Associate Fellow, International Law Programme
Max du Plessis
Contact information
+27 845127406


Max du Plessis is a barrister in South Africa, honorary research fellow University of KwaZulu-Natal (Durban) and a senior research associate at the Institute for Security Studies (Pretoria). As a barrister in South Africa (and associate tenant, Doughty Street Chambers, London), Max has an extensive practice in public law, human rights and international law. As an international criminal lawyer he has advised states before the ICC and has been working on domestic (complementarity and universal jurisdiction) cases dealing with arrest warrants for senior government officials implicated in international crimes and litigating and advising on them in South Africa and other countries. He has published extensively on international criminal law topics, and is a frequent panelist at conferences and events around the world.  


  • International criminal law – particularly complementarity, universal jurisdiction, and the ICC (with a focus on immunities)
  • Public international law
  • Human rights


2002 -Barrister, South Africa
2012 -Associate Tenant, Doughty Street Chambers
2008-17Associate Professor, University of KwaZulu-Natal
2010-Institute for Security Studies, Pretoria (International Crimes in Africa Programme)


Broadcast experience



  • English
  • ‘South Africa’s failed withdrawal from the Rome Statute – Politics, Law and Judicial Accountability’ (with Guenael Mettraux), June 2017 forthcoming in Journal of International Criminal Justice.
  • ‘Exploring Efforts to Resolve the Tension Between the AU and the ICC over the Bashir Saga’, in The International Criminal Court and Africa (edited by Evelyn Ankuma), published by Intersentia, 2016.
  • The Pursuit of  Brave New World in International Law, Essays in Honour of John Dugard (editor, with Tiya Maluwa and Dire Tladi), Brill, 2017.
  • ‘Civil Society, positive complementarity and the Torture Docket case, (with Chris Gevers), in Woolover and Williams Civil Society and International Criminal Justice in Africa , 2016, JUTA.
  • ‘Shambolic, shameful and symbolic: Implications of the African Union’s immunity for African leaders’, ISS paper 278, November 2014.