Jeremy Julian Sarkin

Distinguished Research Professor of Law

  • Campus de Campolide

    1099-032 Lisboa


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Research interests

Professor Jeremy Sarkin has undergraduate and postgraduate law degrees from South Africa, a Master of Laws from Harvard Law School and a Doctor of Laws degree on comparative and international law. He is admitted to practice as attorney in the USA and South Africa. He practiced at the New York bar during 1988 and 1989. He then spent time working at the International Commission of Jurists in Geneva, Switzerland. He is Professor of Law at the University of South Africa (UNISA) and Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law, Nova University Law School, Lisbon, Portugal. He was a member (2008-2014), and was Chairperson-Rapporteur (2009-2012), of the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances. He served as an acting judge in 2002 and 2003 in South Africa. He served as National Chairperson of the Human Rights Committee of South Africa from 1994-1998. He has worked on transitional justice issues in countries including Iraq, Syria, Argentina, Uganda, Zimbabwe, the Maldives, Nepal, Burundi, Morocco, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Timor-Leste, the DRC, Libya, Tunisia, Indonesia, Philippines, Bangladesh, Syria, Bahrain, and Lebanon. He is a co-editor of the book series on Transitional Justice at Intersentia Publishers. He is a member of a number of journal editorial boards, including Human Rights Quarterly, Human Rights and International Legal Discourse and the International Review of Criminal Law. He serves on the boards of a number of NGOs, including the Institute for justice and Reconciliation (IJR). He has published 15 books and more than 250 articles. Some of his recent books and monographs are “Conflicted Democracies and Gendered Violence: The Right to Heal” co-author) University of Chicago Press (2016), Bosnia and Herzegovina: Accounting for Missing Persons from the Conflict: A Stocktaking, International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) 2014, (co-author); “Germany’s Genocide of the Herero” (2011) author; Reparations for Colonial Genocides (2009) author; Human Rights in African Prisons (2008) editor; Reconciliation in Divided Societies: Finding Common Ground (2007) co-author; Carrots and Sticks: The TRC and the South African Amnesty Process (2004) author; The Administration of Justice: Comparative Perspectives (2004); Social, Economic, and Cultural Rights – An Appraisal of Current International and European Developments (2002) co-editor; Resolving the Tensions Between Crime and Human Rights: European and South African Perspectives (2002) co-editor; The Principle of Equality (2001) co-editor.

Research areas:

· Truth seeking and truth commissions,
· Reparations,
· Institutional design and reform,
· Guarantees of non-repetition: Prosecutions; Reconciliation
· Disappearances
· Missing Persons
· Terrorism and human rights
· Responsibility to Protect
· Gender equality and violence against women
· Human rights in transitional societies
· Constitution making, development and reform
· Law reform
· Good governance promotion
· Promotion of the rule of law
· Combating corruption
· Institutional design and reform


  • K Law (General)
  • Transitional Justice
  • Human Rights
  • Legal Research
  • Democratisation


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