Henok Gabisa Professor of Practice and Affiliate of the Transnational Law Institute

Phone: 540-458-8329

Email: gabisah@wlu.edu

Office: 452B Lewis Hall 

Scholarly Commons

Area of Expertise

International Law


SJD, St. Thomas University School of Law

LLM, St. Thomas University School of Law

LLB, Mekelle University School of Law


Dr. Henok Gabisa is a Professor of Practice at Washington and Lee University School of Law. He teaches Transnational Criminal Tribunal and Anti-Corruption & Global Good Governance Courses, experiential courses offered to 3rd year and rising 2nd year Law students at the University. Professor Gabisa is also a Legal Counsel before the Quasi-Judicial continental body, the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights (ACHPR), located in the Gambia, West Africa, where he represents individual and group victims of violations of civil rights in Sub-Saharan Africa. He is also one of the conveners of Andrew Mellon's funded yearlong inter-departmental Seminar program on African Human Rights for fall 2015 and spring 2016.

Dr. Gabisa also pursues multiple academic researches and transnational law projects related to the United Nations and the World Bank. Gabisa has been instrumental in the W&L's recent special consultative status granted by the United Nations for select few academic initiations and non-governmental organizations in the world.  He also leads a group of law students every year to attend the World Bank's Global Forum on Law, Justice and Development (GFLJD) that takes place in Washington D.C every year.

Dr. Gabisa has published articles and opinion pieces on subjects related to Judicial Reform in Post-Conflict nations of Africa; Land and Conflict; foreign investment protection & human rights; Historical Injustices in Ethiopia & contemporary legal remedies. His articles are published in peer-reviewed law journals and reviews in the US and Europe, and appeared in American Bar Association affiliated law journal. He has authored several opinion pieces for international medias and eminent newspaper including The Guardian and The Jurist.  He has presented papers and works in progress at different academic conferences and seminars including Columbia University, New York Law School, Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), University of London School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS). He speaks on legislative reform of developing countries every year at the International conference on Legislative Drafting and Law Reform organized by the American Federal Bar Association in Washington D.C.

Dr. Gabisa served as the President of Oromo Studies Association, an inter-disciplinary scholarly society established in 1986 to study multitude of thematic subjects including indigenous legal theories and philosophies, law, history, political justice, identity theory, nation-building and linguistic justice of the Oromo Nation of North-East Africa.

Formerly, he held a position as Researcher and Trainer in Ethiopia's Judicial Training and Legal Research Institute where he taught Continuing Judicial Education syllabus to sitting judges of the Supreme, appellate and district courts in Oromia National Regional State, the biggest member state in the Republic of Ethiopia. Henok also held adjunct positions at the Law Faculties of Adama University, Rift-Valley University and Wolayita-Sodo University, where he taught intensive courses of Criminal Procedure, Evidence Law, International Human Rights Law, and Ethiopian Public Finance Law.  He also served as a consultant and regional advisor for a Joint human rights project between the UK government's Department of Foreign and International Development (DFID), University of Glasgow's Active Learning Center and the Organization for Social Justice in Ethiopia. Henok is the founder of Association of Oromo Public Defenders (Public Interest Lawyers Association) in the Oromia region of Ethiopia.

Dr. Gabisa frequently comments on current political and legal topics in Ethiopia with BBC TV, BBC Africa Radio; Voice of America (VOA); Baltimore based Marc Steiner Radio show and South Africa Public Radio.

Further Research Interest: Policy-Oriented Jurisprudence (POJ), Sovereign Immunity and Transnationalism; Indigenous legal philosophy, Continental Litigation of Civil Rights; local rights and global investment; Energy and mining law in post-conflict regions, Africanization of rights and Remedies; political economy and Geopolitics in North-East Africa; Judicial Reform in the Global South