South African UW-Madison Law School graduate Zozo Dyani-Mhango returns for talk on the International Criminal Court

Ntombizozuko “Zozo” Dyani-Mhango, a former doctoral student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison law school, is returning to campus to share the research she is conducting at the University of Witwatersrand (Wits) in Johannesburg, South Africa. Dyani-Mhango is an associate professor of law at Wits, where she lectures on constitutional and public international law.

Her academic area of expertise surrounds the African Union’s contribution to international law and its relationship with other international organizations. She is currently focused on the consistent failure of African Union member states to cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC) in arresting and surrendering suspects as they are obliged to do under the ICC’s Rome Statute.

This research aligns with the work that Dyani-Mhango did as a graduate student at UW-Madison. Her thesis, “Sexual Violence and Armed Conflict in Africa and the African Union’s Right to Humanitarian Intervention: Implications, Challenges, and Solutions,” can be found in the Law Library. It explores the African Union’s right to intervene directly in a member state where genocide, war crimes, or crimes against humanity have occurred, especially in the context of the Union’s obligation to protect women from sexual violence during armed conflict.

“I argued,” she says, “that the AU does not only have a right but a duty to intervene as the prohibition of sexual violence during armed conflict has acquired the peremptory norms status [generally accepted fundamental principles or norms of international law] – making the prevention of, and protection from, sexual violence during armed conflict a responsibility of the international community as a whole.”

Professor of Law Heinz Klug worked directly with Dyani-Mhango on these projects during her time on campus as did Professor Alexandra Huneeus, who is now Director of Global Legal Studies and chair of the Human Rights Program here on campus. They are both proud to promote her and her research.

“Zozo is very down to earth and engaged with the world,” Professor Klug says, “She is among a group of young African women who are really making their mark on legal academia.”

Dyani-Mhango’s talk, “Reflecting on South Africa’s Attempt to Withdraw from the Rome Statue in Favor of Immunities For Sitting Heads of State: An Analysis of the International Crimes Bill, 2017,” will take place at noon on Tuesday, March 26 in the Lubar Commons of the UW-Madison Law School.