Ruti G. Teitel

Ernst C. Stiefel Professor of Comparative Law
Chair, Global Law and Justice Colloquium
Co-Director, Institute for Global Law, Justice & Policy
Visiting Fellow, London School of Economics
Visiting Professor, Hebrew University School of Law, Mt. Scopus

Ruti G. Teitel

Curriculum Vitae

An internationally recognized authority on international law, international human rights, transitional justice, and comparative constitutional law, Ruti Teitel is the Ernst C. Stiefel Professor of Comparative Law at New York Law School and Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics. Last year, she was a Straus Fellow at New York University Law School’s Straus Institute for the Advanced Study of Law and Justice (2012-2013).

Her most recent book, Globalizing Transitional Justice, just published by Oxford University Press, provides observations and insights on how the practice and discourse of transitional justice has been evolving, especially in relation to the rise of international criminal law and the increasing centrality of international human rights. Her path-breaking book, Transitional Justice (Oxford University Press, 2000), examines the 20th century transitions to democracy in many countries. Born in Argentina, Professor Teitel’s interest in the topic grew out of the dilemmas confronting that society in the transition out of junta rule. Her book explores the recurring question of how new regimes should respond to past repression, contending that the law can play a profound role in periods of radical change in advancing a new sense of legitimacy.

Her book Humanity’s Law (Oxford University Press, 2011) explores a paradigm shift in international affairs. For an online Roundtable Discussion on Opinio Juris, click here. Click here for mention in NewStatesman Books of 2011. Click here for a review in Foreign Affairs, published by the Council on Foreign Relations. Click here for a review in The European Journal of Internatonal Law. A panel discussion about the book was held on May 23, 2012 at Tel-Aviv University Law School.

Her extensive body of scholarly writing on comparative law, human rights, and constitutionalism is published in many law reviews, including: “Beyond Compliance: Rethinking Why International Law Really Matters” in the Global Policy Journal (Vol. 1, Issue 2, May 2010), which won the GPPN and the Global Policy Journal Best Article Prize. Other recent articles include: “The Law and Politics of Contemporary Transitional Justice” and “Humanity’s Law: Rule of Law for the New Global Politics,” both in the Cornell International Law Journal, as well as “Comparative Constitutionalism in a Global Age” in the Harvard Law Review. She has contributed dozens of book chapters to published volumes relating to law and politics, including “Transitional Justice and the Transformation of Constitutionalism,” in the Comparative Constitutional Law Handbook (ed. Rosalind Dixon and Tom Ginsburg, Edward Elgar 2011 ); “Global Justice, Poverty and the International Economic Order,” in The Philosophy of International Law (Samantha Besson and John Tasioulas, eds., Oxford University Press 2010) (coauthored with Rob Howse) ; “The Transitional Apology” in Taking Wrongs Seriously: Apologies and Reconciliation (Stanford University Press, 2006), “Transitional Rule of Law” in Rethinking the Rule of Law After Communism (Central European University Press, 2005), “Empire’s Law: Foreign Relations by Presidential Fiat,” in Sept. 11 In History: A Watershed Moment? (Duke University Press, 2003), and “Transitional Justice as Liberal Narrative” in Transnational Legal Processes: Globalisation and Power Disparities (Butterworths 2002). She also writes on human rights issues for a broader audience, having published in The New York Times, Legal Affairs, and Project Syndicate. She serves on the Board of Editors of Oxford’s International Journal of Transitional Justice, of the Journal, Humanity as well the Editorial Advisory Board of the Interdisciplinary Journal of Human Rights Law.

A cum laude graduate of Georgetown University, Professor Teitel received her J.D. from Cornell Law School and has been a Senior Fellow at the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights at Yale Law School. She has taught at Yale, Fordham and Tel Aviv Law Schools, as well as Columbia University’s Politics Department and its School of International and Public Affairs, where she is currently a Distinguished Research Scholar.

She is the founding co-chair of the American Society of International Law, Interest Group on Transitional Justice and Rule of Law. She is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and is a member of the International Law Association Human Rights Law Committee, London and US. She is on the Steering Committee at the University of Leiden Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies Post-Conflict Justice and ‘Local Ownership’ Research Project. Prof. Teitel is an Advisory Board Member, Security in Transition Research Programme, European Research Council, London School of Economics. For more info, go to:


GLOBALIZING TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE: Essays for the New Millennium (Oxford University Press 2014).

Click here for more information.

HUMANITY’S LAW (Oxford University Press, 2011).

Click here for more information.

For an on-line Roundtable Discussion on Opinio Juris, click here.

Click here for mention in NewSatesman Books of 2011.

TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE (Oxford University Press, 2000; paperback edition, 2001).


American Journal of Comparative Law, Spring 2001

American Political Science Review, September 2001

Michigan Law Review

Times Higher Education Supplement, February 2001

Yale Journal of International Law, Winter 2001

On the subject of the genesis of the term “transitional justice,” click here for for David Lubin’s review of Closing the Books: Transitional Justice in Historical Perspective by Jon Elster. New York, NY : Oxford University Press, 2000; paperback edition, Oxford University Press, 2001.


“The Transitional Apology,” Chapter 5 in Taking Wrongs Seriously: Apologies and Reconciliation at 101-114 (E. Barkan & A. Karn, eds) (Stanford University Press, 2006).

Chapter, “Transitional Rule of Law,” in Rethinking the Rule of Law after Communism (Adam Czarnota, Martin Krygier, and Wojciech Sadurski, eds.) (CEU Press, 2005)

“De la dictadura a la democracia: el rol de la justicia transicional,” Chapter 17 in Democracia Deliberativa Y Derechos Humanos at 321-341 (Dworkin, R, et al) (Editorial Gedisa, S.A., 2004).

“Transitional Justice as Liberal Narrative,” Chapter 15 in Transnational Legal Processes at 316–324, (Michael Likosky, ed., Butterworths Lexis Nexis 2002), reprinted as “Transitional Justice as Liberal Narrative,” Chapter 1 in In and Out of Authoritarian Law at 3–13 (A. Sajo, ed.) (Kluwer, 2003),

“Empire’s Law: Foreign Relations by Presidential Fiat,” Chapter in September 11 in History: A Watershed Moment? at 194–211 (Mary L. Dudziak, ed.) (Duke University Press, 2003).

“Bringing the Messiah Through the Law.” Chapter in Human Rights in Political Transitions: Gettysburg to Bosnia, 177–193, edited by C. Hesse & R. Post. Zone Books, 1999.

“Millennial Visions: Human Rights at Century’s End.” Chapter in Human Rights in Political Transitions: Gettysburg to Bosnia, 339–342, C. Hesse & R. Post, eds. Zone Books, 1999.

“Nuremberg and Its Legacy, Fifty Years Later.” Chapter in War Crimes; The Legacy of Nuremberg, 44–54, B. Cooper, ed. TV Books, 1999.

“Constitutional Costs to Free Market Transitions.” Chapter 20 in Western Rights? Post-Communist Application, 361–383, A. Sajo, ed. Kluwer Law International, 1996.

“How are the New Democracies of the Southern Cone Dealing with the Legacy of past Human Rights Abuses?” In Transitional Justice: How Emerging Democracies Reckon with Former Regimes, Volume I, 146–153, N.J. Kritz, ed. United States Institute of Peace, 1995.

“Persecution and Inquisition: A Case Study.” Chapter 10 in Transition to Democracy in Latin America: The Role of the Judiciary, 141–153, I. Stotsky, ed. Westview Press, 1993.


Does Humanity Law Require (or Imply) a Progressive Theory of History? (and Other Questions for Martti Koskenniemi) (Symposium: Engaging the Writings of Martti Koskenniemi), 27 TEMPLE INTERNATIONAL AND COMPARATIVE LAW JOURNAL 377-397 (2013) (with R. Howse).

Humanity Bounded and Unbounded: The Regulation of External Self-Determination under International Law, 7 LAW & ETHICS OF HUMAN RIGHTS 155-184 (2013) (with R. Howse).

Rethinking Jus Post Bellum in an Age of Global Transitional Justice: Engaging with Michael Walzer and Larry May, 24 EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW 335-342 (2013).

Delphic Dictum: How has the ICJ Contributed to the Global Rule of Law by its Ruling on Kosovo?” 11 German Law Journal 841-846 (2010) (coauthored with Rob Howse).

“Global Justice, Poverty and the International Economic Order,” in The Philosophy of International Law (Oxford University Press 2010) (coauthored with Robert Howse).

“Beyond Compliance: Rethinking Why International Law Really Matters,” in Global Policy Volume 1 . Issue 2 . May 2010 (co-authored with Robert Howse). Winner of the GPPN and the Global Policy Journal Best Article Prize.

“Cross-Judging: Tribunalization in a Fragmented but Interconnected Global Order” (co-authored with Robert Howse) (41 NYU J. of Int’l L. and Politics 595, 2009).

“Humanity Law: A New Interpretive Lens on the International Sphere (77 Fordham L. R. 667, 2008).

“Militating Democracy: Comparative Constitutional Perspectives,” 29 Michigan Journal of International Law 49 (2007).

Introduction (Symposium: Perspectives on Post-Conflict Constitutionalism), 51 New York Law School Law Review 456-465 (2006/2007).

“Transitional Justice: Postwar Legacies”(Symposium: The Nuremberg Trials: A Reappraisal and Their Legacy), 27 Cardozo Law Review 1615-1631 (2006).

“The Law and Politics of Contemporary Transitional Justice” (), 38 Cornell International Law Journal 837-862 (2005).

Book Review of Post-Conflict Justice (C. Bassiouni, ed.), 98 American Journal of Internationl Law 872–875 (2004).

“Comparative Constitutional Law in a Global Age,” Book Review of Comparative Constitutionalism: Cases and Materials (N. Dorsen, M. Rosenfeld, A. Sajo & S. Baer, eds.), 117 Harvard Law Review 2570–2596 (2004).

“Transitional Justice Genealogy” (Symposium: Human Rights in Transition), 16 Harvard Human Rights Journal 69–94 (2003).

“Transitional Justice in a New Era” (Symposium: Transitional Justice – Northern Ireland and Beyond), 25 Fordham International Law Journal 893–906 (2003).

“Humanity’s Law: Rule of Law for the New Global Politics,” 35 Cornell International Law Journal 355–387 (2002).

“The Future of Human Rights Discourse.” 46 Saint Louis University Law Journal 449–463. (2002)

“On Wellington Interpretation: A Timely Reappraisal (Harry H. Wellington Festschrift Issue).” 45 New York Law School Law Review 225–234 (2001).

“The Constitutional Canon: The Challenge Posed by a Transitional Constitutionalism (Symposium: The Canon(s) of Constitutional Law).” 17 Constitutional Commentary 237–240 (2000).

“The Universal and the Particular in International Criminal Justice.” 30 Columbia Human Rights Law Review 285–303 (1999).

“Vouchsafing Democracy: On the Confluence of Governmental Duty, Constitutional Right, and Religious Mission (Symposium on Law and Religion).” 13 Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy 409–420 (1999).

Discussant, “1998 Otto L. Walter Lecture: Justice Richard J. Goldstone, International Human Rights at Century’s End.” 15 New York Law School Journal of Human Rights 262–268 (1999).

“Human Rights Genealogy (Symposium: Human Rights on the Eve of the Next Century).” 66 Fordham Law Review 301–317 (1997).

“Transitional Jurisprudence: The Role of Law in Political Transformation.” 106 Yale Law Journal 2009–2082 (1997).

“Judgment at The Hague.” 5 East European Constitutional Review 80–85 (Fall 1996).

“Transcript (Symposium: Nazis in the Courtroom: Lessons From the Conduct of Lawyers and Judges Under the Laws of the Third Reich and Vichy, France).” 61 Brooklyn Law Review 1149–1153, 1160 (1995) (with J.B. Weinstein, R.H. Weisberg & D. Luban).

“Paradoxes in the Revolution of the Rule of Law (Symposium: Constitutionalism in the Post-Cold War Era).” 19 Yale Journal of International Law 239–247 (1994).

“Post-Communist Constitutionalism: A Transitional Perspective.” 26 Columbia Human Rights Law Review 167–190 (1994).

“A Critique of Religion as Politics in the Public Sphere.” 78 Cornell Law Review 747–821 (1993).

“Postmodernist Architectures in the Law of Religion (Symposium: New Directions in Religious Liberty).” 1993 Brigham Young University Law Review 97–115.

“Reactionary Constitutional Identity (Comparative Constitutionalism: Theoretical Perspectives on the Role of Constitutions in the Interplay Between Identity and Diversity).” 14 Cardozo Law Review 747–757 (1993). Reprinted in Constitutionalism, Identity, Difference, and Legitimacy: Theoretical Perspectives, 233–244 (M. Rosenfeld, ed., Duke University Press, 1994).

Book Review of Religion and the State: Essays in Honor of Leo Pfeffer, by James E. Wood, Jr. 8 Journal of Law and Religion 663–670 (1990–1991).

“Original Intent, History and Levy’s Establishment Clause.” Book Review of The Establishment Clause: Religion and the First Amendment, by Leonard W. Levy. 15 Law and Social Inquiry 591–609 (1990).

“Responses to World War Two Criminals and Human Rights Violators: National and Comparative Perspectives; European, American, and Canadian Responses (Panel Discussion: Holocaust and Human Rights Law: the First International Conference).” 8 Boston College Third World Law Journal 3–45 (1988) (with G.P. Fletcher, H. Friedlander, F. Weinschenk, A. Ryan, Jr., B. Einhorn, E. Rosenbaum, H. Stanislawski, D. Matas & I. Cotler).

Book Review of The Human Rights of Aliens in Contemporary International Law, by Richard B. Lillich. 19 New York University Journal of International Law and Politics 479–490 (1987) (with O. Kupferschmid).

“Debating Conviction Against Conviction—Constitutional Considerations on the Sanctuary Movement.” 14 Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly 25–41 (1986).

“The Supreme Court’s 1984–85 Church-State Decisions: Judicial Paths of Least Resistance.” 21 Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review 651–688 (1986).

“When Separate is Equal: Why Organized Religious Exercises, Unlike Chess, Do Not Belong in the Public Schools (Symposium: Freedom of Association).” 81 Northwestern University Law Review 174–189 (1986).

Book Review of Reconsecrating America, by George Goldberg. 2 Constitutional Commentary 529–535 (1985).

“The Unconstitutionality of Equal Access Policies and Legislation Allowing Organized Student-Initiated Religious Activities in the Public High Schools: A Proposal for a Unitary First Amendment Forum Analysis.” 12 Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly 529–595 (1985).


“Judging and Judgment in the 21st Century: The ICC’s Confrontation with Africa’s Leaders.” Security in Transition: An Interdisciplinary Investigation Into the Security Gap.

“Bringing Transitional Justice Home: President Obama’s Dilemma about the Past Administration’s Human Rights Abuses — What is to be Done, and Who’ll be the Judge?” Op-ed oline at

“The Best Route,” by James Podgers in the ABA Journal, December 2006 (in connection with that ABA Conference on Transitional Justice, New York University Law School, “From Nuremberg to Africa: The Evolution of Accountability and Recovery From Conflict”)

Columnist, Findlaw’s Writ—Legal Commentary; (Thomson).

“Through the Veil, Darkly: Why France’s Ban on the Wearing of Religious Symbols is Even More Pernicious Than it Appears.” FindLaw’s Writ: Legal Commentary February 16, 2004.

“IRAK Les victimes de Saddam Hussein pourront-elles enfin solder leurs comptes? Une exigence insatisfaite de justice,” Le Figaro (Debats et Opinions) September 2, 2003.

“Made to Measure Justice,” The Globe and Mail July 25, 2003 at A13

“The Road to Justice in Iraq,” Korea Herald (Op Ed) (August 9, 2003), also printed as “The Journey to Justice in Iraq,” Jakarta Post (Op Ed) (August 13, 2003).

“Operation Iraqi Freedom: Just or Unjust War? Humanitarian Action, or Simply Geopolitics?” FindLaw’s Writ: Legal Commentary April 8, 2003.

“National Sovereignty: A Cornerstone of International Law and an Obstacle to Protecting Citizens,” Legal Affairs 27–29 (September/October 2002).

Moderator, “Symposium: The International Criminal Court: Contemporary Perspectives and Prospects for Ratification.” 16 New York Law School Journal of Human Rights 505–551 (2000).

Panelist: “War Crimes and the Political Future of Bosnia and Herzegovina” (Council on Foreign Relations Symposium) in After Dayton: Lessons of the Bosnian Peace Process at 67, 73–77 (R. Wedgwood, ed., Council on Foreign Relations, 2000).

Panelist, “Debate 3: Do School Vouchers Violate the Establishment Clause? Are They Good Policy? (Conference on the First Amendment and Government Support for Religion and Religious Institutions)” 1 Rutgers Journal of Law and Religion 5 (1999/2000).

Book Review of War Crimes: Brutality, Genocide, Terror, and the Struggle for Justice by Aryeh Neier. 8 East European Constitutional Review 112–114 (Winter/Spring 1999).

Moderator, “Panel III: Identifying and Prosecuting War Crimes (Symposium: 1945–1995: Critical Perspectives on the Nuremberg Trials and State Accountability).” 12 New York Law School Journal of Human Rights 631–688 (1995).

“Nuremberg’s Lessons for Today.” Hartford Courant (Commentary), October 15, 1995, at C1.

“Dilemmas of Justice.” 1 East European Constitutional Review 20–21 (1992).

“The ‘Ivan’ Case: Cold War Injustice.” Washington Post, at A21 (December 10, 1992).

Moderator, “Symposium: Truth and Justice: The Question of Accountability for Stalinist Crimes in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.” 9 New York Law School Journal of Human Rights 599–641 (1992).

“Tribute to Owen Kupferschmid and Opening Address (Symposium: Holocaust and Human Rights Law: The Sixth International Conference).” 12 Boston College Third World Law Journal 191–198 (1992) (with C.C. Lichtenstein, A. Berney & W. Mandell).

“Freedom of Speech and Holocaust Denial (Panel Discussion).” 8 Cardozo Law Review 559–594 (1987) (with G. Tishler, I. Cotler, A.M. Dershowitz, A. Berney & N. Ackerman).

“Rex Lee Selectively Abandons Judicial Restraint.” 6 Legal Times 8 (April 30, 1984) (with M. Eisenberg).