Focus Month Regional Integration on the Blog of African Legal Studies

TGCL and the Chair of African Legal Studies at the University of Bayreuth dedicate a specific topic to each month of the year on their Blog (https://africanlegalstudies.Blog/). This features an increased research effort on the respective topic within the Chairs activities as well as a thematic focus from the articles published on the Blog. Thought-provoking and up-to-date articles not only by TGCL/African Legal Studies Students, Alumni and Staff, but also from leading experts on the various topics from around the globe can thus be found on the Blog.

The topic dedicated to the focus month of April is Regional Integration and was chosen to give mainly TGCL students and alumni a platform to publish part of their current research and contribute easily to ongoing debatesOur writers review and analyse political, legal, economic, and social institutions for collective governance and address present issues and processes.

On 2 April, TGCL Alumni Otieno Kennedy Abuya published an analysis on the Appraisal of Legal Challenges and Intra-Regional Trade Within the East African Community in which he precisely examined the underlying legal framework on Intra-Regional Trade and gave a recommendation for the future. On 10 April, the Team co-released two comments involving Regional Integration. First, Jan Maina, lawyer and DAAD Legal Scholar at the TGCL, addressed Kenya’s Repatriation of Refugees in a Wake of Regional Integration. Afterwards, René Brosius commented on the maritime border dispute between Somalia and Kenya. René Brosius is a doctoral candidate at the Chair of African Legal Studies at the University of Bayreuth and is specialised in the field of law and economics in Somalia. In his comment, he evaluated the tension between the two states and particularly carved out the background as well as the role of the International Court of Justice. On the blog itself you can find more interesting articles around Regional Integration and access them via the following link (https://africanlegalstudies.Blog/2021/04/). Please feel free to leave a reply under any article as we love to open an in-depth discourse about the research with our readers. Via the top link, you can also come upon our other articles from previous months as well as – coming 1 May – the announcement of the main topic of the next focus month.

If you would like to address a certain topic with great interest in your research and like to be featured as an author on our Blog, you can do this by clicking the button “Contribute” in the top right of the main page and submitting your paper to The African Legal Studies Team is always looking forward to engaging with new authors and featuring their articles on the Blog.


By Philipp Bogensperger

TGCL Welcomes New LLM and PhD Students

The Tanzanian-German Centre for Eastern African Legal Studies (TGCL) inaugurated its new academic year 2016/17 with a formal opening ceremony on 3 October 2016. At this event, 15 new LLM students and two new PhD students were received by Dr Evaristo Longopa, University of Dar es Salaam School of Law, by TGCL student adviser Hon. Dr Steven Bwana and by the TGCL management team, consisting of Mr Johannes Döveling, Ms Carolin Herzog and Ms Mary Mgaya.

After words of welcome by Dr Longopa on behalf of the Dean of the School of Law, Mr Johannes Döveling gave an overview on the TGCL and its activities. Student adviser Hon. Dr Steven Bwana followed with a few words of advice, pointing out the crucial role of integer and well-trained lawyers for the East African societies. After introducing the students to the Academic Programme 2016/2017, Ms Carolin Herzog briefly reported on the planned study trips to one of the capitals of the East African Community and to Europe. After a question and answer session the event found a successful conclusion in a joint lunch.

Out of the 17 newly admitted students, one is from Burundi, five are from Kenya, two from Rwanda, five from Tanzania and four from Uganda. Up until today, the TGCL has admitted 128 students to its study programmes, whereas half of them originates from outside of Tanzania.

TGCL Opening Ceremony

TGCL Autumn University 2016

This year, as in previous years, a group of East African master’s and PhD students of law from the Tanzanian-German Centre for Eastern African Legal Studies (TGCL) were able to undertake a study trip from 4 to 16 September 2016 under the leadership of the TGCL manager, Johannes Döveling, visiting first Bayreuth and then Nuremberg, Berlin and Brussels.

This study trip to Europe has been an annual event since 2010. It enables the participants to expand their theoretical knowledge and to make comparisons between the legal systems of East Africa and Europe. In addition to lectures on German law at the University of Bayreuth, the programme included visits to the regional court and the district court in Bayreuth, and to the Town Hall, where the Mayor, Thomas Ebersberger, welcomed the students and explained to them how municipal councils function within the German state structure.


Students of the TGCL and Thomas Ebersberger
TGCL student group with second Mayor Thomas Ebersberger


In Berlin, the students were able to speak with officials at the Federal Foreign Office, the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, and the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development. A special highlight was a visit to the German Parliament (Bundestag), where Dr. Silke Launert, a member of the German Parliament, explained to the students how the German Parliament works and engaged in a lively discussion with them. The group also met PhD students from the South African-German Centre for Transnational Criminal Justice at Berlin’s Humboldt University, and were able to exchange views with them and discuss their respective research projects.


Students of the TGCL and Dr. Silke Launert
At the German Parliament with MP Dr. Silke Launert


Since 2014, the study trip has also included a visit to Brussels, which allows the students to make direct comparisons between the working of the European Union and that of the East African Community (EAC). In addition to an informative lecture in the European Parliament, the students were given talks at the European Commission on the European Single Market and on Competition Law. They also enjoyed a visit to the Embassy of the Republic of Kenya, where they were received by the Deputy Ambassador, Ms. Mechtilde Musula. She explained the special duties of an East African Ambassador to the European Union, in particular representation on bilateral and multilateral levels. The trip ended with an invitation to visit Transparency International. There, Edward McMillan gave the students an overview of the strategies followed by this NGO for combating corruption.


TGCL Autumn University 2016
TGCL students with Ms Patricia Hamel at the Representation of the Free State of Bavaria to the European Union


In their feedback, the participants expressed their great satisfaction with the organisation of the study trip. Of particular interest to them was the fact that judges can make their decisions impartially in the pursuit of justice, free of any political influence. In the light of increasing decentralisation, the students also found it very useful to gain insights into the German federal system and the governance structures of multi-level systems.