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Associate Professor in Public Law, University of Cape Town

Cathleen (Cathy) Powell, B.A. LL.B. (UCT), LL.M. (Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany), SJD (University of Toronto, Canada), teaches constitutional law and international law at the University of Cape Town. Her research areas include constitutional law, particularly the rule of law and separation of powers, international counter-terrorism, international organisations, and the role of law in the changing global order. Her recent publications focus on terrorism and its interface with other disciplines, including criminal law, constitutional law, international human rights law and the United Nations. She served on the panel of foreign experts which commented on China's Emergency Law and took part in an advisory panel to a United Nations General Assembly committee drawing up guidelines to states on terrorism and human rights. Her doctorate explores the powers of the United Nations Security Council through the lens of the legal philosophy of Lon Fuller and its application to international law by Jutta Brunnee and Stephen Toope.


  • 2017–present
    Associate professor, University of Cape Town
  • 2004–2016
    Senior lecturer, University of Cape Town
  • 1999–2003
    Lecturer, University of Cape Town


  • 2016 
    University of Toronto, SJD
  • 1995 
    Humboldt University of Berlin, LLM
  • 1993 
    University of Cape Town, LLB
  • 1991 
    University of Cape Town, BA