Professor Max Du Plessis

Professor Max Du Plessis
Professor Max Du Plessis Email
Professor Max Du Plessis  

Professor Max du Plessis is a Honorary Research Fellows at the School of Law. He holds a Bachelors in Law degree (B.Iuris, cum laude) from the University of South Africa (UNISA), a Bachelors of Law degree (LLB, cum laude) from the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, a Master in Laws degree (LLM) from Cambridge University and a PhD from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Du Plessis is a practising Advocate of the High Court, South Africa and a member of the KwaZulu-Natal Bar (and a door tenant at Thulemela Chambers, Sandton, and associate member, Doughty Street Chambers, London). He has appeared in a number of leading constitutional and international law cases in the Constitutional Court, Supreme Court of Appeal, and High Courts of South Africa. He has also appeared in or consulted in cases before courts or tribunals outside of South Africa, including the International Criminal Court, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and the Human Rights Committee. He acts regularly as a consultant for NGOs, regional organisations and governments. Du Plessis teaches a Masters Course on Current Legal Issues: The Politics of Law. His primary research interests are International Criminal Law, Legal Philosophy, International Human Rights Law, Constitutional Law and Administrative Law, all on which he has published extensively. Du Plessis is also a senior research associate on the International Crime in Africa Programme at the Institute for Security Studies, Pretoria.

Appointment Designation:
Honorary Research Fellows

Academic Qualifications:
B Juris (Unisa), LLB (Natal), LLM (Cambridge), PhD (KZN)

Professional Qualifications:

  • Advocate of the High Court of South Africa
  • Member of the KwaZulu-Natal Bar
  • Door Tenant, Thulamela Chambers, Sandton
  • Associate Member, Doughty Street Chambers, London

Research Interests: 

  • International Criminal Law 
  • Legal Philosophy
  • International Human Rights Law
  • Constitutional Law

Books and Monographs

  • Law, Nation-building and Transformation: The South African experience in Perspective (with Cathy Jenkins) (Intersentia) 2014
  • Constitutional Litigation (with Glenn Penfold and Jason Brickhill) (Juta), 2013
  • Civil Procedure – A Practical Guide (with Stephen Pete, Robin Palmer, David Hulme) (Oxford), 2011
  • The International Criminal Court that Africa Wants, (Institute for Security Studies), 2010
  • African Guide to International Criminal Justice (editor), (Institute for Security Studies), 2008


  •  Currently preparing a book on Class Actions in South Africa (commissioned by Juta)
  • Preparing a book in honour of John Dugard (with Tiya Maluwa and Dire Tladi)
  • Preparing third edition of Civil Procedure: A Practical Guide (with Steve Pete et al)

Chapters in Books

  • ‘The Urgings of a Friendly Founding Father’, in Law, Politics and Rights: Essays in memory of Kader Asmal (edited by Tiyanjana Maluwa), published by Martinus Nijhoff, 2014.
  • ‘Behind the Mask of the Rainbow Nation – the Limits of Law in Post-Apartheid South Africa’ (with Stephen Pete) in Law, nation-building and Transformation: The South African Experience in Perspective (edited by Jenkins and Du Plessis), 2014.
  • ‘South Africa’s Implementation of the Rome Statute’, in Power and Prosecution – Challenges and Opportunities for International Criminal Justice in Sub-Saharan Africa (by Kai Ambos and Ottilia Maundanigze) (2012)
  • ‘Israel through the prism of international law’, in Pretending democracy: Israel, an ethnocratic state (Afro-Middle East Centre 2012).
  • ‘Sentencing – select cases’ (with Chris Gevers), chapter in Annotated Leading Cases of International Criminal Tribunals (Andre Klip and Goran Sluiter (eds.)), 2012

Articles, Research Reports and Notes

  • ‘Shambolic, shameful and symbolic: Implications of the African Union’s immunity for African leaders’, ISS paper 278, November 2014.
  • ‘The long walk to accountability for international crimes – Reflections from South Africa’, SACJ, 2014, 3,  404 – 437.
  • ‘The African Union and the ICC: Milestones in International Criminal Justice’, Chatham House, London, 23 July 2013 (with Tiya Maluwa and Annie O’Reilly).
  • ‘A new Regional International Criminal Court for Africa?’ South African Journal of Criminal Justice 2012
  • ‘International criminal law : the crime of apartheid revisited : recent cases’, South African Journal of Criminal Justice, 2011, Vol 24, Issue 3, Pages: 417-428

Professor Max Du Plessis full list of publications

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