The Interface Between National and International Law in Africa: Nigeria and Kenya in Comparative Perspective

Authors: Sylvanus Gbendazhi Barnabas and Donatus Onuora Okanyi

ISSN: 2521-5434
Affiliations: Faculty of Law, Nile University of Nigeria, Abuja; Nigeria Law School, Enugu Campus
Source: Africa Journal of Comparative Constitutional Law, 2021, p. 41 – 66


This paper examines the interface between national and international law in Africa, with a special focus on Nigeria and Kenya, by comparatively examining both states. The choice of Kenya as a comparator is because, like Nigeria, Kenya is anglophone. Kenya has embarked on fairly recent constitutional reforms in relation to the position of international law in its legal system. The choice of Nigeria is because as an Anglophone African state, it represents the traditional attitude towards international law practised in Anglophone Africa. The purpose of the comparative analysis is to investigate whether there are lessons that Nigeria and other Anglophone African states may glean from Kenya’s constitutional law reforms. In addition to the comparative approach, the methodology is also doctrinal. It will be suggested that Anglophone African countries like Nigeria should adopt the current approach that Kenya has adopted towards engaging with international law at its national level.