Femi Falana was born on 20 May 1958 and is a Nigerian human rights activist, lawyer and arbitrator of over 30 years’ standing. He currently combines the posts of Managing Director of Legaltext Nigeria and Editor-in-Chief of Weekly Report of Nigeria, and is a member of the editorial board of the THISDAY Newspaper and the Network for the Defence of Journalists in West Africa.
Aside from stints as a member of the National Executive Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association and legal adviser to the Campaign for Democracy, Mr. Falana’s past positions include that of President of the National Association of Democratic Lawyers, President of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights and President of the West African Bar Association. In addition, he also served as Secretary-General of the African Bar Association from 2000 to 2004.
On the international front, he has appeared before the Community Court of Justice (ECOWAS), the Special Court for Sierra Leone, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in The Gambia, and the African Court on Human and Peoples‘ Rights in Arusha.
His many awards include the American Bar Association’s International Human Rights Award, the Defender of the Year Award 2000 from the International League for Human Rights (New York), the Bernard Simons Memorial Award for Human Rights from the International Bar Association, and the Gani Fawehinmi Life Time Award on human rights from the Hallmark of Labour Foundation.
In addition he has been honoured for “Outstanding Leadership, Achievements and Contributions to the Advancement of Civil Society, Human Rights and the process of Democratization in Nigeria” by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts State Senate, House of Representatives and Boston City Council, and presented with the Knight of Freedom Award by the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria.
Among Mr. Falana‘s long list of scholarly papers and publications mention might be made of “Fundamental Rights Enforcement in Nigeria”, “ECOWAS COURT: Law and Practice”, and “Nigerian Law on Socio-economic Rights”.