Professor Christof Heyns is a member of the UN Human Rights Committee (2017-2020). He is recognized internationally as a leading expert in the field of international human rights law, including right to life issues and regional human rights mechanisms, and has published widely on these matters.

From 2010 to 2016, Professor Christof Heyns was UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. During his mandate, he notably focused on the use of force by private security providers in law enforcement contexts; the proper management of assemblies; the use of drones in armed conflict or counter-terrorism operations; autonomous weapons; the death penalty and the role of forensic science in protecting the right to life. Professor Christof Heyns was formerly Director of the Centre for Human Rights in the Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, as well as Dean of that Faculty and is now Director of the Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa at the same University.

Professor Christof Heyns regularly teaches at Oxford and at the American University in Washington, D.C. He has been a Humboldt Fellow at Heidelberg University, a Fulbright Scholar at Yale Law School and a Fulbright Fellow at Harvard Law School.

Research projects