Law School’s endeavour to establish itself as a world-leading authentic provider of legal education that enables learners to transform into confident, flexible, and dependable knowledge transaction leaders across a wide range of sectors. A law degree equips graduates with versatile transferable skills that enable them to create and access endless employability opportunities across all sectors of work.
“In this connection the University of Bolton Law School is launching immediately, new specialist Graduate and Undergraduate programs that will be led by world-leading research-academics to ensure authentic, current and dependable legal provision in exciting areas of the law. The proposed innovative programmes of study commencing soon include:
Law with Environmental Justice
Law with work placement
Environmental Justice & Human Sustainability
Artificial Intelligence Law and Practice
Migration Law and Environmental Sustainability
The University of Bolton Law School supports full and part-time Ph.D. research in several research areas, including Artificial Intelligence issues; Environmental Inter-generational issues; Environmental Law and Human Sustainability issues; International Labour, Migration and Foreign Investment Law issues; World Trade Law issues; International Dispute Resolution issues; Public International Law issues; International Human Rights Law issues – theory and practice; International Arbitration Law issues; Sports Law issues; and Business Law issues.
I look forward to working with colleagues, prospective students, industry stakeholders, international organisations, and global partners in pursuing Bolton’s mission to progress its recognition and reputation as a world-leading centre for legal education, legal research, and legal consultancy. The multi-disciplinary University of Bolton Research Centre for Environmental Justice & Human Sustainability (BOLCEJHS) seeks to provide incubatory opportunities for students and colleagues to explore, engage and contribute knowledge on environmental justice, human sustainability and artificial intelligence issues.