Ronald Slye

Ronald Slye

Professor of Law

 Sullivan Hall 460

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  • International Criminal Law
  • International Law of Human Rights
  • Poverty Law
  • Public International Law
  • Property
  • Transitional Justice


  • B.A., Columbia University, 1984
  • M. Phil., University of Cambridge, 1985
  • J.D., Yale Law School, 1989


Professor Slye teaches, writes, and consults in the areas of public international law, international criminal law, transitional justice, and international human rights law. Most recently, from August 2009 to August 2013 he was chosen by Kofi Annan to be one of three international Commissioners for the Kenyan Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission. He is a legal advisor to the Documentation Center of Cambodia, a founding member of the Law and Peace Practice Group (the world's first dedicated advisory service on the challenge of balancing legal security and justice issues in relation to negotiated transitions out of war or authoritarianism). At Seattle University he previously served as Director of the Law School's International and Comparative Programs, the Center for Global Justice, and the Global Justice in South Africa summer program, which he helped to create.

Before joining the faculty, Professor Slye was an assistant professor and Robert Cover Fellow in the clinical program at Yale Law School, where he taught an interdisciplinary transactional clinical course focusing on homelessness and housing, as well as immigration law and poverty law. He also served as associate director of Yale's Orville H. Schell, Jr., Center for International Human Rights at Yale Law School and taught in Yale's international human rights law clinic. Professor Slye was a visiting professor at the Community Law Centre at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa from 1996-97 and, while there, served as legal consultant to the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission.



International Criminal Law: Intersections and Contradictions, Foundation Press (2021) (with van Schaack)

International Criminal Law and Its Enforcement, 4th ed., Foundation Press (2020) (with van Schaack)

The Kenyan TJRC: An Outsider's View from the Inside;(Cambridge University Press, 2018)

The Nuremberg Principles in Non-Western Societies: A Reflection on their Universality, Legitimacy and Application International Nuremberg Principles Academy (2017) (editor and introduction)

International Criminal Law and Its Enforcement, 3rd ed., Foundation Press (2014) (with van Schaack)

Essentials: International Criminal Law, Aspen (2008) (with van Schaack)

Democracia Deliberativa y Derechos Humanos,Gedisa (2004) (co-editor and introduction with Koh)

Deliberative Democracy and Human Rights, Yale University Press (1999) (co-editor and introduction with Koh)

International Human Rights Law & Practice, Kluwer Law International (1997) (with Martin, Falk, Wilson, Schnably, Simon, and Koren)

Homes for the Homeless: A Handbook for Action, Carolina Academic Press (1990) (with Berger and Chodosh)

Book Chapters

“The Truth Commission: An Innovation for Peace,” in Pierre Hazan, Jacques Berchtold, Nicolas Ducimetière, Christophe Imperiali, eds. War and Peace (Gallimard, Fondation Martin Bodmer 2019)

“Framework Paper,” (with Mark Freeman) in The Limits of Punishment: Transitional Justice and Violent Extremism (United Nations University – Centre for Policy Research, and the Institute for Integrated Transitions (May 2018)

“Putting the J into the TRC: Kenya’s Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission,” in Mia Swart and Karin van Marie, eds. Twenty Years On: Other Ways of Being and the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission  (Brill Publishing 2017) 

“Reflections on Africa and International Criminal Law,” in Ronald Slye, ed. The Nuremberg Principles in Non-Western Societies: A Reflection on their Universality, Legitimacy and Application (International Nuremberg Principles Academy, 2017)

“A Limited Amnesty? Insights from Cambodia,” in Leigh A. Payne and Francesca Lessa, eds. Amnesty in the Age of Human Rights Accountability: Comparative and International Perspectives (2012)

“Immunities and Amnesties,” in Max du Plessis, ed., African Guide to International Criminal Justice (Institute for Security Studies, 2008)

“Amnesties, International Crimes and the ICC” in Max du Plessis and Antoinette Louw, eds.,The Investigation and Prosecution of “Core International Crimes” and the Role of the International Criminal Court in Africa (Institute for Security Studies, 2007).

 “Refugee Jurisprudence, Crimes Against Humanity, and Customary International Law,” in Anne Bayefsky, ed., HumanRights and Refugees, Internally Displaced Persons, and Migrant Workers: Essays in Honour of Joan Fitzpatrick and Arthur Helton (Brill Academic Publishers, 2005)

“The Cambodian Amnesties: Beneficiaries and The Temporal Reach of Amnesties for Gross Violation of Human Rights,” in Jaya Ramji & Beth van Schaack (eds), Bringing the Khmer Rouge to Justice:Prosecuting Mass Violence before the Cambodian Courts (Mellen Press, 2005)

“The International Criminal Court,” in Villa-Vicencio and Doxtrader, eds.,Pieces of the Puzzle: Keywords on Reconciliation and Transitional Justice (Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, 2004)

“Recommendations for the United Nations and International Non-Governmental Organizations,” in Stanley S. Herr, Harold HongjuKoh, and Lawrence O. Gostin (eds.), Different But Equal: The Rights of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities (Oxford University Press, 2002)

“The Amnesty Process,” in Wilhelm Verwoerd and Mahlubi Mabizela, Truths Drawn in Jest (David Philip, Cape Town) (2000) 

“Amnesty, Truth, and Reconciliation: Reflections on the South African Amnesty Process,” in Robert I. Rotberg and Dennis Thompson, eds.,Truth versus Justice: The Moral Efficacy of Truth Commissions in South Africa and Beyond (Princeton University Press, 2000)

"Amnesty and Justice" in Charles Villa-Vicencio and Wilhelm Verwoerd, eds.,Looking Back/Reaching Forward: Reflections on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa (Zed Books and University of Cape Town Press, 2000)


“The Kenyan Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission,” The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of African History (forthcoming 2023)

“Transitional Justice and Violent Extremism: An Original Policy Framework,” IFIT Discussion Paper (2020)

“Rethinking Peace and Justice” (with Louise Mallinder), IFIT Discussion Paper (2019)

“Corporations, Veils, and International Criminal Liability,” 33 Bklyn J. Int’l L. 955 (2008)

“The Cambodian Amnesties: Beneficiaries and the Temporal Reach of Amnesties for Gross Violation of Human Rights,” 22 Wis. Int’l L. J. 99 (2004)

“International Decisions: Republic of South Africa v. Grootboom and Minister of Health v. Treatment Action Campaign,” 97 Am. J. Int’l L. 669 (2003)

“The Legitimacy of Amnesties under International Law and General Principles of Anglo-American Law,” 43 Va. J. Int’l L. 173 (2002)

“International Law, Human Rights Beneficiaries, and South Africa: Some Thoughts on the Utility of International Human Rights Law,” 2 Chic. J. Int’l L. 59 (2001)

“Apartheid as a Crime Against Humanity: A Submission to the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission,” 20 Mich. J. Int’l L. 267 (1999)

“Socio-Economic Rights and the South African Transition: The Role of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission,” 1 Law, Democracy, and Development 137 (South Africa) (November 1997)

“Weapons, Wars, and Deaths: A Problematique,” Social Alternatives Vol. 15, No. 3, (Australia) (July 1996)

"The Dayton Peace Agreement: Constitutionalism and Ethnicity," 21 Yale J. Int'l L. 459 (1996)

"DIANA: A Human Rights Database," 16 Human Rights Quarterly 753 (1994) (with Finke, Fitchett, and Koh)

"Environmental Review of Facilities for the Homeless in New York," 3Env. L. in New York 177 (1992)

"Community Institution Building: A Response to the Limits of Litigation," 36Villanova L. Rev. 1035 (1991)

"Addressing the Problem of Homelessness: A New Model for Public Interest Lawyering in the 1990s," 34 Howard L. J. 91 (1991) (with Arbogast, Barnett, and Treiger)

Entries for "World Order" and "World Order Models Project," World Encyclopedia of International Peace (with Mendlovitz)

Book Reviews

Review of Ikechi, Mgbeoji, Collective Insecurity: The Liberian Crisis, Unilateralism, And Global Order in Law and Politics Book Review, vol. 14, no. 7, pp. 567-71 (July 2004)

“Appreciating Silence,” a review of Fiona Ross, Bearing Witness: Women and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa in Human Rights & Human Welfare, vol. 4, pp. 45-52 (2004). 

Review of Michael J. Glennon, Limits of Law, Prerogatives of Power: Interventionism After Kosovo in Law and Politics Book Review, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 74-78 (February 2002)

“The Truth about the Truth Commission,” South African Review of Books (November 1999) (

"Human Rights in Theory and Practice: A Review of On Human Rights," 18 Fordham Int'l L. J. 1566 (1995)

Selected Newspaper, Magazine, and Blogs 

“Feminism and the Kenyan TJRC (Parts 1 and 2),” IntlawGrrls (Nov. 1, 2018)

“A Truth and Reconciliation Commission for the United States,” Reuters, August 10, 2015 

“Obama’s Trip to Kenya: Putting Accountability and Reconciliation on the Agenda,” Just Security, July 24, 2015. 

“Debate on ICC Process Misplaced,” The Star (Nairobi), March 21, 2011

“The Real Significance of Wikileaks,” The Star (Nairobi), March 18, 2011. 

“Why Kiplagat Must Now Step Aside,” The Sunday Nation (Nairobi), March 28, 2010 (with KaariMurungi)

“International Law Exists – Which is Why We Need Harold Koh,” The Argument, Foreign Policy Magazine, April 20, 2009.

“Reconciliation Commission Unlikely to Reveal Bush’s Transgressions,” The Seattle Times, March 13, 2009.

“The Crafter’s Paradise: The Legacy of Forgiveness in South Africa,” The Weekender (South Africa), June 3, 2006.

“Truth, Justice, the International Way,” The Seattle Times, December 13, 1998