Dr. Amaka Vanni


Dr. Vanni joined the School of Law in September 2020 as a Lecturer in Law. Her main area of research is international economic law, with a focus on intellectual property law, international trade law, global economic governance, law and development.  

Dr. Vanni obtained both her PhD and LLM degrees in International Economic Law from the University of Warwick, where her doctoral thesis was awarded the 2018 SIEL–Hart Prize in International Economic Law. She has BA(Hons) in International Relations and Politics from Keele University, where was awarded the Vice-Chancellor Partial Scholarship (2004-2007). Dr. Vanni currently teaches the undergraduate and postgraduate modules in intellectual property law. She is the current president of the African International Economic Law Network (AfIELN), editor of the African Journal of International Economic Law and a contributing editor of Afronomicslaw.org, the leading blog on the International Economic Law landscape as it relates to Africa and the Global South. Dr. Vanni is also a member of the IEL Collective, and a theme lead on philanthropic and social financing for the New Frontiers in International Development Finance (Nef Def) project, a multi-institutional collaborative effort.

Research interests

Dr. Vanni’s research interests lie at the intersection of international economic law (IEL), law and development, global political economy, and global governance. Dr. Vanni’s research adopts critical analysis, empirical methods and sociolegal approach in her examination and study of IEL, particularly intellectual property. As a result, her work focuses on the constitutive power of international economic law, norms, and practices to affect social relations and everyday life, especially in the developing world where this impact is felt more starkly. Her work is also attentive to how various actors (both state and non-state) and local culture interact with IEL. Dr. Vanni’s award winning book ‘Patent Games in the Global South: Pharmaceutical Patent Law-Making in Brazil, India and Nigeria’ (Hart, 2020) provides fresh theoretical insights into global intellectual property regimes with focus on the role of history, social networks and how relationships between a variety of actors shape the framing of, and subsequently the responses to, national implementation of international patent law. Further publications focus on pharmaceutical patent and access to medicines, the growing influence of global philanthropic actors in international economic regimes, and IP & technology start-ups in emerging markets.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD (University of Warwick)
  • LLM International Economic Law (University of Warwick)
  • BA International Relations and Politics

Professional memberships

  • Society of International Economic Law.
  • African International Economic Law Network
  • Socio-Legal Studies Association

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Business Law and Practice
  • Centre for Law and Social Justice