Law and African Studies

Law and African Studies
Group leader
Adjunct Professor in Law and African Studies
Specific themes and goals

My research is still influenced by my experience of working in Namibia in southern Africa for 20 years. I was involved in the post-independence restructuring of the political and legal system of the country, including the establishment of its first university and the creation of a faculty of law, of which I was a part. After returning to Germany, I broadened my research activities to include post-colonialism and the reflection of colonialism as part of the history of Bremen.

Highlights and impact
  • Book writing — After almost three years, the second edition of a substantial work on the 1991 constitution of Namibia — amounting to 450 pages — is about to go to press. I am the lead author of the book. Dr. Anne Schmidt, an attorney at law who did her doctorate in law under my supervision, is the co-author.
  • Western Sahara — The Spanish-colonized Western Sahara is still on the United Nations’ list of non-self-governing territories. Public and private institutions in Bremen have supported the peoples of Western Sahara and the efforts of the United Nations to find a solution to the conflict about the territory and the claim of the people for self-determination. The citizens of Bremen founded a non-governmental organization, “Freiheit für die Westsahara”, which members of the German Parliament (Bundestag) from different parties included on its advisory board. I am the speaker of the board.
  • Exhibition — As part of a partnership between the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen and Namibia (including the support of Bremen to the Namibia Project at the University of Bremen under my leadership), we prepared a documentary exhibition under the title “Bremen — Namibia, History of a Partnership 1975–2019”. Gunther Hilliges, the former head of the Office for Development Cooperation of Bremen, and I authored the documents, and the exhibition is planned for Windhoek in the near future. The COVID pandemic has so far prevented the completion of the project.
Selected publications
  • Indigenous knowledge and soil protection in Namibia. In: H. Ginsky; E. Dooley et al., eds. International Yearbook of Soil Protection and Policy (Springer) 2019: 107–125 
  • Customary Law Ascertained — project completed? In: Namibia Law Journal (11,1) 2019: 47–65 
  • Westsahara. Afrikas letzte Kolonie. ed. with J. Tavakoli; W. Ruf and L. Gaiser. Berlin 2021. regiospectra 
  • Legal protection of biodiversity in Namibia. (together with O. C. Ruppel). In: O. C. Ruppel; K. Ruppel-Schlichting, eds., Environmental law and policy in Namibia. 4th ed. Baden-Baden 2022. Nomos: 231–245 
  • Customary law and the environment. In: O. C. Ruppel; K. Ruppel-Schlichting, eds., Environmental law and policy in Namibia. 4th ed., Baden-Baden. 2022. Nomos: 609–642 
  • Laufzeitverlängerung für Atomkraftwerke: Ausstieg aus dem Ausstieg? In: Universitas 2022, 9 : 38 – 58Brazil (hybrid), December 4-8, 2022.