Inaugural SIEL-Hart Prize for PhD graduate
Recent PhD graduate Nneamaka Vanni has won the inaugural SIEL-Hart Prize for her PhD thesis that was defended here at the University of Warwick – School of Law in 2017.
The SIEL-Hart Prize is awarded every two years to an outstanding unpublished manuscript by an early career scholar in the field of International Economic Law and is open to applications from all over the world. The manuscript can be a doctoral thesis or an original, book-length piece of scholarship that focuses on any field of, or has a perspective on, International Economic Law.
We love to hear about the successes of our PhD graduates so we caught up with Nneamaka to find out more.
Could you tell us a little more about your prize-winning thesis?
My thesis titled "Narrative and Counter-Narrative Pharmaceutical Patent Law Making: Experiences from Brazil, India and Nigeria" empirically explores the ways some Third World States use the patent regime as set out in the TRIPS Agreement to effect certain development and public health goals.
It also investigates how non-state actors in these countries participate in patent law making, thereby creating narratives and counter-narratives that are challenging global norms on pharmaceutical patent protection. To do this, the thesis takes the three different examples of Brazil, India, and Nigeria and tells the story of patent law making within each of them.
Adopting a Third World Approach to International Law as a macro-theoretical guide and nodal governance theory as a supplement, the thesis maps the broad interpretations and contestations of international patent law within the Third World.
In doing this, the thesis pays particular attention to the everyday life of international patent law through the examination of practices that unfold through the different sites and objects in which international law operates today.
How did you feel about winning the prize?
I was quite surprised, to be honest. I passed my PhD viva without corrections so in a way I know the thesis is a good piece of academic work. However, to be recognised by the people in my field is unbelievable. It is a kind of re-affirmation that taking on the PhD with the attendant tears, pain and effort was not a bad decision. It is also a testament to the incredible support I got from my supervisor and Warwick Law School.
So, what's next for you?
The winning thesis will be published within the Hart series Studies in International Trade and Investment Law. My focus right now is to finish the revisions and submit the manuscript in a timely manner per my agreement with my publishers, Hart. I'm also working on various projects related to my PhD research.
Congratulations Nneamaka on your fantastic achievement and we can’t wait to hear more about your research and work in the future.