Van der Vyver one of 22 South African Scholars to Receive National A Rating
Johan D. van der Vyver, I.T. Cohen Professor of International Law and Human Rights at Emory Law, was named an A-rated researcher by South Africa’s National Research Foundation at a ceremony held in Cape Town on Sept. 13.
Van der Vyver was one of 22 scholars in the country so designated, and is one of two A-rated professors at the University of Pretoria. The ratings indicate status as a leading international researcher, and carry an award of 100,000 rand (approximately $12,500) annually for six years, to fund further research.
An expert on human rights and the International Criminal Court, Van der Vyver began his career in his native South Africa where he worked to end apartheid and led efforts for constitutional reform. He has taught for more than 50 years and published eight books and more than 250 law-review articles, chapters in books and book reviews. He spends summers in South Africa as an extraordinary professor in the Department of Private Law at the University of Pretoria.
According to the National Research Foundation, A-rated researchers are “unequivocally recognized by their peers as leading international scholars in their respective fields, for the high quality and impact of recent research outputs.”
“The rating is based on a peer review of one’s research output of the past eight years and includes three reviewers from South Africa and two from abroad,” Van der Vyver said. “I am sure my association with the School of Law of Emory University played a significant role in my A-rating,” he added.
Van der Vyver’s association with Emory began as a visiting professor in 1990. In 1995, he was appointed the I.T. Cohen Professor of International Law and Human Rights. He also served as a fellow in the Human Rights Program of The Carter Center from 1995-1998 and is currently a senior fellow in the Center for the Study of Law and Religion.
During his tenure at Emory Law, Van der Vyver has lectured internationally as an invited speaker in many parts of Asia, Europe and Africa. This year he spoke at the Austroasian Society of Teachers in Property Law’s international conference in Singapore. Van der Vyver was also in Beijing as a lecturer for a summer program on Religion and the Rule of Law, in which he has participated for the past three years.
He says the award will aid him in continuing an impressive itinerary, the next major stop being Accra, Ghana, for a conference in January on Law and Religion in Africa; he serves on its steering committee. Its purpose is to found a Consortium on Law and Religion in Africa. Similar organizations already exist in Europe and Latin America, Van der Vyver said.