Hāki Chambers Global

Phoebe Okowa

Executive Summary

Phoebe Okowa is Professor of Public International Law at Queen Mary, University of London, and an advocate of the High Court of Kenya (called 1990).

Her areas of interest and expertise include:

  • state responsibility
  • law of the sea, especially maritime delimitation
  • international environmental law, especially state responsibility for environmental damage
    state and diplomatic immunity
  • aspects of international criminal law
  • United Nations Law
  • recognition of governments and issues of representation before international organisations
    international litigation

Professor Okowa’s 25-year practice and advisory work for governments and NGOS is mainly in the field of Public International Law. She has appeared as counsel before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and prepared expert opinions on questions of international law for use at both international tribunals as well as domestic courts.

Her advisory work has included procedural aspects of ICJ litigation, domestic implementation of treaties, and preparation of submissions for ICJ advisory proceedings.

Professor Okowa has been a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) since 2016. She is also a member of the:

  • Advisory Committee on International Dispute Resolution Centre for International Law, National University of Singapore
  • Public International Law Advisory Group of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law
  • Centre for International Law and Policy in Africa
  • Legal Advisory Committee of the Commission of Small Islands on Climate Change and International Law
  • Executive Committee, Stockholm Centre for International Law and Justice

Professor Okowa is a member (Elect) of the UN International Law Commission for the term 2023-2027.

Professor Okowa previously taught Public and Private International Law as well as constitutional law at the University of Bristol. She has been a Global Visiting Professor at New York University School of Law, the University of Stockholm, and the Catholic University of Lille. She has also taught for the United Nations on practical aspects of international law at its Regional Courses for Africa. She has published extensively on International Law.


Bachelor of Laws (LLB - First Class Honours), University of Nairobi
Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL), University of Oxford
Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil), University of Oxford

Selected Awards & Recognition

Gandhi Memorial Prize, 1987
Kaplan and Stratton Prize, 1987
Foreign and Commonwealth Office Scholarship
CB Madan Prize