Jan van Zyl Smit Appointed New Research Fellow in the Rule of Law
Jan joins the Bingham Centre from Oxford Brookes University, where he is a senior lecturer teaching Public Law and International Human Rights Law. His recent research has focused on initiatives to reform the make-up of the judiciary in states undergoing constitutional transition, and on the effect of the UK Human Rights Act on the interpretation of legislation.
Jan began his legal studies at the University of Cape Town, where he completed an LLB magna cum laude and graduated first in his class. He then served as a law clerk to Deputy Chief Justice Pius Langa (later Chief Justice) at the South African Constitutional Court, before going on to graduate study as a Rhodes scholar at the University of Oxford, where he completed the BCL, MPhil and DPhil at Magdalen College. Jan has been involved as a researcher and advisor in the Kenyan constitutional transition. He conducted research for the Committee of Experts which drafted the 2010 Constitution and has served more recently as a legal consultant to the Kenya Judges and Magistrates Vetting Board, a body tasked with determining whether members of the serving judiciary are suitable to remain in office.