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. Andrews is the incoming Dean of the faculty of law at the University of Cape Town.[1]

Education and early life[edit]

Andrews was raised in South Africa under Apartheid.[2] 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.


Andrews stepped down as the dean of Albany Law School in Albany, New York on October 14, 2014. She was the first permanent female president and dean of the law school since its inception in 1851.[3]

Andrews was previously associate dean for academic affairs and professor of law at the City University of New York School of Law.[4] She has also been professor of law and director of international studies at Valparaiso University School of Law in Valparaiso, Ind. Over the course of her career, she has taught law in Germany, Australia, the Netherlands, Scotland, Canada and South Africa.

Her legal scholarship centers on justice for women and people of color across the globe, and she has advocated for the rights of Australia’s indigenous population, people of color in South Africa, and disenfranchised women in Queens, N.Y.

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][5] 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 has been appointed Dean of the faculty of law at the University of Cape Town.[1]



  • 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]

  • "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. ^ a b "Law school leader is Cape Town-bound". The Albany Times Union. 2 July 2015. Retrieved 3 July 2015. 
  2. ^ 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. 
  3. ^ a b c Gavin, Robert (8 August 2012). "Long road to law dean". Albany Times Union. Retrieved 3 July 2015. 
  4. ^ Allen, Pam (9 September 2012). "New dean turns the page at Albany Law". The Business Review. Retrieved 3 July 2015. 
  5. ^ "President Andrews Named Dean of the Faculty of Law at University of Cape Town in South Africa". Albany Law School. Retrieved 3 July 2015.