Prof Christof Heyns, professor of human rights law at the University of Pretoria, was nominated in March 2016 by the South African Government as its candidate to the prestigious 18 member United Nations Human Rights Committee, and was elected as a member in New York on 23 June.
Prof Heyns served as the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions over the last six years, and has in that capacity been directly engaged with some of the major challenges of the international community of our time, such as the aftermath of the war in Sri Lanka and the war in Ukraine. In addition to that he is one of the three international experts who are conducting the UN Independent Investigation on Burundi (and he serves as the chair of that body). Very few human rights experts in the world have held such a range of top human rights positions in the international system.
Prof Heyns teaches human rights law at the Universities of Pretoria; Oxford; American University in Washington DC; and the University of Geneva. He is the author of numerous international publications on topics such as armed drones, the management of demonstrations, the use of force by law enforcement officials, and human rights law in Africa.
Prof Heyns will be in South Africa from 27 June to 8 July, and will be happy to conduct an interview on his work.