Joseph Onele

Joseph Onele

Higher Degree by Research Candidate

Adelaide Law School

Faculty of the Professions


Joseph Onele (Joseph) is a Doctoral Candidate at the University of Adelaide. Using case studies of Impact and Benefit Agreements (IBAs) used in mining contexts, his research focuses on how IBAs can be effectively used to protect the rights of Indigenous peoples.

Joseph has earned an industry reputation for cutting-edge legal expertise and wealth of experience in the legal services industry, having served leading multinationals, stakeholders and industry leaders in different parts of the world. He cut his teeth in legal practice, at one of the top tier law firms in Africa, having graduated with First Class Honours in his law degree from the University of Ibadan (Nigeria) and bagged a PGD in Oil and Gas Law from the University of Aberdeen (UK).

An energy, corporate and commercial law specialist, Joseph routinely advises on complex as well as market-defining corporate, commercial transactions, Energy and Natural Resources Law and is highly recommended by The Legal 500, for his cutting-edge cum in-depth legal expertise and insightful analysis of complex legal issues. He routinely provides legal support on all aspects of the oil and gas value chain including upstream operations, midstream and downstream activities as well as the oil services.
In addition to being a finance and projects lawyer with experience in energy (power, oil and gas inclusive), natural resources, infrastructure, banking, finance, and tax advisory, Joseph has significant experience in advising International Oil Companies, Indigenous Oil Companies, commercial banks, development finance institutions (DFIs), startup firms, multinational and international corporations as well as international organizations.

Joseph serves as a peer reviewer for the Journal of African Law (Cambridge University Press) and Journal of International Dispute Settlement (Oxford University Press). He was until recently, a Researcher and Contributing Writer with The Arctic Institute (Washington DC, USA) where he contributed weekly to The Arctic This Weekly, the flagship publication of The Arctic Institute.

My research focuses on how the effective use of Impact and Benefit Agreements in Australia and Canada can help to protect the rights of Indigenous people where extraction of natural/mineral resources is concerned. 

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  • Journals

    Year Citation
    2019 Onele, J. (2019). Revisiting Unilateral Exploitation of Mineral Resources in Disputed Water under United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea: Any New Matter Arising?. Journal of International Dispute Settlement, 10(1), 160-173.
    DOI

Adelaide Scholarships International, University of Adelaide 2019-2022

Commonwealth Shared Scholar, University of Aberdeen 2016-2017

Chevron National Merit Award for Academic Excellence 2009-2013

Total E & P National Merit Award for Academic Excellence 2010-2013

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  • Presentation

    Date Topic Presented at Institution Country
    2019 - ongoing Towards Sustainable Indigenous Peoples' Rights in Post-Colonial Contexts: an Appraisal of Impact and Benefit Agreements (IBAs) in Australia and Canada Adelaide Law School University of Adelaide Australia

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