A Ugandan scholar and university lecturer in the UK has emerged winner of the 2020 SIEL-Hart Prize in International Economic Law for his manuscript on economic integration in Africa.
Dr. Timothy Masiko, a teaching associate at the University of Nottingham, won this year’s prestigious prize for his work that examines the complex treaty-making process in Africa.
The SIEL-Hart Prize is awarded every two years for an outstanding unpublished manuscript by an early career scholar in the field of International Economic Law and is sponsored by Hart Publishing and the Society of International Economic Law.
The manuscript can be a doctoral thesis or an original, book-length piece of scholarship and can focus on any field of, or perspective on, international economic law.
The winner of the SIEL-Hart Prize receives a contract for publication within the Hart Series Studies in International Trade and Investment Law, a £250 (sh1.1m) Hart book voucher, a SIEL-Hart Prize bursary of up to £750 (sh3.4m) to cover travel and accommodation expenses to, and waiver of the registration fee for, the SIEL-Hart Prize Global Conference.
“I am delighted my work has been recognised by SIEL-Hart Prize and I am thrilled to have won the prize while at Nottingham, where I did the research for the project. I trust it will be useful to academics and policymakers alike and cannot wait to share it with the world. I look forward to shedding more light on the unique approaches to international law taken by African states and draw on those to drive conversations on the ever-changing field of international economic law,” Masiko said of the recognition, according to the Nottingham University website.
Prize judges praised Masiko’s manuscript for pointing out salient issues that need to be considered in the establishment of regional economic blocs on the continent.
His award-winning paper titled “Flexible Economic Integration in Africa: Lessons and Implications for the Multilateral Trading System” was described by the Society of International Economic Law as ‘innovative’.
It offers a much-needed analysis of the historical, political, legal, economic peculiarities of regional integration in East Africa.
Masiko’s manuscript analyses the complexities of flexible regional economic integration in Africa against the backdrop of Pan-Africanism, with a specific focus on how the East African Community and its application of variable geometry paved the way for the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
“Masiko’s work starts with a thorough analysis of the theories and practices of (Preferential Trade Area) PTAformation, using African PTAs as examples, to develop a discussion on “flexibility” and “variable geometry” as forms of standards or principles or tools for the African PTAs discussed,” a citation reads.
According to the judges, Masiko’s work helps one to understand African diversity and the tools chosen by African countries to finally reach a fully continental FTA — the AfCFTA.
It offers a much-needed analysis of the historical, political, legal, economic peculiarities of regional integration in East Africa, the judges said.
“This unique and novel work is a wonderful introduction to understanding the context, but also the roots of, the challenges faced by the AfCFTA and its potential for changing the future of the African continent and the world,” the citation reads.
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“To be precise, he was among the top five. I remember Timothy well because we had three Masikos in the Faculty of Law, but he was the most outstanding.
He was innovative and enterprising and always came to class on time. I used to chase away students who would come late to class, but Timothy was never among them. He never shied away from taking novel approaches to legal arguments,” George Kasozi, Associate Professor and former dean of the Faculty of Law, currently associate dean Faculty of Law of UCU Kampala Campus, said.
Prof. Dirk van Zyl Smit, head of the School of Law at the University of Nottingham, said of his colleague:
“We are immensely proud of the research Timothy undertook during his PhD. This award is deserved. Clearly, it is a sign of the success to come and we look forward to supporting Timothy’s career.”
WHO IS MASIKO
Dr. Masiko was previously a law lecturer at Uganda Christian University from 2012 to 2017, where he taught public international law, jurisprudence, law of contract, law of tort and administrative (public) law. Between 2010 and 2015, he was a consulting associate at EK Consulting Group, a trade policy and trade law consulting firm based in Kampala, Uganda.
The firm provided advisory and research services to clients across Africa on various aspects of trade law and trade policy, where Masiko focused on regional integration and trade in services, according to his profile at the University of Nottingham website.
He completed his PhD in law at the University of Nottingham last year. He now teaches world trading systems, land law, and foundations of tort at the School of Law at Nottingham.
His main research interests are in international economic law, legal history and African and Pan-African approaches to international law.