Penelope Andrews

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Penelope (Penny) Andrews, Former President of Albany Law School

Penelope (Penny) Andrews is a South African and American legal scholar.

Education and early life[edit]

Andrews was raised in South Africa under Apartheid.[1] She earned B.A. and LL.B. degrees from the University of Natal, Durban, South Africa, as well as an LL.M. degree from Columbia University School of Law in New York City.


The first Black South African Dean to be appointed at the University of Cape Town Faculty of Law, Professor Penelope Andrews arrived amidst great tension and conflict at the University of Cape Town, as a result of the #RhodesMustFall and #FeesMustFall protests.<;></ref>. During her tenure she advocated strongly for equity and transformation of the UCT Law Faculty [1]

Professor Andrews is a noted human rights scholar and activist and admitted as an advocate of the Supreme Court of South Africa.

Prior to joining UCT, she was president and professor of law at Albany Law School in New York, United States (USA) having formerly served as the first female president and dean for the school.

She was previously associate dean for academic affairs at the City University of New York School of Law (CUNY), where she also sat on the Senate. Prior to joining CUNY, she was a professor of law and director of international studies at Valparaiso Law School in Indiana, USA.

Andrews earned her BA in 1980 (majoring in economic history, comparative African government and administration) and her LLB in 1982 from the then University of Natal in Durban. In 1984 she received an LLM from Columbia University School of Law in New York.

She began her teaching career at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia and since then has been tenured at 4 law schools in Australia and the USA. She has served on significant law school committees and the boards of public interest legal organisations as well as on business councils.

A member of the New York State Bar Association and the American Bar Association, she has participated in and has chaired several accreditation site teams for the American Bar Association. She has consulted for the Ford Foundation, the United Nations Fund for Women, and the Victorian Commissioner for Equal Opportunity in Australia.

Awards and honours include:

the National Bar Association’s International Award for her global human rights advocacy inclusion in the USA’s Lawyers of Colour’s fourth annual power list issue in 2015.

She has published 4 books and over 50 articles that focus on international human rights law, comparative constitutional law, gender and racial equality, and the judiciary. Her most recent book, From Cape Town to Kabul: Rethinking Strategies for Pursuing Women's Human Rights, was published by Ashgate in 2012

”Prior to her post at Albany, Andrews was associate dean for academic affairs and professor of law at the City University of New York School of Law.[2] She has also been professor of law and director of international studies at Valparaiso University School of Law in Valparaiso, Ind.

The South African law school at the University of KwaZulu-Natal annually presents an award in her name: The Penelope E. Andrews Human Rights Award.[3][4] She was a finalist in 2005 for a vacancy on the Constitutional Court of South Africa, the highest court on the country’s constitutional matters.[3] On July 2, 2015, it was announced that she had been appointed Dean of the faculty of law at the University of Cape Town.[5]



  • From Cape Town to Kabul: Reconsidering Women's Human Rights (2012)
  • Law and Rights: Global Perspectives on Constitutionalism and Governance (Co-edited with Susan Bazilli, 2008)
  • The Post-Apartheid Constitutions: Perspectives on South Africa's Basic Law (Co-edited with Stephen Ellmann, 2001)
  • Gender, Race and Comparative Advantage: A Cross-national Assessment of Programs of Compensatory Discrimination (Editor, 1999)

Law Review articles[edit]

Race, Inclusiveness and Transformation of Legal Education in South Africa, in CONSTITUTIONAL TRIUMPHS, CONSTITUTIONAL DISAPPOINTMENTS (Rosalind Dixon and Theunis Roux eds. 2017) 223 Justice, Reconciliation and the Masculinist Way: What Role for Women in Truth Commissions? 60 NEW YORK LAW SCHOOL LAW REVIEW (2015-2016) 69 A Champion for African Freedom: Paul Robeson and the Struggle Against Apartheid 77 ALBANY LAW REVIEW (2014) 101 A Tribute to the Honorable Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick 76 ALBANY LAW REVIEW (2012-2013) 833 Law and Society in ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SOUTH AFRICA (Krista Johnson and Sean Jacobs eds. 2011) 173 Without Fear, Favor or Prejudice: Judicial Transformation and the Independence of the Judiciary in South Africa in LAW AND SOCIAL MOVEMENTS (Scott Cummings ed. 2010) 197 The Judiciary in South Africa: Independence or Illusion? in JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE IN CONTEXT (Adam Dodek & Lorne Sossin eds. 2010) 466

  • "Who's Afraid of Polygamy? Exploring the Boundaries of Family, Equality and Custom in South Africa," University of Utah Law Review (2009)
  • "'Democracy Stops at My Front Door': Obstacles in Gender Equality in South Africa," Loyola Chicago Journal of International Law (2007)
  • "Big Love? The Recognition of Customary Marriages in South Africa," Washington and Lee Law Review (2007)
  • "Learning to Love After Learning to Harm: Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Gender Equality and Cultural Values," Michigan State Journal of International Law (2006)
  • "Violence Against Aboriginal Women in Australia: Possibilities for Redress within The International Human Rights Framework," Albany Law Review (1997)


  1. ^ Caher, John (23 July 2012). "New Albany Dean Taps Lessons Learned Under Apartheid to Inspire Students to Leadership". The New York Law Journal. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  2. ^ Allen, Pam (9 September 2012). "New dean turns the page at Albany Law". The Business Review. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  3. ^ a b Gavin, Robert (8 August 2012). "Long road to law dean". Albany Times Union. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  4. ^ "President Andrews Named Dean of the Faculty of Law at University of Cape Town in South Africa". Albany Law School. Archived from the original on 3 July 2015. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  5. ^ "Law school leader is Cape Town-bound". The Albany Times Union. 2 July 2015. Retrieved 3 July 2015.