Howard Varney is a senior program adviser with ICTJ. His areas of expertise include truth-seeking, national prosecutions, institutional reform, reparations, and public interest litigation. Howard is a practicing advocate at the Johannesburg Bar. His legal practice includes human rights, constitutional, and administrative law.
In the early 1990s he was an attorney with the Legal Resources Centre in Durban where he represented victims of political violence in public interest litigation, judicial inquests, and commissions of inquiry. In the mid-1990s he led an independent criminal investigation in South Africa into organized political crime which resulted in significant criminal trials. He worked with the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission as a consultant on range of matters. Howard was the chief investigator for the Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He assisted the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation in Timor-Leste with the compilation of its final report.
As a consultant for ICTJ he has assisted with the development of transitional justice initiatives in several countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, the Americas and the Balkans. He continues to represent victims of past conflicts in the courts of South Africa to vindicate their rights.
Howard has a B.A. LL.B. from Natal University and an LL.M. from Columbia Law School. He has published on national criminal justice issues, amnesty, commissions of inquiry, the relationship between war crime tribunals and truth commissions, community security, and small arms control. He is based in Johannesburg.
- Assessing the Prospects of Transitional Justice in Georgia, International Center for Transitional Justice, 2017 (Publication Pending)
- Co-author, Truth Seeking: Elements of Creating an Effective Truth Commission, International Center for Transitional Justice, 2013
- Breathing Life into the New Constitution, A new constitutional approach to law and policy in Kenya: lessons from South Africa, Occasional Paper, International Center for Transitional Justice (New York), February 2011
- Transitional Justice, Criminal Justice and Exceptionalism in South Africa, published in Contested Transitions: Dilemmas of Transitional Justice In Colombia and Comparative Experience (Michael Reed & Amanda Lyons eds., 2010), International Center for Transitional Justice (Bogota) and Ministry of Foreign Relations of Norway, 2010
- Justice Abandoned? An Assessment of the Serious Crimes Process in East Timor, Co-author, Occasional Paper, International Center for Transitional Justice (New York), June 2005