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Prof C.H. Heyns

(1959 - )

 Prof Christof Heyns is Dekaan van die Universiteit van Pretoria se Fakulteit Regsgeleerdheid en voormalige Direkteur van die wêreldberoemde Sentrum vir Menseregte. Tussen 1979 en 1985 het hy sy BLC- en LLB-grade, sy BA(Hons) en sy MA(Filosofie) (cum laude) aan UP behaal. Kort hierna verlaat hy Suid-Afrika tydelik om sy LLM-graad aan die Yale-Regsskool te voltooi. Hy behaal dié kwalifikasie in 1987. Hy keer terug na die land om sy PhD aan die Universiteit van die Witwatersrand (Wits) te voltooi. Sy professionele loopbaan begin toe hy ‘n pos as navorsingsassistent aanvaar in die Department Kriminele Reg aan UP. Die daaropvolgende jaar word hy aangestel as ‘n junior dosent in die departement. Prof Heyns is in 1983 as advokaat in die Hooggeregshof toegelaat en is aangestel as ‘n aanklaer in die Landdroshof in Pretoria tot in 1985 toe hy bevorder is tot staatsadvokaat in die Kantoor van die Prokureur-Generaal van Transvaal. Hier kry hy geleentheid om verskeie sake in die Appèlhof te argumenteer. In 1987 word hy aangestel as ‘n dosent by Yale-universiteit terwyl hy aan sy LLM-graad werk. Later aanvaar hy ‘n pos as regsassistent by ‘n Amerikaanse firma. Met sy terugkeer na Suid-Afrika word hy aangestel as senior dosent in die Departement Regsgeskiedenis, Regsvergelyking en Regsfilosofie aan UP. Hy word later bevorder tot medeprofessor en aanvaar ook die uitdaging as Waarnemende Direkteur van die Sentrum vir Menseregte, terwyl hy voortgaan met sy doseringsverpligtinge. In 1999 is hy bevorder tot Direkteur van die Sentrum vir Menseregte en in 2007 word hy aangestel as Dekaan van die fakulteit. Hy was die akademiese koördineerder van die Afrika-program van die University of Peace, Addis Ababa, ‘n inisiatief van die Verenigde Nasies (VN). Hy is ook ‘n Fulbright- en Humboldt-beurshouer, asook ‘n besoekende genoot aan die Kellog College in Oxford, waar hy op ‘n gereelde grondslag meestersklasse aanbied. Hy is ‘n assistent-professor van die Washington-Regskollege van die American University in Washington DC. Prof Heyns het internasionaal bekend geword as gevolg van sy werk op die gebied van menseregte op ‘n globale skaal. Hy dien as ‘n raadgewer vir die Pan-Afrikaanse Parlement (PAP), asook die Afrika Unie en die VN. Hy dien op die raadgewende rade van die VN se Hoë Kommissaris vir Menseregte, Mary Robinson, die Castan Centre for Human Rights Law (Australië), en die Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Verenigde State van Amerika (VSA). Plaaslik is hy ‘n trustee van die Suid-Afrikaanse Instituut vir Gevorderde Konstitusionele, Openbare en Menseregte en Internasionale Reg op Konstitusie-heuwel. Hy is ‘n raadslid van Prokureurs vir Menseregte, die Suid-Afrikaanse tak van die International Law Association en is deur die Minister van Onderwys aangestel as ‘n raadslid van die Fulbright-kommissie. Hy het meer as 70 artikels in wetenskaplike en populêre vaktydskrifte gepubliseer, ‘n groot hoeveelheid hoofstukke tot boeke bygedra, sewe boeke geskryf en was die stigter van die African Human Rights Law Reports, asook mede-redakteur van die African Human Rights Law Journal. Sy publikasies is vertaal in Frans, Arabies, Spaans, Portugees en Afrikaans. Afgesien van verskeie toekennings wat hy van UP ontvang het, insluitende die Kansellierstoekenning vir Onderwys, die Uitnemende Presteerderstoekenning, die Akademiese Stimulasie-toekenning en die Kommissie van Regsstudente se toekenning vir uitsonderlike diens aan regstudente, het hy ook die Franco/Suid-Afrikaanse Navorsingstoekenning verower.  /sitefiles/Image/leading_minds/Heyns,Christoff(prof).jpg
   

Prof Christof Heyns is Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Pretoria and a former director of the world-renowned Centre for Human Rights. He completed his BLC, LLB, BA (Hons) and MA (Philosophy) (cum laude) at UP between 1979 and 1985. Shortly hereafter, he temporarily left South Africa to complete his LLM degree at Yale Law School in 1987. He returned to the country to complete his PhD at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits). He embarked on his professional career when he accepted a position as a research assistant in the Department of Criminal Law at UP. He was appointed as a junior lecturer in this department in the following year. Prof Heyns was admitted as an advocate of the Supreme Court in 1983 and became a public prosecutor in the Magistrate’s Court in Pretoria until 1985 when he was promoted to state advocate in the Office of the Attorney-General of the Transvaal, arguing several cases in the Appelate Court. In 1987, he became a lecturer at Yale University while completing his LLM degree and later took up a position as legal assistant in an American law firm. Upon his return to South Africa, he accepted a position as senior lecturer in the Department of Legal History, Comparative Law and Legal Philosophy at UP. He later became an associate professor and took up the challenge as Acting Director of the Centre for Human Rights, while continuing his lecturing duties. In 1999 he was promoted to Director of the Centre for Human Rights and in 2007 he became Dean of the Faculty of Law. He has served as Academic Coordinator: Africa Programme at the University of Peace, Addis Ababa, an initiative of the United Nations (UN). In addition, he is a Fulbright and Humboldt bursary holder, as well as a visiting fellow at Kellog College in Oxford, where he also teaches on a regular basis in the master’s programme. He is an adjunct professor of the Washington College of Law of the American University in Washington DC. Prof Heyns rose to international prominence as a result of his work in the field of human rights on a global scale. He has served as advisor to the Pan African Parliament as well as the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN). He serves on the advisory boards of the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law (Australia), and the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, United States of America (USA). Locally he is a trustee of the South African Institute for Advanced Constitutional, Public, Human Rights and International Law on Constitution Hill, is a board member of Lawyers for Human Rights, the South African branch of the International Law Association and was appointed by the Minister of Education as board member to the Fulbright Commission. He has published more than 70 articles in scientific and popular journals, has contributed a number of chapters in books, has penned seven books and was the founding editor-in-chief of the African Human Rights Law Reports as well as founding co-editor of the African Human Rights Law Journal. His publications have been translated into French, Arabic Spanish, Portugese and Afrikaans. Apart from receiving a number of awards from UP, including the Chancellor’s Award for Teaching, Exceptional Academic Achiever Award, Academic Stimulation Award, and the Law Students’ Council Award for exceptional service to law students, he also received the Franco/SA Research Award.