Mawuse Oliver Barker-Vormawor

PhD Research Student at Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge


Mawuse Oliver Barker-Vormawor (Oliver, a Ghanaian) is a Cambridge-Africa PhD student at the Faculty of Law.

He is a governance advisor with significant law and policy expertise in various African countries, in the United States and within the United Nation’s System. He has been frequently engaged to interface with private businesses, legislators, governmental ministries, agencies and departments in several countries, and in various capacities including in the law and policymaking process or to obtain regulatory or governmental approvals required for various international transactions. Oliver also has significant consulting experience with various international and multilateral institutions such as the World Bank, UNDP, DFID, OSIWA, ClientEarth etc.

Prior to commencing his doctoral programme at the University of Cambridge, Oliver held various roles in the Private Sector, in Government, and with the United Nations. Oliver has worked as a Diplomat in the Foreign Service of Ghana, Senior Legal and Policy Officer at the Office of the President in Ghana, Judicial Fellow to the Vice President of the International Court of Justice, Legal Officer at the United Nations Headquarters in New York USA, and as Global Law and Policy Advisor at the headquarters of the international law firm Covington & Burling LLP in Washington DC, USA. Between January 2010 to December 2011, Oliver was also engaged as a Constitutional Researcher and the Access to Justice Advisor to Ghana’s Constitution Review Commission, which was appointed by the President of Ghana on the advice of the country’s Attorney General to assess the strengths and weaknesses of Ghana’s 1992 Constitution and to make recommendations for a possible amendments to the Constitution. Oliver’s illustrious services to the Commission saw him awarded by the Commission for his “Extra-Ordinary Services as Researcher to the Constitution Review Commission”.

Oliver has previous degrees from the Universite Mohammed V, Souissi, Rabat and the Universite Hassan II, Casablanca in Morocco, the University of Ghana, and Harvard Law School in the USA.

At the University of Cambridge, Oliver’s doctoral project will contribute to ongoing academic projects concerned with revising and strengthening global governance norms in order to enhance shared global prosperity as well as to bolster the contribution of developing countries to global governance. Specifically, Oliver’s research project seeks to deconstruct the “dispositionist” biases of international law in order to articulate a case for the reform of International law and policy and to explore ways in which developing countries can achieve and maintain a competitive edge in global governance frameworks.