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Penelope Van Tuyl

Woman smiling with hands in pockets in outdoor breezeway

Penelope Van Tuyl

Associate Director
Center Affiliation(s): 

Penelope Van Tuyl is a human rights lawyer who has worked closely with founding Director, David Cohen, for over a decade to shape Stanford's Center for Human Rights and International Justice into the vibrant academic and research community it is today. She first joined (what was then known as the Berkeley War Crimes Studies Center) in 2006 as a trial monitor working in Sierra Leone and Cambodia, and was hired full time in 2008 to oversee several key initiatives in Southeast Asia, West Africa, Europe, and the United States. She was promoted to Associate Director in 2011, and shepherded the Center through its 2013 transition from Berkeley to Stanford, which spurred a exciting period of rapid programatic growth. As Associate Director, Van Tuyl is integrally involved with all aspects of the Center's administration and strategic planning across program areas, on campus and overseas. She serves in a principal leadership position managing the Center's digital archival partnership withe the Stanford University Libraries. She also runs the Minor in Human Rights, and teaches the required core course for the Minor HUMRTS 101: Cross-Disciplinary Persectives on Human Rights Theory and Practice. Of the many hats she wears in her job, however, her favorite is that of mentor and advisor to the wonderful Stanford students who pass through the Center.

Van Tuyl has authored and edited numerous reports and articles on international criminal law and procedure. Her research interests touch on substantive, procedural, and administrative aspects of international criminal law practice, including Joint Criminal Enterprise liability, standards of pleading in international courts, and the institutional accountability mechanisms that are meant to support the effective and efficient administration of justice. She also writes and teaches about migration and asylum law in comparative perspective. Van Tuyl graduated Summa Cum Laude from Amherst College, with a BA in International Relations and Latin American Studies. She received her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, and is admitted to practice in the state of California.