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Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa
  • Co-director of the ICLA:  Professor Christof Heyns




Christof Heyns holds the degrees MA LLB University of Pretoria; LLM Yale Law School; and PhD University of the Witwatersrand. He is Professor of Human Rights Law and Co-director of the Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa at the University of Pretoria. In August 2010 he was appointed as United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. He is an adjunct professor at the Washington College of Law of the American University in Washington DC, USA, and a Visiting Fellow at Kellog College at Oxford University, UK, where he has been teaching in the masters’ programme since 2005.

He is a former Director of the Centre for Human Rights in the Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, as well as former Dean of that faculty. He has published widely in the field of international human rights law, including the book The Impact of the United Nations Human Rights Treaties on the Domestic Level (with Frans Viljoen) and especially on human rights law in Africa (including the book Human Rights Law in Africa). He is the founding editor-in-chief of the African Human Rights Law Reports and was the founding co-editor of the African Human Rights Law Journal and serves on the editorial boards of academic law journals in the UK, France, Brazil, The Netherlands, Costa Rica and Uganda. He has served as consultant to the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (inter alia on the establishment of a regional human rights system is South East Asia), the African Union and the South African Human Rights Commission. 

His publications have appeared in English, Afrikaans, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Arabic. He has received a Fulbright Fellowship (to Yale Law School) and a Humboldt Fellowship (to the Max Planck Institute for International and Comparative Public Law in Heidelberg, Germany), as well as the University of Pretoria’s Chancellor’s Award for Teaching and Learning.