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Claire Adionyi selected to join IALS visiting professor and scholar program

Claire, a lecturer and research coordinator at the Strathmore Law School, will be at Symbiosis Law School in Pune, India, from January to April 2020.


Claire Adionyi has been selected to join the 2020 visiting professor and scholar program by the International Association of Law Schools (IALS), an association of more than 160 law schools and departments from over 55 countries. Claire, a lecturer and research coordinator at the Strathmore Law School, will be at Symbiosis Law School in Pune, India, for the prestigious scholar program from January to April 2020.

The IALS Visiting Professor & Scholar Program serves to facilitate the exchange of legal scholars among its members.  This program provides opportunities for professors and scholars to pursue a research project, enhance their resume, experience a culture and region unlike theirs, network with other members, and learn and analyze practices to help them reflect on and modernize their curriculum, teaching methods and educational tools.

2020 IALS Scholar

In 2018, IALS expanded the program to include beginning law professors, with the position going to one scholar every year. “I was previously a member of the Management Committee (MC) of the law school; as my term ended, I asked Prof. Luis Franceschi if there was a possibility of being seconded to another institution for research as it had been a challenge conducting research while in the MC.”

With the nomination from Prof. Franceschi in hand, she needed to battle it out with the other scholars. The application process included submission of a high quality research proposal and the requirement to demonstrate why she needed time for research. The application process was 3-tiered: the nomination of candidates, selection of top three candidates by the IALS Visiting Professor & Scholar Committee, and the selection of the top candidate by Symbiosis Law School.

“The Dean in charge of the program congratulated me for getting to the top three and pointed out that this was an achievement in itself, even if I didn’t end up getting the award. I was ecstatic when I got the email informing me that I was the 2020 scholar.”

Right to health in conflict situations

During the four month period, she is expected to pursue a research project and assist in teaching. Armed with her abstract titled: Accountability for the Right to Health in Conflict Situations: Can Artificial Intelligence (AI) Be Harnessed to Provide Recourse?” she will be trying to find out whether AI can be harnessed to improve access to healthcare in conflict situations.

“I have an interest in the right to health and international human rights law. My Master’s thesis focused on accountability to health; who should be held accountable when states fail to deliver on access to medicines. Access to health is a right and the state has an obligation to provide it although it is a resource based right. It is an interesting space and I too am interested in seeing how all this will play out.”

PhD proposal

She is currently working on her PhD proposal and hopes to be accepted into a program soon. “This program will assist me as I work towards attaining my PhD especially because it is research based.” And apart from the strides she hopes to make in research, she looks forward to experiencing the culture in India. “I enjoy travelling; I am on a quest to visit 10 countries this year and I have already been to 7 countries. This program it is taking me to a region that perhaps I wouldn’t ordinarily visit and Indian food is among the best in the world.”


Claire Adionyi is an advocate of the High Court of Kenya. She has a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Nairobi and a Master of Laws degree (International Human Rights Law) from the University of Groningen, Netherlands.


The article was written by Wambui Gachari.

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