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Howard League Lecture by Dirk van Zyl Smit
19th March 2018, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm£2
Dirk van Zyl Smit is Professor of Comparative and International Penal Law at the University of Nottingham. From 1982 to 2005 he was Professor of Criminology at the University of Cape Town, where he was also Dean of the Faculty of Law from 1990 to 1995. In 2012 he was Global Visiting Professor at the New York University School of Law. He holds BA and LLB degrees from the University of Stellenbosch and a PhD from the University of Edinburgh. In 2008 he was awarded an honorary doctorate in law by the Ernst-Moritz- Arndt University of Greifswald in Germany.
In his native South Africa Dirk van Zyl Smit was actively involved in law reform as the primary consultant for the Correctional Services Act 1998 and a member of the National Council on Correctional Services from 1995 to 2004. He was also project leader of the committee of the South African Law Commission investigating sentencing and author of its report and draft legislation: a New Sentencing Framework (2000). Internationally, he has advised the governments of Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Malawi on new prison legislation and Malaysia on legislation on the international transfer of prisoners. He was expert adviser to the Council of Europe on the European Prison Rules (2006).
Latterly Dirk has been leading a major research study, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, on the use of life sentences around the world. The study is the first of its kind to consider the application of the life sentence systematically in comparative context.
Dirk's publications include Principles of European Prison Law and Policy: Penology and Human Rights (Oxford University Press 2009) and Taking Life Imprisonment Seriously in National and International Law (Kluwer 2002).