Professor Jeremy Julian Sarkin

Position, academic & professional qualifications

Professor Dr Jeremy Julian Sarkin is a Distinguished Research Professor of Law at NOVA University of Lisbon in Portugal. He teaches courses on human rights and transitional justice as well as a doctoral course on methodology of legal research. He has a BA LLB from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, a Master of Laws degree from Harvard Law School and a Doctor of Laws degree on comparative and international law from the University of the Western Cape (UWC).

Academic & professional experience

He is admitted to practice as an attorney in New York and South Africa. He has served as an acting judge in the High Court in South Africa. He served as Chairperson-Rapporteur of the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances for three years and member of the group for six years.

He is member of 16 journal editorial boards, including Human Rights Quarterly, Human Rights and International Legal Discourse, Southern African Public Law, the Journal of African Union Studies, Memory Politics and Transitional Justice book series (Palgrave MacMillan), and Acta Criminologica: African Journal of Criminology and Victimology.

Focus areas

One of his recent articles is “Will the International Criminal Court (ICC) Be Able to Secure the Arrest of Vladimir Putin When He Travels: Understanding State Cooperation Through Other ICC Non-Arrest Cases Against Malawi, Chad, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, Djibouti, Uganda, and Jordan.” 2023 12(1) International Human Rights Law Review 1-43. Two other recent articles are “Why States Need to View Their Responsibility to Protect Refugee and Asylum-Seeking Women Through the Lens of Intersectionality, Vulnerability, and Matrix of Domination to Address Sexual and Gender-Based Violence 33(6) European Human Rights Law Review 554-570 (with Tatiana Morais) and “The Syrian Conflict as a Test Case for the Limits of the International Community and International Law: Global Politics and State Sovereignty versus Human Rights Protection.” Human Rights Quarterly 44(3) (August 2022) 476–513 (with Ross Capazario). His proposal for a Mechanism to deal with missing persons in Syria was recently accepted by the UN General Assembly.

He has worked in the field of transitional justice for many years after being involved in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission process in South Africa. He has worked on such processes in Uganda, Zimbabwe, the Maldives, Nepal, Burundi, Morocco, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, St Helena Island, Timor-Leste, the DRC, Iraq, Libya, Tunisia, Indonesia, Philippines, Bangladesh, Syria, Bahrain, and Lebanon.

He served for many years as the Legal Advisor to the Paramount Chief of the Herero of Namibia for their claims for reparations from Germany for the genocide committed between 1904 and 1908. He has written two books about those issues: “Germany’s Genocide of the Herero” (2011) and Reparations for Colonial Genocides (2009) as well as several articles.

He is working on migration issues, environmental justice, drones, genocide, enforced disappearances, music and human rights, and a few other issues presently.

Significant publications to date

He has published 19 books, over 350 journal articles, and book chapters.

Some of his recent books are:

  • “The Conflict in Syria and the Failure of International Law to Protect People Globally: Mass Atrocities, Enforced Disappearances and Arbitrary Detentions. (Routledge 2021);
  • “Africa’s Role In, and Contribution to International Criminal Justice” (2020) and “The Global Impact and Legacy of Truth Commissions” (2019).

Contact Details

Tel: +27 12 420 2879

Fax: +27 12 420 4524

Copyright © University of Pretoria 2023. All rights reserved.

COVID-19 Corona Virus South African Resource Portal

To contact the University during the COVID-19 lockdown, please send an email to [email protected]

FAQ's Email Us Virtual Campus Share Cookie Preferences