Chaloka Beyani

Chaloka Beyani

Administrative support: Amanda Tinnams
Room: New Academic Building 7.04
Tel. 020-7955-6388

Chaloka Beyani is an Associate Professor of International Law in the Law Department, a member of the Centre for the Study of Human Rights and Chair of its Advisory Board, and a member of the Centre for Climate Change at LSE. He is also the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons. He joined the Department of Law at LSE in 1996 and lectures in international law and human rights. He was formerly a Research Fellow at Wolfson college, Oxford, with Lectureships in Law at Exeter and St. Catherine's colleges, Oxford, and a Crown Prince of Jordan Fellow, Queen Elizabeth House, as part of the Refugee Studies Centre, Oxford.

Chaloka studied law at the University of Oxford (D.Phil) and at the University of Zambia (UNZA)(LLB, LLM). He has taught international law, human rights, public law, and criminal law at Oxford and UNZA. He is Visiting Professor of International Law at the University of Toronto and Santa Clara University.

Chaloka is a recognized international and United Nations expert on internally displaced persons, population transfers, mercenaries and private military companies, sexual and reproductive health, the human rights based approach to development, climate change, making treaties, and making constitutions. He has served as a legal adviser and expert to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Office of the High Commissioner on Refugees, the World Health Organization, the United Nations Population Fund, United Nations Development Fund for Women, the European Union, the Commonwealth Secretariat, and the African Union.

Chaloka was a member of the High Level Panel of Eminent Persons of the African Union on the Formation of an African Union Government. He has served as an expert to the African Union on the issue of universal jurisdiction and was a member of the joint African Union and European Union ad hoc Expert Group on Universal Jurisdiction. He is currently a member of the UK Foreign Secretary's Advisory Group on Human Rights.

Chaloka has practical legal and political experience in making national constitutions. He was a member of the official Committee of Experts on Constitutional Review of the Republic of Kenya, the Committee that drafted and prepared the Constitution of Kenya, which was adopted by referendum in 2010. He also has practical legal and diplomatic experience in treaty making, having drafted and negotiated the adoption of the African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons 2009. He also drafted and negotiated the adoption of 11 peace treaties under the framework of the Pact on Peace, Stability and Development of the Great Lakes Region 2006.

[click here for documentation on the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region].

see also Chaloka Beyani's LSE Experts page


Research interests

  • International law and human rights

  • Human Rights and gender relations

  • International criminal law and aspects of the laws of armed conflict

  • Human rights and humanitarian assistance

  • The movement of persons and populations, including migration, trafficking, refugees and displaced persons

  • Territorial and maritime disputes

  • The collapse of state authority

  • Democracy and constitutional reform

  • Legal aspects of mercenaries and the regulation of private military companies

  • The state and other actors' responsibility for human rights;

  • Climate Change, human rights, displacement

  • Treaty Making

  • Constitution Making. 

External Activities

Membership of Editorial Boards

  • Journal of Humanitarian Legal Studies

  • Journal of African Law

  • Journal of International Refugee Law

  •  Refugees and Human Rights Series

Membership of Boards of Charitable Bodies




Collected Essays on the Use of International Law (CMP Publishing 2014).

In these collected essays Chaloka Beyani explores the role that international law plays in a wide spectrum of contemporary controversies. In his lucid style, Chaloka lays out the relevant framework of international law connecting its many players including the UN, states, regional bodies and civil societies in tackling issues such as humanitarian intervention, abuse of state sovereignty, terrorism, rise of mercenary activities and gender equality. Also included in the volume is a collection of treaty instruments drafted by the author whilst acting as adviser to the International Conference of the Great lakes Region and adopted at the Summit of States and Government in 2006.

Protection of the Right to Seek and Obtain Asylum Under the African Human Rights System (Martinus Nijhoff Publishers 2013)

The use of international human rights machinery to protect refugees has acquired an important dimension in recent years. This is true of both the United Nations treaty body system and the African, European and Inter-American regional systems of human rights. The result is a dynamic international invigoration of traditional refugee law that, in contradistinction, tends to be applied at the level of national courts and tribunals. Yet the precise role of human rights in the protection of refugees is sometimes viewed with suspicion and uncertainty. This Commentary provides a valuable insight into the use of human rights in the protection of refugees through the prism of the African Human Rights System.

Human Rights Standards and the Movement of People within States (OUP, 2000)

Human Rights Standards and the Movement of People Within States is an exposition of the standards of human rights which are applicable to the right of freedom of movement and residence of people within states. Written from the standpoint of international law, the book identifies these standards and examines their application to various categories of people, including nationals, non-nationals, minorities, and indigenous groups.

The primary motive for writing this book lies in the fact that the vast majority of people move and reside within states. People's ability to exercise civil and political rights as well as economic, social, and cultural rights within states generally depend in large measure on their ability to move about and to choose a place of residence within states. Freedom of movement is therefore crucial to the protection and enjoyment of other rights.

As a consequence, the protection of freedom of movement cannot be left exclusively to domestic legal systems because many legal systems form the basis for denying people the right of free movement. Yet the extent to which freedom of movement within states is protected by human rights under international law has not received the attention that its importance deserves. Particular problems arise from the ordinary regulation of freedom of movement, internal exile, the development of free movement zones for nationals and third country nationals in economic and political unions, the need to protect the movement of minorities and indigenous peoples, the movement and location of refugees within states, as well as the legality of derogation from freedom of movement during states of emergency.

Blackstone's Guide to the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996, with Leonard Leigh, (Blackstone Press, 1996)

Selected articles
and chapters in books

(2008) The politics of international law: transformation of the guiding principles on internal displacement from soft law to hard law. American Society of International Law. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting, 102 . pp. 194-198. ISSN 0272-5037

'Recent Developments in the African Human Rights System 2004-2006' 7 (3) Human Rights Law Review (2007), pp. 582-608

This article examines some of the significant institutional and legal developments in the African human rights system between July 2004 and December 2006.1During this period, measured progress was made by the African Union on the establishment of an African Court of Human and Peoples' Rights ('African Court'). The thematic procedures of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights ('Commission') were engaged more extensively than before, culminating in the adoption by the Commission of country resolutions on the situation of human rights in Ethiopia, Sudan, Uganda and Zimbabwe. These country resolutions generated, for the first time, direct confrontation between the Assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union ('Assembly') and the Commission at a Summit of the Assembly held in Khartoum in January 2006. As a result, the Commission's 19th Annual Activity Report that had contained these resolutions was embargoed by the Assembly. These resolutions were released later in the 20th Annual Activity Report after Ethiopia, Sudan, Uganda and Zimbabwe had formally responded to the Commission. During the period under review, the Commission also sought to enhance its capacity by reviewing its status, mandate and independence in the framework of the African Union and developed the practice of exposing the imperfect record of periodic reporting by States Parties to the African Charter on Human and the Peoples' Rights 1981 ('African Charter').2 The growing number of individual complaints on the docket of the Commission was also apparent, and three of the Commission's most important decisions made in the period under review are discussed subsequently.

(2007) Introductory note on the pact on security, stability and development in the Great Lakes region. International legal materials, 46 (2). pp. 173-175. ISSN 0020-7829

'The Elaboration of a Legal Framework for the Protection of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa', Journal of African Law, 50, 2(Cambridge, 2006) 1-11 

'The Role of Human Rights Bodies in Protecting Refugees' in A. Bayefsky (ed)., Human Rights, Internally Displaced Persons and Migrant Workers (Kluwer, 2006) 269-281 

'Governance and Human Rights in the SADC Region' 3(1) Journal of African Elections (Electoral Institute of South Africa, 2004) 62-80   

'International Law and the War on Terror' in Humanitarian Policy Group, Humanitarian Action and the 'Global War on Terror': A Review of Trends and Issues (London, 2003)

'Exclusion From Protection', Special Supplementary Issue of the International Journal of Refugee Law 12 (Oxford, 2000), with J. Fitzpatrick, W. Kalin, and M. Zard


Reports / discussion papers

Statement by Mr. Chaloka Beyani, Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons, 19th session of the Human Rights Council, Geneva, 6 March 2012
paper 1  ;  paper 2   ;   paper 3

Mainstreaming Human Rights in the Commonwealth Secretariat, with Paul Hunt, (2004) 

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Human Rights and Poverty (2002) 

Regulating Private Military Companies: Options for the UK Government, with Damian Lilly (International Alert: London, 2001)

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (2001) 

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mercenaries and the Regulation of Private Military Companies (2001) 

Evaluation Study of the Commonwealth Secretariat's Role in the Promotion of Human Rights 1997-2000 (Commonwealth Secretariat: London, 2001 


Treaties and Model Legislation


African Union
Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa 2006

Great Lakes Region
(comprising eleven States, namely, Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania, The Sudan, Uganda, and Zambia)

Pact on Peace, Stability and Development 2006
Protocol on Non-Aggression, Mutual Defence and Peaceful Resolution of Conflicts 2006
Protocol on the Prevention and Suppression of Sexual Violence against Women and Children 2006
Protocol on the Protection and Assistance to Internally Displaced Persons 2006
Protocol on the Property Rights of Returning Persons 2006

[click here for documentation on the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region]


Model Legislation
(implementing selected Great Lakes Protocols)

Model Legislation on the Prevention and Suppression of Sexual Violence against Women and Children 2006
Model Legislation on the Protection and Assistance to Internally Displaced Persons 2006
Model Legislation on Property Rights of Returning Persons 2006