Dr Pontian Okoli

Lecturer in Law

Law Stirling

Dr Pontian Okoli

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About me

About me

Dr Pontian Okoli is a Lecturer in Law at the University of Stirling. He is also the Director of BA Law Programmes.

Pontian completed his PhD in 2018 at the University of Dundee where he was a Scrymgeour Scholar. He also obtained his LLM with Distinction (International Commercial Law, 2011) from the University of Dundee. His comparative doctoral research, concerning the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments, built on his law practice since 2007 when he qualified as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Nigerian Supreme Court. He obtained his LLB from the University of Nigeria in 2006. Pontian’s law practice focused on International Commercial/Corporate Law and investment risks generally. He worked in two Nigerian law firms and as In House Counsel in a leading Nigerian financial institution with several international branches in Africa and the United Kingdom. During his law practice, Pontian represented clients based in Europe/ United States and worked with European law firms on various international commercial legal transactions.

For nearly half a decade at the University of Dundee, Pontian taught several law modules at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. He undertook the roles of Module Organiser, Course Leader and Tutor. Pontian’s research interests include Private International Law, Comparative Law, intersections between international business transactions and access to justice, and regional integration. Among other research roles, he has been an Editorial Advisory Board member of the Commonwealth Law Bulletin since 2013. Pontian is also a pioneer co-convener of the Dundee Africa Research Network.

Pontian is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and the Higher Education Academy. He is also the Chair of the Academy and Mentorship Committee, Indonesia International Arbitration Center.


The facilitation of international commerce is the common thread that runs through most of Pontian’s research: from the perspectives of jurisdiction, access to justice, Commercial/Corporate Law, Conflict of Laws and Comparative Law generally. Some of his articles have been cited on reading lists in several universities including the University of Dundee; City, University of London; and the University of Reading. Pontian’s work has also been cited in industry publications concerning Comparative Law including the International Comparative Legal Guides (Enforcement of Foreign Judgments 2017). His article on pre-action notice published by the African Journal of International and Comparative Law (Edinburgh University Press) was the most downloaded in 2014. He is also the author of "Promoting Foreign Judgments: Lessons in Legal Convergence from South Africa and Nigeria" (Wolters Kluwer, 2019).

Some Peer-reviewed Publications:

• Corruption in international commercial arbitration — domino effect in the energy industry, developing countries, and impact of English public policy (Journal of World Energy Law & Business, forthcoming)

• Judicial Intervention in arbitration: unresolved jurisdictional issues concerning arbitrator appointments in Nigeria (2021) Journal of African Law 223 — Co-author

• The fragmentation of (mutual) trust in Commonwealth Africa —A Foreign Judgments Perspective (2020) Journal of Private International Law 519

• From Brussels to Addis Ababa: a comparative and contextual analysis of access to justice under African private international law (chapter contribution — in M Ndulo and C Emeziem (eds), The Routledge Handbook of African Law (Routledge, 2021) 542

• The HCCH's development in Africa (chapter contribution in T John, R Gulati and B Kohler, The Elgar Companion on the Hague Conference of Private International Law (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2020) 52 — Co-author

• Power market coupling: towards harmonised electricity policies in the East African Community (2019) Journal of Energy & Natural Resources Law 1 — Co-author

• English worldwide freezing orders in Europe: a pragmatic search for legal certainty and the limits of judicial discretion (2018) 5(3) European Journal of Comparative Law and Governance 250

• Jurisdictional conflicts and individual liberty — the encroaching burden of technicality in Nigeria (co-author) (2018) 22(4) The International Journal of Human Rights 437

• Subject matter jurisdiction: the recognition and enforcement of English judgments in Nigeria and the need for a universal standpoint (2016) 17 Yearbook of Private International Law 507

• In pursuit of substantial justice: navigating between flexibility and certainty in international commercial law (2014) 7(4) International Journal of Private Law 376

• Recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments in Nigeria: comparative analysis of public policy and procedural fairness (2013) 2013 (24) International Company and Commercial Law Review 437

• Recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments in Nigeria: comparative analysis of legal regimes and jurisdiction (2013) 24(11) International Company and Commercial Law Review 234

• Controlling directors in a troubled economy — a UK perspective (2012) 23(7) International Company and Commercial Law Review 234

• Defining the limits: clash between a doctor’s duty to preserve life and enforcement of a patient’s religious belief (2012) 38(3) Commonwealth Law Bulletin 379 — Co-author

• Between use and abuse: an examination of the efficacy of interim and interlocutory injunctions in Nigeria (2011) 37(2) Commonwealth Law Bulletin 241 — Co-author

• Rescue culture in the UK: realities and the need for a delicate balancing act (2012) 23(2) International Company and Commercial Law Review 61

• Access to justice and fair-hearing: an evaluation of pre-action notice in Nigerian jurisprudence (2012) 20 African Journal of International and Comparative Law 70

Outputs (12)


Book Chapter

Okoli P (2022) From Brussels to Addis Ababa: A Contextual and Comparative Analysis of Access to Justice Under Private International Law in Africa. In: Ndulo M & Emeziem C (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of African Law: A Historical, Political, Social and Economic Context of Law in Africa. London: Routledge. https://www.routledge.com/The-Routledge-Handbook-of-African-Law-A-Historical-Political-Social/Ndulo-Emeziem/p/book/9780815350682

Book Chapter

Frimpong Oppong R & Okoli P (2020) The HCCH's Development In Africa. In: John T, Gulati R & Kohler B (eds.) The Elgar Companion to the Hague Conference on Private International Law. Elgar Companions to International Organisations. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, pp. 52-60. https://www.e-elgar.com/shop/gbp/catalog/product/view/id/16759/s/the-elgar-companion-to-the-hague-conference-on-private-international-law-9781788976497/

Book Chapter

Okoli P (2016) Subject matter jurisdiction: the recognition and enforcement of English judgments in Nigeria and the need for a universal standpoint. In: Bonomi A & Romano G (eds.) Yearbook of Private International Law Vol. XVII. Yearbook of Private International Law, XVII. Köln: Verlag Dr. Otto Schmidt, pp. 507-525. https://doi.org/10.9785/9783504385163-023



Currently, Pontian teaches on Private International Law, Commercial Law and Research Methods.

Pontian’s previous teaching experience covers the following modules: International Commercial Litigation/ Private International Law — Common Law Perspectives, Private International Law of Business Transactions (Course Leader at LLM level), English Law of Contract (Advanced), English Law of Tort (Advanced – Module Organiser), Foundations of Law, and Public Law.