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Nigeria’s 26-year-old, Romola Adeola Emerges Youngest PhD Law Graduate At The University Of Pretoria



Dr Romola Adeola is Pictured with Prof Frans Viljoen,
Director of the Centre for Human Rights

3 February 2016 – The Centre for Human Rights is proud to introduce Dr Romola Adeola, its youngest doctoral graduate.

The Institution writes in it’s website, At just 26 years of age, Romola has set a record in being the youngest person to obtain a Doctor of Laws degree (LLD) in the 30-year history of the Centre for Human Rights.

Furthermore, she is only the second youngest person to achieve this in the Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria since its establishment 107 years ago. She distinguished herself by completing the LLD in under 3 years.

This record is in keeping with a pattern of excellence which Romola has maintained since her undergraduate years at Lagos State University (LASU) where she was awarded the Taslim Olawale Elias Prize for the Best Student in International Law.

Romola’s relationship with the Centre for Human Rights began from her participation in the 2008 African Human Rights Moot Court Competition. In 2012, she was selected as a DAAD scholar to study for the LLM/MPhil degree in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa. She graduated cum laude, earning two awards: the Kéba M’Baye award for the overall Best Dissertation and the Victor Dankwa prize for the Best Performance in the module: Human Rights in Africa.

Her excellent record earned her admission to the Centre’s doctoral programme in 2013. Her thesis, supervised by Prof Frans Viljoen was titled Development-induced displacement in Africa: Striking a balance between the imperative of development and the rights of persons likely to be displaced. In her thesis, Romola analyzed the obligation in article 10 of the African Union Convention in relation to the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa. Her study, one of the first on this Convention, focused specifically on development-induced displacement which is one of the root causes of internal displacement in Africa.


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