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Prof. Attiya Waris

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Prof. Attiya Waris | Associate Professor of Law |

University of Nairobi Profile

Prof. Attiya Waris holds a PhD in Law and is a specialist in Fiscal Law and Development. She is an advocate, company secretary and arbitrator of over 18 years standing. She teaches domestic, regional and international tax law at the Law School, University of Nairobi, Kenya, the Law School, University of Rwanda and the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria. She has over 14 years’ experience in teaching and research in fiscal law and development. She focuses on resource mobilisation and the realisation of rights. Her research has spanned not only tax law and policy with a focus on human rights, development and poverty alleviation but also illicit financial flows. Her research focuses on the linkages between tax and human rights and she has published extensively on the fiscal state, tax and constitutions in Africa, IFF and gender, tax in conflict and post conflict states as well as tax and human rights, tax and the MDGs, illicit financial flows, transfer pricing and tax treaties as well as financial centres. She has researched and published on global issues, African issues, as well as country level research on Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia, South Africa, Somalia, South Sudan, Bangladesh and Ireland. Her book 'Tax and Development (2013) links the areas of tax and human rights. 

Internationally she was a nominee in 2017 for the position of UN Special Rapporteur on Development and is an Observer to the UN Tax Committee. She is a member of the Tax and Development Taskforce of the OECD as well as a Senior Advisor to the International Tax Justice Network and is a founding Board Member of the African Tax Researchers Network. She was a previous board member for Lawyers for Better Business as well as a founding Board member of Tax Justice Network Africa. She advises the regional institutions as well as the Kenyan government on fiscal issues. She speaks and researches globally on the impact that countries have on each other’s financial systems through their own laws and policies.

Nationally, she is the University of Nairobi representative on the Board of the Centre for Public Finance and Taxation (CPFT) at the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK), She has worked as consultant for multilateral development organisations and civil society. She has collaborated in projects with institutions globally funded by the European Commission, Canadian Research Foundation, Norwegian Research Council (TaxCapDev-STEAL Project). 

Within the University of Nairobi she is currently the Managing Editor of the East African Law Journal, Member of the College of Humanities Research Publications and Conference Committee and Chairs the College Editorial Committee. She is the founding Chair of the Committee of Fiscal Studies at the Law School which spearheaded the MOU with KRA the first of its kind between a University and a revenue agency globally. The Committee organises monthly tax talks and is setting up short courses on financing for development. 

Prof Waris is the Chair, Committee on Fiscal Studies: Organizing tax moot court competitions; tax talks, joint research; Member of the Publications Committee & Editorial Committee of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Nairobi. Prof Waris is also the University of Nairobi representative on Center for Public Finance and Tax Board (ICPAK).



  1. Co-authored with Joseph Mugire, Striving for Financial Self Reliance in Rwanda, Langaa Publication 2019 forthcoming
  2. Financing Africa Langaa Publication 2019 forthcoming
  3. Co-editor with Morris Mbondenyi et al: Democracy, Human Rights And Economic, Social And Political Transformation In Kenya: A Post 2007 Appraisal (2015) Pretoria Law Press, Pretoria, South Africa
  4. Tax and Development: Solving the Fiscal Crisis through Human Rights (2013) Law Africa, Nairobi, Kenya
  5. Co-editor with Prof J Leaman The International Political Economy of Taxation 1945-Present (2013) Bregnan, Germany

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles:

  1. 2018    Building Taxpayer Trust in Africa, JOTA
  2. 2018    Anti-money Laundering in Somaliland (Journal of Money Laundering Control) 
  3. 2018    Developing the South Sudanese Fiscal State (Africa Nazarene University Law Journal) 
  4. 2018    Participatory Budgeting (East African Law Journal)
  5. 2017    Linking Health to the Tax (Africa Nazarene University Law Journal) (co-authored M Kohonen and P Kohonen)
  6. 2017    A Case Study on The Application of Human Rights Principles in Health 
  7. Policymaking and Programming in Chereng’any Sub County in Kenya (co-authored with Lyla Latif and Faith Simiyu) Integrative Journal of Global Health
  8. 2016    IBFD: Mining Taxation in Tanzania: The African Barrick Gold Cases
    1. 2016    International Journal for Equity in Health: The right to health of non-nationals in the Sustainable Development Goals era: challenges for equity in universal health care (co-authored with C Brolan, Lisa Forman; Stéphanie Dragon; Rachel Hammonds; Lyla Latif; Lorena Ruano) (forthcoming)
  9. 2016    Global Challenges: Global Health Governance in the Sustainable Development Goals: is it grounded in the Right to Health? (co-authored with R Van de Paes, G Ooms, L Forman, D Sridar, R Hammonds) (forthcoming)
  10. 2015    Journal of the Jomo Kenyatta University: Legal and Financial Responsibility in Promoting Health Equity in Kenya (co-authored with Laila Abdullatif)
  11. 2015    University of Nairobi Law Journal: Financing The Progressive Realisation Of Socio Economic Rights In Kenya (co-authored with Laila Abdullatif)
  12. 2015    East African Law Journal: Delineating a Rights-based Fiscal Social Contract Using African Fiscal Constitutions
  13. 2015    Health Care Analysis: Towards Establishing Fiscal Legitimacy Through Settled Fiscal Principles in Global Health Financing (co-authored with Laila Abdullatif) International Transfer Pricing Journal (2014 (21) 1) Rwanda-Understanding Transfer Pricing  
  14. 2014    Journal of Money Laundering Control: The Effect of Tax Amnesty on Anti Money Laundering in Bangladesh Volume 17 Issue 2 (2014) (co-authored with Laila Abdullatif)
  15. 2014    Global Health:Beyond Health Aid: Would an International Equalization Scheme for Universal Health Coverage Serve the International Collective Interest? 21;10:41 (co-authored with Gorik OomsRachel HammondsBart CrielWim Van DammeAlan Whiteside)
  16. 2014    Bio Med Central: Is universal health coverage the practical expression of the right to health care? Gorik Ooms, Laila A. Latif, Attiya Waris, Claire E. Brolan,Rachel Hammonds, Eric A. Friedman, Moses Mulumba, Lisa Forman
  17. 2013    BMC International Health and Human Rights.What could a strengthened right to health bring to the post-2015 health development agenda?: interrogating the role of the minimum core concept in advancing essential global health needs with Lisa FormanGorik OomsAudrey ChapmanEric FriedmanEveraldo LampreaandMoses Mulumba
  18. 2013    Bulletin of International Taxation (2013 (67)) 12 Taxing Intra-Company Transfers: The Law and Its Application in Rwanda 
  19. 2013    Bulletin of the World Health Organisation 2013; 91:719–719A rights in the post-2015 development agenda: including non-nationals. Claire E. Brolan, Stephanie Dagron, Lisa Forman, Rachel Hammonds and Laila Abdul Latif
  20. 2013    International Journal on Reproductive Health Matters: A global social contract to reduce maternal mortality: the human rights arguments and the case of Uganda. Volume 21, Issue 42, Pages 129-138, November 2013 (co-authored with Gorik Ooms, Moses Mulumba, Rachel Hammonds, Laila Abdul Latif, and Lisa Forman)
  21. 2013    Bulletin of the World Health Organisation: Editorial on Universal health coverage anchored in the right to health(co-authored with Gorik Ooms, Claire Brolan, Natalie Eggermont, Asbjørn Eide, Walter Flores, Lisa Forman, Eric A Friedman, Thomas Gebauer, Lawrence O Gostin, Peter S Hill, Sameera Hussain, Martin McKee, Moses Mulumba, Faraz Siddiqui, Devi Sridhar, Luc Van Leemput & Albrecht Jahn 2013;91:2-2A
  22. 2012    International Business Management:Law and Economics: A New Dimension in Market Regulation (co-authored with R Noordin and M Whitbrodt)
  23. 2012    University of Nairobi Law Journal Utilising Tax Literacy and Societal Confidence in a State: The Rwandan Model (co-authored with Hadija Murangwa)
  24. 2011   Bulletin for International Taxation: Key Building Blocks for Effective Tax            Systems in Developing Countries Utilizing the Theory of the Development of   the Fiscal State (co-authored with Prof V van Kommer) 65(11) 620-636
  25. 2011    LSE Journal on Global Governance: Pathways to Tax Justice (Co-authored 
  26.             with Matti Kohonen and John Christiansen)
  27. 2008   Taxation without Principles: A Historical Analysis of the Kenyan Taxation    
  28.             System 1 Kenya Law Review
  29. 2007    International Journal of Minority and Group Rights (Lund, Sweden) Making a       Mountain out of a Molehill: The Protection of the Right to the Freedom of            Religion of the Muslim Religious Minority in Kenya's Constitution VOL 14;         NUMB 1, pages 25-57 
  30. 2006    Judiciary Watch (ICJ): The Remedies, Application and Enforcement Provisions of the African Court on Human and Peoples Rights
  31. 2005    East African Law Journal: An Analysis of Section 4A of the Kenyan Income Tax Act and a case for Reform: KRA Assessments and the Claiming Foreign Exchange Losses.
  32. 2005    Judiciary Watch (ICJ): The Attorney General as the Chief Prosecutor in Kenya: Towards Depoliticizing the Office of the Attorney General 
  33. 2003    University of Nairobi Law Journal: The Legal Implications of Terrorism in East Africa.

Book Chapters, Working and Occassional Briefs: 

  1. International Financial Centres in Developing Countries in Lifting the Veil of Secrecy (Eds Odd-Helge Fjelstad et al) (Norway, 2018)
  2. Measures Undertaken by African Countries to Counter Illicit Financial Flows: Unpacking the African Report of the High-Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows in Riel Franzen (Pretoria, 2018)
  3. How Kenya has Implemented and Adjusted to the Changes in International Transfer Pricing Regulations: 1920-2016 ICTD Working Paper Series no 69 (2017)
  4. Campaign Financing in Kenya in New Constitution, Same Old Challenges: Reflections on Kenya’s 2013 General Elections (Ed Ken Owino) (2015: SID)
  5. Kenya’s Fiscal Accountability Revisited: A review of the historical erosion of the Country’s Fiscal Constitution at 301-326 in Human Rights and Democratic Governance in Kenya: A Post -2007 Appraisal (2015: Pretoria) (Eds. Mbondenyi, Asaala, Kabau and Waris)
  6. International Taxation and Global Solidarity in Reader on Global Social Protection (March 2013) Germany (Ed. Jens Holtz)
  7. Tax and State Building in The International Political Economy (2013) Bregnan, Germany (Ed. J Leaman and A Waris)
  8. International Commercial Arbitration in Kenya Book Chapter in Arbitration Law and Practice in Kenya Ed Prof G Muigai (LawAfrica: 2012)
  9. Binging the Billions Back: How Africa and Europe Can End Illicit Capital Flight 37 (2012) Global Studies (co-authored with Kristina Froburg) Forum Syd and Policy Forum
  10. Co-author with Mandeep Nagi: Kenya Report on Consumer protection in international private relationships (2010)
  11. Co-editor and Contributor of 2 chapters: Taxation and State Building in Kenya: Using Human Rights to Advance Revenue Capacity A Report for DFID and Christian Aid (2010)
  12. Taxation and a Clean and Healthy Environment: A Case Study of the Mining of Titanium in Kenya Book Chapter on Contemporary Issues in Environmental Taxation Ed Nathalie Chalifour (Oxford University Press: 2008)
  13. An African Feminist Perspective on Security and Early Warning Mechanisms’ in Mwagiru Makumi & Oculli Okello ‘Rethinking Global Security: An African Perspective?’ (co-authored with Anita Kiamba) (Nairobi: Heinrich Boll Foundation, 2006).

Book Reviews, Op-eds, Editorials, Letters

  1. 2018 Mobilizing resources to facilitate human rights UN Metro August 2018
  2. 2014 Journal of Contemporary European Studies: Book review: The Financial Crisis and the Global South: A Development Perspective 
  3. 2012 The Lancet: Letter on A framework convention on obesity control? (co-authored with: Lawrence O Gostin, Eric A Friedman, Thomas Gebauer, Anand Grover, Adila Hassim, Gorik Ooms, Harald Siem, Devi Sridhar) 12/2012; 378(9809):2068-9.

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