Mr. Buhler holds a B.A. from the College of William & Mary in Virginia, a J.D. from the University of Miami School of Law, and an LL.M. (Admiralty) from Tulane University School of Law.
Phillip Buhler has practiced law in the United States for over thirty years. His practice has focused on most aspects of maritime law, representing shipowners, operators, P & I Clubs and other commercial interests in a wide range of casualty and commercial matters, including cargo claims, oil spills, collisions, personal injury and death claims, government regulatory matters, international trade and intermodal transportation contracts. Mr. Buhler has extensive Federal court litigation experience and has maintained a trial and appellate court practice in the southeast US. He is licensed in the Federal and state courts of Florida, Louisiana and the District of Columbia, as well as the United States Supreme Court, the US Court of Federal Claims and the US Court of International Trade. He is Board Certified by the Florida Bar in Admiralty and Maritime Law and in International Law. He is also the editor of Benedicts on Admiralty, Volume 6 series (International Maritime Law).
In 2017-2018 Mr. Buhler was a lecturer (Dozent) in Intermodal Transportation and US Civil Procedure at the Universitat zu Koeln in Cologne, Germany, and in 2018-2019 he was a lecturer (Dozent) in maritime law at the Universitat Hamburg. Prior to commencing his law practice he served as a law clerk for a United States District Judge in Miami, as an Advance-Office aide to Vice-President George Bush and in the office of United States Senator Paula Hawkins of Florida.
Mr. Buhler has been extensively involved in professional and international bar organizations throughout his career. He served on the Board of Directors of the Maritime Law Association of the United States (USMLA), and chaired its International Organizations, Conventions and Standards Committee, during which he became involved with issues relating to Polar shipping (leading in part to his current research interest). He also served on the Executive Council of the Inter-American Bar Association and chaired its International Law Committee, at a time when he had significant law practice involvement in Latin America. He is currently on the Board of the Florida Bar International Law Section and has chaired a number of state and local bar and business associations.
The most pertinent international bar association with which Mr. Buhler is involved is the Comite Maritime International (CMI). He serves on its Polar Shipping International Working Group (chaired by Prof. Aldo Chircop) and its Antarctica Subcommittee. In 2016 he co-chaired a symposium on Polar Shipping issues with Prof. Chircop during a joint meeting of the CMI and the USMLA in New York. It is his work on Polar shipping in CMI and the USMLA, and especially his association with Prof. Chircop, that convinced him to come to Dalhousie to pursue his PhD.
His PhD research topic is the development of regulation for commercial shipping in the Polar regions utilizing goal-based standards and other forms of non-prescriptive approaches including meta-regulation and soft law. This will be viewed as a potential model for broader application to most areas of maritime regulation. A particular sub-issue that has become of interest since his arrival at Dalhousie is the impact of international regulations upon the Indigenous inhabitants of the Arctic, and he intends to explore application of some newer regulatory theories to properly address the interests and concerns of the impacted inhabitants and also to utilize their local knowledge and expertise for better regulatory development in this unique region.
Cornelia Opoku Gyemfi
Cornelia Opoku Gyemfi is an LLM Candidate at Dalhousie University Schulich School of Law. Her area of specialisation is Maritime and Environmental Law. She received her LLB education in Ghana from Kings University College (Degree awarded by the University of Cape Coast). She completed her national service (a requirement under the Government of Ghana for undergraduates) with the Office of the Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Ghana. She spent all her summer vacations interning with reputable law firms in Ghana such as AB & David and Blay and Associates.
As a coursework based LLM student, she has taken courses in Maritime Law and International Law of Trade and Shipping and has written research papers in both courses. Subsequently, she intends to take courses in Intellectual Property Law, Oil and Gas Law, and Environmental Law.
She hopes to be able to practise as a lawyer in Canada and to someday go back home to Ghana and help develop the maritime and environmental legal regimes. The curiosity in knowing that there were laws that govern the sea when Ghana had impounded an Argentine Navy Ship at its Tema Harbour ignited an interest in Maritime Law for her. The issue of plastics disposal and pollution has been long standing in Ghana. About 80% of its pollution in the sea is caused by plastics which are not biodegradable. The combination of Maritime and Environmental Law offered her the unique opportunity to be an expert in both fields she is passionate about.
She chose Dalhousie first because of its location, being situated in Canada which is one of the most cosmopolitan countries in the world today. Being internationally recognized for excellence in marine and environmental law teaching and research, with one of the world's most extensive course offerings in marine and environmental law, she was convinced that it was the right school for her as such a sterling opportunity will nonetheless place her on the pedestal to achieving her career objective and go come back home to influence a positive change.
Okanga Ogbu Okanga
Okanga trained as a lawyer in Nigeria between 2009 and 2015, when he was called to the Nigerian Bar. He practiced law from late 2015, before joining the academic train of Dalhousie University in 2019 as a Master of Laws (LLM) candidate. After what he describes as “a gratifying and illuminating time of steady discovery”, Okanga immediately resumed as a Doctoral Candidate at the school. Okanga’s doctoral research examines how the politics of international tax cooperation and the (adapted) concept of state responsibility impact and can impact the containment of international tax abuse in today’s globalized world. Okanga mainly researches issues of domestic and international tax and international trade law. He also has research history in dispute resolution and Nigerian constitutional law.
"I am no jack of all trades, but I believe that I can do a few things. I had a blossoming career as a young advocate and solicitor in Nigeria. I can continue along that path. I use my growing knowledge and experience to mentor others, and whatever else I do, I will continue that, inside or outside the classroom. I recognize the importance of transitioning my research competence from the metaphorical ivory tower to the main street, which, for me, means lots of policy work. I hope to be an impactful contributor in the broad spectrum of the tax reform conversation, and to join in amplifying Africa’s underrepresented voice in the international tax and international trade ecosystem. My preference would be to live a finely combined experience of these goals, without compromising excellence.
I am a tax law enthusiast… from my days as a law student at the University of Nigeria. After law school, I had the privilege of engaging in some interesting tax work as a Nigerian lawyer and generally followed the vibrant cycling wheel of the tax conversation in Nigeria. My curiosity soon metamorphosed into resolve for career specialization in tax. I decided to build competence by pursuing further studies. In 2018, one of my mentors and friend, Dr. Jude Odinkonigbo, himself a Dalhousie (LLM) alumnus, advised me to focus on Canada for my LLM studies because of Canadian law schools’ greater emphasis on intense research-based scholarship. I prepared an LLM research proposal and reached out to a few professors to ascertain who could be my potential supervisor. I got good responses all round, but Professor Kim Brooks was, by a distance, most enthusiastic and encouraging. Her reply email made Dalhousie my undisputed choice and I resolved to work with her, if given the chance. Of course, her radiant CV also fueled my eagerness to work with her. That working relationship has progressed immensely since my arrival and she was the biggest influence in my immediate pursuit of doctoral studies. Overall, I have enjoyed tremendous mental and material support from this magnificent institution."
I am a PhD student at the Marine and Environmental Law Institute. My research focuses on using legal tools to improve conservation outcomes for marine species at risk. I am involved in projects trying to save critically endangered sawfishes in the Caribbean and stem the decline of leatherback sea turtles in the Northwest Atlantic.
After working in private practice for a couple of years and taking time off to travel, I chose Schulich Law to do my master’s because of the school’s unparalleled reputation in the environmental law field. Throughout my years here, I have been pushed and supported to grow as a researcher and a person. I have gotten opportunities to attend intergovernmental meetings and present my work at international conferences. It has been a privilege to learn from renowned experts in my field.
Akinwumi Olawuyi Ogunranti
I obtained my LLB degree at the University of Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria, and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2013. I obtained my LLM degree at Schulich School of Law in 2017 with a specialization in International Litigation.
My forthcoming Ph.D. is entitled "Voices from Below—Norm Development and Diffusion of The United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights from a Third World (African) Perspective".
My research interests are Business and Human Rights, Arbitration, Investment Law, Private International law, and Transnational dispute resolution. I particularly examine how these areas of law synergistically enhance access to justice for victims of human rights abuse in developing countries, especially Africa.
I hope to teach law and contribute to transnational dispute resolution practice by providing mentorship to students in mock trials and presentations at various international conferences and tribunals.
I chose Schulich because of the quality of support from the academic and non-academic members. At Schulich, everyone is rooting for your success. Therefore, I do not have a supervisor-student relationship, but a mentor-mentee relationship with my supervisor and other faculty members. Having obtained my LLM degree at Schulich School of Law in 2017, I knew there is nowhere else I ought to be for my Ph.D. program. The support I enjoyed in my LLM program is a major catalyst for continuing my Ph.D. journey at Schulich School of Law.
Oluwaseyi Sanni is currently an LLM student at the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University. His research interest borders around the area of Dispute Resolution, International Trade Law, and International Law. More precisely, Sanni is interested in how States interact with one another through regional integration, and how disputes are resolved within such framework. He has pending publications with the African Journal of International and Comparative Law Journal as well as the AfronomicsLaw Blog.
In his current LLM Thesis entitled: “Proposing a Constructivist Approach to Resolving Trade Conflicts under the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement” (AfCFTA): A Cross-Jurisdictional Analysis”, Sanni explores the dispute resolution paradigm under the AfCFTA treaty and advocates the need for it to reflect the character of the African Continent.
Sanni also works as a researcher at the Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute (CJEI), where he explores the jurisprudence surrounding the protection of animal rights, and its entrenchments in international and domestic legislations applicable to commonwealth countries.
In another life, Sanni records some years of experience of legal practice in Nigeria and intends to expand his practice base to Canada. Having recently completed the NCA requirements, Sanni immediately plans to article in a law-oriented organization and subsequently practice law in Canada. In the long term, beyond representing clients before domestic and international courts and fora, Sanni hopes to consult for Institutions, Bodies and Corporations on issues bordering around international trade and investments.
In exploring his goals and dreams, Sanni sought to have the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University as an integral part of his success story, not only because the faculty holds a distinctive reputation as arguably the oldest law school in Canada, but mostly because it is also reputed for its very impressive team of faculty members and researchers.
Oladiwura Ayeyemi Eyitayo-Oyesode
My name is Oladiwura Ayeyemi Eyitayo-Oyesode. I am a doctoral candidate at the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University. I grew up in Lanlate, a small community in Oyo state, Nigeria. I attended the University of Lagos, Nigeria for my Bachelor of Laws degree from 2008-2013. I was called to the Nigerian bar in 2014 and had a brief stint in legal practice before relocating to Canada in 2016 for my master’s degree. I completed my master’s degree in 2017 and was accepted into the doctoral degree program in law.
I am researching on the nexus between the fulfilment of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in African countries and the reform of tax treaties to increase revenue generation. I am interested in the implications of the international tax regime for African countries. My doctoral research contributes to the formulation of context-specific solutions to the systemic issues that limit tax revenues and social spending through source-restricting provisions in the tax treaty networks of three African countries (Nigeria, Botswana, and Tanzania). The aim of my research is to examine the nature of the tax treaty networks of the three African countries. Second, I examine the impact that these treaties have on tax revenue generation in the three countries. These questions will lead to my argument that the way these tax treaties are structured, they continue to impede tax revenue generation in the three African countries, which is a bane to the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A comparative analysis of the tax treaty networks which I will undertake will show if these countries have similar tax treaty provisions, the implications of these provisions on tax revenue generation, and possible recommendations on how the three countries can reform their tax treaties to increase tax revenue generation. The three countries are chosen to demonstrate similar challenges that impede tax revenue generation across the African continent, and how African countries can collectively change the story by reforming their tax treaties to reflect the changes proposed in my thesis. My goal is to help design effective and efficient rules for taxing international income in African countries and my doctoral research gives me the opportunity to fulfill that goal.
I chose the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University because of my Supervisor, Professor Kim Brooks. Her research interest in distributive justice in international tax closely aligns with mine and that was what made me reach out to her for possible research supervision for my master’s degree.
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