Erika de Wet: SARChl Chairholder

Position, academic & professional qualifications

Since January 2016 Erika de Wet is the SARChI Professor of International Constitutional Law in the Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, South Africa. Since July 2015 she is also Honorary Professor in the Faculty of Law, University of Bonn, Germany. Between 2011 and 2015 she was founding Co-Director of the Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa and Professor of International Law in the Faculty of Law of the University of Pretoria. Between 2004 and 2010 she was tenured Professor of International Constitutional Law at the Amsterdam Center for International Law, University of Amsterdam, a position which she thereafter held part-time until December 2013. During the early years of her career, she also held positions at the International Labor Organization (Geneva), the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law (Lausanne) and Leiden University (Leiden). She was further involved in part-time teaching at the University of Zurich and Brandeis University, as well as Extraordinary Professor at the North-West University (Potchefstroom campus).  In March 2017 she was visiting Professor at the University of Vienna, Austria.

Erika De Wet completed her B. Iur and LL.B as well as her LL.D at the University of the Free State (South Africa). She holds an LL.M from Harvard University and completed her Habilitationsschrift at the University of Zurich (Switzerland) in December 2002. It was published with Hart Publishing in 2004 under the title 'The Chapter VII Powers of the United Nations Security Council'. Her work has since been widely cited, including by the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court, the European Court of Human Rights, the South African Supreme Court of Appeal and the United Kingdom Supreme Court.


She has been the recipient of various national and international scholarships and awards. For the period 2015-2021 she is rated A-2 by the South African National Research Foundation (a category reserved for researchers internationally recognized as leaders in their field). In 2013 she was awarded the Exceptional Achiever Award of the UP Faculty of Law and in 2013 and 2015 she was a Fellow at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS). From October 2015 through July 2016 she was a Fellow at the Käte Hamburger Center for Advanced Study ‘Law as Culture’ in Bonn.

Between 2007 and 2012, while tenured at the University of Amsterdam, she was awarded the prestigious ‘Vici’ Excellence Grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). She has also received fellowships from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, (2007-2008, 2012-2015); Swiss National Science Foundation (1998-2000); Harvard Law School (1998-1999); and the German Academic Exchange Service (1992-1993).

Academic & professional memberships

From 2008-2010 Erika de Wet served as member of the Advisory Committee on Issues of Public International Law of the Netherlands (CAVV) for a three year period; she also served as a member of the Senior Appointments Committee of Council (Academic) of the University of Pretoria from 2011 to 2015. She currently is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for Development Policy of the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rules of Law; the General Council of the International Society of Public Law (ICON*S); and of the Extended STIAS Fellowship and Research Programme Committee.

Editorial activities

Her editorial activities include(d) the position of Co-Editor in Chief of the Oxford Reports on International Law in Domestic Courts  between 2006 and 2014; and a General Editor of the Oxford Constitutions Online from 2011 to 2014. She is currently serving as member of the Editorial Board of the Austrian Journal of Public and International Law, the Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal; the Advisory Board of the Max Planck Encyclopedia of Comparative Constitutional Law; and of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Journal of Constitutional Law (ICON).

Representative publications include (single authored unless indicated otherwise):

  • ‘Complicity in the Violations of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law by Incumbent Governments through Direct Military Assistance on Request’, International and Comparative Law Quarterly (67) 2018, forthcoming
  • ‘Reinterpreting Exceptions to the Use of Force in the Interest of Security: Forcible Intervention by Invitation and the Demise of the Negative Equality Principle’, American Journal of International Law Unbound, (111) 2017, 307-311.
  • 'The modern practice of intervention by invitation in Africa and its implications for the prohibition of the use of force’, European Journal of International Law (26) 2015, 979 - 998.
  • 'The Implication of the Visit of Al Bashir to South Africa for International and Domestic Law', Journal of International Criminal Justice (13) 2015, pp 1049 - 1071.
  • ‘The Evolving Role of ECOWAS and the SADC in Peace-Operations: A Challenge to the Primacy of the United Nations Security Council in Matters of Peace and Security?’, 27 201Leiden Journal of International Law (27)2014, pp 353-369.
  • ‘From Kadi to Nada: Judicial Techniques Favoring Human Rights over United Nations Security Council Sanctions’, Chinese Journal of International Law (12) 2013, pp. 787-807.
  • ‘Jus Cogens and Obligations Erga Omnes’, in Dinah Shelton (ed), The Oxford Handbook on International Human Rights Law, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013, pp. 541-561.
  • ‘The Rise and Fall of the Tribunal of the Southern African Development Community: Implications for Dispute Settlement in Southern Africa’, ICSID Review (27) 2013, pp. 1-19.
  • (with Jure Vidmar) ‘Conflicts between International Paradigms: Hierarchy versus Systemic Integration’,  Global Constitutionalism (2) 2013, pp. 196-217.
  • (with Jure Vidmar). Hierarchy in International Law: the Place of Human Rights, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012, pp. 333.
  • ‘South Africa’ in Dinah Shelton (ed), International Law and Domestic Legal Systems: Incorporation, Transformation and Persuasion, Oxford: Oxford University Press 2011, pp. 567-593.
  • ‘Human rights considerations and the enforcement of targeted sanctions in Europe: the emergence of core standards of judicial protection’, in Bardo Fassbender (ed), in Securing Human Rights? Achievements and Challenges of the UN Security Council, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 141-171.
  • ‘The Governance of Kosovo: Security Council Resolution 1244 and the Establishment and Functioning of Eulex’, American Journal of International Law (103) 2009, pp. 83-96.
  • 'The Reception Process in the Netherlands and Belgium', in Helen Keller & Alec Stone Sweet (eds), A Europe of Rights: the Impact of the ECHR on National Legal Systems, Oxford: Oxford University Press 2008, pp. 229-310.
  • 'Zur Zukunft der Völkerrechtswissenschaft in Deutschland', Zeitschrift für Ausländisches Öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht (67) 2007, pp.  777-798.
  • 'The Emergence of International and regional Value Systems as a Manifestation of the Emerging International Constitutional Order', Leiden Journal of International Law (19) 2006, pp. 611-632.
  • 'The International Constitutional Order', International & Comparative Law Quarterly (55) 2006, pp. 51-76.
  • 'The "Friendly but Cautious" Reception of International Law in the Jurisprudence of the South African Constitutional Court: Some Critical Remarks', Fordham International Law Review (28) 2005, pp. 1529-1565.
  • The Chapter VII Powers of the United Nations Security Council (Hart Publishing, 2004), 413 pp.
  • 'The Direct Administration of Territories by the United Nations and its Member States in the Post Cold-War Era: Legal Bases and Implications for National Law’, Max Planck Yearbook of United Nations Law (8) 2004, pp. 291-340.
  • 'The Prohibition of Torture as an International Norm of Jus Cogens and its Implications for National and Customary Law’, European Journal of International Law (15) 2004, pp. 97-121.
  • (with André Nollkaemper), ‘Review of the Security Decisions by National Courts’, German Yearbook of International Law (45) 2002, pp. 166-202.
  • The Relationship between the Security Council and Regional Organizations during Enforcement Action under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter’, Nordic Journal of International Law (71) 2002, pp. 1-37.
  • The Constitutional Enforceability of Economic and Social Rights: the Meaning of the German Constitutional Model for South Africa (Butterworths, 1996), 170 pp.
  • ‘Labour Standards in the Globalized Economy: the Inclusionof a Social Clausein the GATT/WTO’, Human Rights Quarterly (17) 1995, pp. 443-46

Curriculum Vitae


- Author SARChI

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