Ayodele Atsenuwa

Professor of Public Law and Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos; Director of the West African Regional Centre for Law and Religion Studies, Nigeria

Ayodele (Ayo) Atsenuwa is a Professor of Public Law and the current Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos. With teaching and research interests spanning criminal law and criminal justice, human rights law, gender and the law, law and religion as well as health law and migration law, she comes to legal academics from a development-oriented perspective and focuses on both academic and action-oriented research directed at law reform for improving delivery of justice to the poor and other marginalized groups. Within the legal academia, she is widely respected for her initiatives aimed at bridging the gap between legal academics and legal practice and is acknowledged for her efforts at evolving more development-oriented law degree programmes in terms of content and teaching methodologies.

Alongside others, she paced the teaching of Human Rights Law, Gender and the Law and Health Law within the formal legal education curriculum in Nigeria and her book: Feminist Jurisprudence: An Introduction is a seminal piece for introducing legal scholars and activists to the implications of feminist jurisprudence for developing legal philosophy and action. On the side of law and policy development, her vast contributions are evident in the Community Service Guidelines of Lagos State, the Draft Guidelines for Bail Bondspersons and the Sentencing Guidelines, all of which she drafted and which have shaped reforms in the criminal justice sectors in Lagos State and Nigeria. She was also the Chair of the Lagos State Criminal Law Reform Committee which produced the draft of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.

As an academic, Professor Atsenuwa serves as External Examiner to many institutions and is an assessor for the National Research Foundation (South Africa). She is the current Director of the West African Regional Centre for Law and Religion Studies and Chair of the Steering Committee of the Centre for Human Rights, UNILAG as well as the Institute for African and Diaspora Studies where she leads teams of scholars and researchers. She is also the Chair of the Board of Directors of the inter-Faculty LLM. in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa Programme hosted by the University of Pretoria and a member of the Council of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies.

Outside the University system, Professor Atsenuwa has done much to contribute to closing the gap between theory and practice to advance sustainable development in Africa through her leadership engagements. A member of the Institute of Directors (IOD), she has served on the Boards of several institutions and organizations including Legal Research and Resource Development Centre, CLEEN Foundation, Orderly Society Trust, Partnership for Justice, Girls’ Power Initiative, Open Society Initiative for West Africa, National Agency for the Control of AIDS, Council of Legal Education of Nigeria, Lagos State Office of the Public Defender, Lagos State Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy, National Advisory Committee on APRM-NEPAD and the NBA Task Force on the North-East.

She has consulted for various international development organisations including the UN, EU, UK-DFID/British Council, USAID, DANIDA, NORAD, CIDA, SIDA, Ford Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation.