Dr Dominic Dagbanja joined the School of Law in August 2016. He has been a Research Associate at The University of Manchester School of Law in the United Kingdom working on the European Research Council grant’s research on the Sociology of Transnational Constitutional Law; Lecturer in Law at Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration in Accra, Ghana; and Graduate Teaching Assistant at The University of Auckland Law School in New Zealand. He previously worked and practised law at Bentsil-Enchill, Letsa & Ankomah, Ministry of Justice & Attorney-General’s Department and Public Procurement Authority in Ghana. He was a Legal Assistant in the law firm of Gustavo Matheus, Esq. LLC in Maryland, Research Assistant at American Bar Association Section of Public Contract Law and Senior Intern at International Law Institute in Washington DC. His first teaching appointment was in 2001 at University of Ghana where he did his National Service as a Teaching Assistant in the Department of Sociology. There he handled tutorial classes in Theories of Social Development and the Context of Development and Underdevelopment for final year students
•Dr Dagbanja currently teaches Company Law and co-supervising a PhD on the constitution and investment protection by treaty in Australia.
•PhD in Law (International Investment Law)
•LLM in Government Procurement Law
•LLM in Transnational Business Practice
•Qualifying Certificate and Certificate of Enrolment on the Roll of Lawyers in the Republic of Ghana
• Bachelor of Laws
• BA in Sociology with Linguistics
The Law of Public Procurement in Ghana
•Researcher on European Research Council (Advanced Grant 323656–STC) project on Sociology of the Transnational Constitution, The University of Manchester School of Law, February-July 2016, £10,000.
•City University Law School, London, travel fund for presentation at its conference on Dominion Status at the Twilight of the British Empire: Examining National Liberation Movements & Dominion Constitutionalism, 10 July 2016, £441.
•The University of Auckland Doctoral Scholar, 2011-2015, The Investment Treaty Regime and Public Interest Regulation in Ghana: Perspectives in Constitutionalism and General International Law, NZ$87,500
•African Association of International Law travel fund for research presentation on The Implications of Investment Treaties for Environmental Protection in Ghana: Reconciling Standards of Investment Protection with Environmental Protection Duty at the Association’s conference in Gabon, August 2015, €4,353.04; and The University of Auckland PReSS Account, NZ$2000.
•Postgraduate Students Association Inc Travel Grant to speak on Development, Development Policymaking and International Investment Treaties at American Society of International Law International Economic Law Interest Group Biennial Conference in Washington DC, 29 November-1 December 2012, NZ$500
•The University of Auckland Faculty of Law Research Fund to speak on Development, Development Policymaking and International Investment Treaties at American Society of International Law International Economic Law Interest Group Biennial Conference in Washington DC, 29 November-1 December 2012, NZ$2,02.38
•The University of Auckland PReSS Account fund to travel to Ghana to gather data for PhD research, December 2012, NZ$1,200
•Research Associate, The University of Manchester, United Kingdom
•Lecturer in Law, Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, Accra, Ghana
•Graduate Teaching Assistant, The University of Auckland, New Zealand
Dr Dagbanja practised law in both the public and private sectors in Ghana. He was an Associate in the law firm of Bentsi-Enchill, Letsa & Ankomah and Assistant State Attorney in the Ministry of Justice and Attorney-General’s Department of Ghana. He also worked as a Senior Legal Officer at the Public Procurement Authority of Ghana.
•LAWS2301: Company Law
Dr Dagbanja researches into International Investment Law and Arbitration, Public Procurement Law, International Trade Law, International Business Transactions and Commercial Law, Company Law and Contract Law. His particular interests are in the implications of treaty-based investment and trade regimes for public interest regulatory autonomy and the role of national constitutions and general international law in the execution, interpretation and enforcement of these legal regimes. More specifically, His research explores the implications of the investment treaty regime for domestic regulatory autonomy in the areas of human rights and environmental protection and the development policymaking and implementation. Dominic seeks to theorise around the subject of the limitations that the primary right and duty of states to regulate in the public interest (to protect environment and human rights and, initiate and implement development policies) must or should place on the competence of states to conclude investment treaties the terms of which tend to restrict such public interest regulation.
Dr Dagbanja's PhD thesis, The Investment Treaty Regime and Public Interest Regulation in Ghana: Perspectives in Constitutionalism and General International Law, explored the role of national constitutions in the execution and interpretation of international investment treaties. International investment treaties have posed a challenge to the autonomy of states to regulate in the public interest in ways states did not anticipate when they signed them. This is evidenced by public interest regulatory measures that foreign investors have challenged in investor-state arbitration based on these treaties. Many of the measures that are the subject of investor-state suits are of the kind required by national constitutions, international environmental treaties and international human rights treaties states are parties to. Mainstream scholarship critical of the scope and effect of investment treaties has taken the legal status of these investment treaties for granted. Yet, this issue is of fundamental importance for at least two reasons. First, the case for states’ regulatory autonomy arises out of their primary duty to regulate in the public interest. This duty has its legal justification in national constitutions and international law. Second, treaty obligations are founded on the existence of legal norms necessary for the treaty to come into existence and which define the juridical consequences attached to the conclusion of the treaty. These matters are also determined by national constitutions and international law. To fill this lacuna in international investment law literature, Dominic’s thesis explored the investment treaty terms Ghana can or cannot agree to in light of its constitutional and general international law obligations on environmental protection, development policy and judicial independence. The thesis developed The Imperatives Theory by which it argues that the legal source and public purpose of the powers of the State of Ghana under the Constitution and general international law limits its competence to conclude agreements that directly prohibit public interest regulation or indirectly achieve that effect. The thesis provides a legal and normative basis for reflection on the limits to the capacity of states like Ghana to conclude investment treaties and on how they should be interpreted and enforced.