Dominic Dagbanja

Dr, BA(Hons) LLB(Hons) Ghana , BL Ghana LawSch , LLM Pacific , LLM G.Wash. , PhD Auck.

  • The University of Western Australia (M253), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile


Dr Dominic Npoanlari Dagbanja joined The University of Western Australia School of Law in August 2016 as a Lecturer in Law and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in Law in 2019. Dr Dagbanja is a Research Fellow, African Procurement Law Unit, Department of Mercantile Law, Stellenbosch University, South Africa; Fellow of Higher Education Academy, United Kingdom; and Technical Consultant at Growth Perspective Ltd, Jamaica. He was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at The University of Manchester School of Law in the United Kingdom where he worked on European Research Council grant research on Sociology of Transnational Constitutional Law. Dr Dagbanja was also a 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 practised law as a Pupil, and later as a Junior Associate, at Bentsil-Enchill, Letsa & Ankomah; Assistant State Attorney at Ministry of Justice & Attorney-General’s Department of Ghana and Senior Legal Officer at the Public Procurement Authority of 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 at the University of Ghana where he did his national service as a Teaching Assistant in the Department of Sociology. There he handled tutorial classes for final year students in Theories of Social Development and the Context of Development and Underdevelopment. Dr Dagbanja’s article, The Intersection of Public Procurement Law and Policy and International Investment Law, won the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development-Society of International Economic Law Award for Research in Investment and Development. Dr Dagbanja also served as International Investment Agreements/Investment Policy Consultant to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. He made presentations at various international academic conferences and as Guest Speaker at the invitations of Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Afronomicslaw Academic Forum and Growth Perspective Ltd. Dr. Dagbanja received The University of Western Australia Law School Excellence in Teaching Award 2021.

Roles and responsibilities

  • Member, UWA Law School Research Committee 2017-2022
  • Associate Director of Community Engagement, Africa Research and Engagement Centre, 2018-2022

Future research

The Law of Public Procurement in Ghana

Funding overview

  • The Political and Economic Agency of Africans in Australia, Australian Research Council Discovery Project, $435,304
  • African-Australian Youth: Navigating Identities, Scanlon Foundation Research Institute, $50,000
  • The Transnational Political Economy of African Migration to Australia, UWA Research Collaboration Awards, $28,417

Previous positions

  • 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

Industrial relevance

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.

Teaching overview

  • Company Law
  • Legal Framework of Business
  • International Investment Law


Dr Dagbanja research interests in Company Law, International Commercial Law, International Investment Law and Arbitration, Public Procurement Law, International Trade Law, International Business Transactions and Immigration Law and Inequality. His specific interests are in the consequences of treaty-based investment and trade agreements for public interest regulatory autonomy and the role of national constitutions and general international law in the making, interpretation, and enforcement of these treaties. More specifically, Dr Dagbanja’s research explores the intersection of international economic treaties such as investment treaties for domestic regulatory autonomy in the areas of human rights and environmental protection and the development policymaking and implementation. He seeks to theorise around the subject of the limitations that the duty of states to regulate in the public interest places or ought to place on the competence of states to conclude trade and investment treaties.  He has published extensively on this theme in leading peer-review international law journals and yearbook. The Imperatives Theory, developed in his monograph The Investment Treaty Regime and Public Interest Regulation in Africa (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2022) addresses the question of how constitutional law (municipal law) and general international law, which are conventionally treated as antinomic in investor-state arbitration and theories of the relationship between municipal law and international law, simultaneously preserve states’ autonomy to regulate in the public interest and limit the competence of African states in the making of international economic rules governing trade and investment.


  • Likpakpaaln
  • Bassari
  • English

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production

External positions

• Affiliated Expert, Asia-Pacific Foreign Direct Development Network

2021 → …

• Editorial Board Member, Brills Comparative Law in Global Perspective Series

2021 → …

Research Fellow, Public Procurement Law Unit, Department of Mercantile Law, Stellenbosch University

2019 → …

• Director of Research and Development, Organisation of African Communities in Western Australia Inc

2019 → …

Research expertise keywords

  • Company law
  • Contract law
  • International investment law and arbitration
  • International business transactions
  • Commercial law
  • International Trade Law
  • Public Procurement Law


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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