Faculty Profiles

Johan D. van der Vyver

Johan D. van der Vyver

I. T. Cohen Professor of International Law and Human Rights

Areas of Expertise

International Criminal Law, International Human Rights Law, Public International Law

Curriculum Vitae

Assistant: Pat Thomas

Johan D. van der Vyver is a former professor of law at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is an expert on human rights law and has been involved in the promotion of human rights in South Africa.

In 1990–91, Professor van der Vyver was the visiting I. T. Cohen Professor of International Law and Human Rights at Emory; he continued to visit Emory in alternate years to teach courses in international human rights. In 1995, he was appointed the I. T. Cohen Professor of International Law and Human Rights at Emory. He also served as a fellow in the Human Rights Program of The Carter Center from 1995 to 1998.

He is the author of many books and more than two hundred law review articles, popular notes, chapters in books, and book reviews on human rights and a variety of other subject matters.

Education: Doctor Legum (honoris causa), Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education, 2003; Doctor Legum (honoris causa), University of Zululand, 1993; Diploma of the International and Comparative Law of Human Rights of the International Institute of Human Rights (Strasbourg, France), 1986; Doctor Legum, University of Pretoria, 1974; BCom, 1954, LLB, 1956, Honns BA, 1965, Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education

Author of more than 250 law review articles, chapters in books, book reviews, and popular articles.

Books and Monographs

The Diversity of Religiously-based Marriages and Family Law within African Legal Systems, in (eds.) Pieter Coertzen, M. Christian Green & Len Hansen, Law and Religion in Africa: The Quest for the Common Good in Pluralistic Societies, pp. 225-244. SUN MeDIA, Stellenbosch. South Africa (2015) ISBN 978-1-919985-63-3 and 978-1-928314-00-4 (e-book).

Literalism, Travaux Préparatoires and Purposive Construction as Interpretation Incentives in International Law, in (ed.) Jacques de Ville, Memory and Meaning: Lourens du Plessis and the Haunting of Justice, pp. 183-201. Lexis/Nexis (2015). ISBN 978-0-409-12446-0.

Acts of Aggression and Prosecuting the Crime of Aggression, pp. xiii plus 233 (with a Foreword written by Benjamin Ferencz, Chief Prosecutor in the Einsatzgruppen Case at Nuremberg). Labert Academic Publishing, Saarbrücken, Germany (2015) ISBN 978-3-659-69701-2.

The International Criminal Court: American Responses to the Rome Conference and the Role of the European Union (Trier, Germany: Institut für Rechtspolitik an der Universität Trier, 2003).

Leuven Lectures on Religious INstitutions, Religioius Communities, and Rights (Uitgeverij Peeters, 2004).

Journal Articles

"The ISIS Crisis and the Development of International Humanitarian Law", 30.3 Emory International Law Review, pp. 531-563 (2016).

"Military Intervention in Syria: The American, British and French Alternatives and the Russian Option", 48 De Jure, pp. 36-54 (2015).

"Regsverydeliking en Anargisme van die Suid-Afrikaanse Staatsowerheid" (Violation of the Law and Anarchism of the South African Government), dealing with South Africa’s violation of its international obligation to arrest and surrender Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir for prosecution in the International Criminal Court, published on the Internet by Maroela Media (an on-line news service) on June 19, 2015.

"The Al Bashir Debacle", 15 African Human Rights Law Journal, pp. 559-579 (2015).

"The Development of International Law through the Unauthorised Conduct of International Institutions", 18.5. PER (University of the North-West, South Africa, 2015), pp. 1302-1330.

"The Contours of Religious Liberty in South Africa," in 21 Emory International Law Review 77 (2007).

"Prosecuting Offences Against the Law of Nations in the United States," in 20 Emory International Law Review 473 (2006).

"Abraham Kuyper en die Reg op Selfbeskikking van Bevolkingsgroepe (Abraham Kuyper and the Right to Self-Determination of Peoples)," in 71.1 KOERS 231 (Potchefstroom, South Africa) (2006).

"Volkeregtelike Fasette van die Amerikaanse Strafregstelsel," in Gedenkbundel Vir JMT Labuschagne  (red. Chris Nagel), pp. 31-55. Durban: LexisNexus Butterworths (2006).

"Volkeregtelike Fasette van die Amerikaanse Strafregstelsel," in Gedenkbundel Vir JMT Labuschagne (red. Chris Nagel), pp. 31-55. Durban: LexisNexus Butterworths (2006).

"Municipal Legal Obligations of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of the Child: The South African Model," in 20 Emory International Law Review 9 (2006).

Book Chapters

"United States," in Encyclopedia of World Constitutions (ed. Gerhard Robbers, vol. 3, pp.980-992 New York: Facts on File, 2007).

Projects

  • Recipient in 2001 of an Alexander von Humboldt Stipendium and conducted research at the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and Comparative Penal Law in Freiburg in the period May 14 to August 23, 2001 on “Globalization of the Norms of Criminal Justice.”
  • Recipient of a TransCoop 2000 grant of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, with Professor Gerhard Robbers, for a project on Limitations of Freedom of Religion or Belief.

Visiting Professor - Recent

  • Visiting Professor at the University of Trier, Germany, May 9- May 31, 2005. Delivered a series of four lectures on International Human Rights.
  • Visiting Professor at the Dresden University of Technology, Germany, May 18 to July 20, 2006. Delivered two sets of six lectures each on Basic Elements of the American Constitutional System and on Implementation of International Law in the United States.
  • Visiting Professor at the University of Trier, Germany, July 3 to July 20, 2007. Delivered four lectures for the course in Public International Law on Implementation of International Law in the United States, and four lectures on International Human Rights.