Transitional Justice

Introduction to materials on transitional justice

Paul van Zyl

Paul van Zyl was awarded the Katharine and George Alexander Law Prize on April 21, 2011, and addressed an audience on the Santa Clara University campus about his work against apartheid in South Africa and in the field of transitional justice in South Africa and beyond.

From 1995-1998, Professor van Zyl was the Executive Secretary of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He is a co-founder of the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) and is a former director of New York University School of Law’s Transitional Justice Project.  Professor Van Zyl is a recipient of the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, was selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and has been named a TED Fellow.

Van Zyl’s Introduction to Transitional Justice and related materials are included in the United Nations Audiovisual Library of International Law. In February 2011, he was a guest of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University and spoke on Truth, Reconciliation, and Religion: Reflections on Transitional Justice Around the World.

See the SCU Law website for more information about the Alexander Prize and a list of other recipients.

Some writings by Paul van Zyl

Paul van Zyl, "Promoting transitional justice in post-conflict societies," in Security Governance in Post-Conflict Peacebuilding, Bryden, A. and Hanggi, H., eds. Geneva:  DCAF, 2005

Marieke Wierda, Priscilla Hayner, & Paul van Zyl, Exploring the relationship between the Special Court and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Sierra Leone, Int'l Cent. for Transitional Justice, 2002

Paul van Zyl and Mark Freeman, The legacy of abuse: confronting the past, facing the future, Conference Report (2002)

Paul van  Zyl, "Unfinished business: the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's contribution to justice in post-apartheid South Africa," in Post-Conflict Justice , M. Cherif Bassiouni, ed., 2002.

Paul van Zyl, "Reality demands: truth and justice after Kosovo," 39 Columbia Journal of Transnational Law 283 (2000 - 2001) [available to SCU affiliates via Hein Online], a book review of Reality demands: documenting violations of international humanitarian law in Kosovo 1999, Lorna Davidson and Scott Brandon, eds. Brussels: International Crisis Group, 2000. 

Paul  van Zyl, "Justice without punishment: guaranteeing human rights in transitional societies," in Looking Back, Reaching Forward: Reflections on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa.  Charles Villa-Vicencio & Wilhelm Verwoerd, eds., 2000

Paul van Zyl, "Dilemmas of transitional justice: the case of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission," 52 J. Int'l Aff. 647 (1999)

Paul van Zyl et al., Evaluating justice and reconciliation efforts, perspectives on ethics and international affairs (1999), available online with additional resources 

Graeme Simpson & Paul van Zyl, "South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission," 585 Temps Modernes 394 (1996)