Faculty Information

​​​​
  • Biography

    LL.M. (1984) Columbia University School of Law, New York
    LL.B. (1982) University of Natal, Durban, South Africa
    B.A. (1980) University of Natal, Durban, South Africa (Majors: Economic History; Comparative African Government and Administration)

    Penelope (Penny) Andrews

    Dean Andrews is the school’s 17th president and dean, effective July 1, 2012. Andrews is the first female president for the school since it opened in 1851.

    Previously Dean Andrews was the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law at City University of New York School of Law (CUNY). Prior to joining CUNY, she was a Professor of Law and Director of International Studies at Valparaiso Law School, where she taught torts, public international law, international human rights law and international criminal law.

    Dean Andrews has extensive experience  in legal education since she commenced her law teaching career in Melbourne, Australia in 1986. She has been tenured at four law schools, one in Australia and three in the United States, and has served on significant law school committees and in public interest legal organizations. She has been a member of and chaired several accreditation site teams for the American Bar Association’s section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.

    Dean Andrews, who was born and raised in South Africa, has extensive international experience, including teaching at law schools in Germany, Australia, Holland, Scotland, Canada and South Africa. An annual award in her name—The Penelope E. Andrews Human Rights Award—was inaugurated in 2005 at the South African law school of University of Kwazulu-Natal. Along with numerous other awards, she holds a “Women of South Africa Achievement Award,”  the Albany Law Review’s Women Who Mean Business Award, the Haywood Burns/Shanara Gilbert Award, as well as Albany Law’s Kate Stoneman Award, which she received in 2002.

    She has consulted for the United Nations Development Fund for Women, and for the Ford Foundation in Johannesburg, where she evaluated labor law programs. She earned her B.A. and LL.B from the University of Natal, Durban, South Africa, and her LL.M from Columbia University School of Law, New York.

    She has published extensively on topics centered on gender and racial equality, South African legal issues, Australian legal issues, and international justice. Her most recent book, From Cape Town to Kabul: Rethinking Strategies for Pursuing Women’s Human Rights, was published by Ashgate in 2012. She is currently working on a paper that focuses on the challenges for law school graduates in rural communities.





    Read more about Dean Andrews background and vision for the School.

  • From Cape Town to Kabul

    Rethinking Strategies for Pursuing Women's Human Rights

    From Cape Town to Kabul

    Using her experience of living under apartheid and witnessing its downfall and the subsequent creation of new governments in South Africa, the author examines and compares gender inequality in societies undergoing political and economic transformation. By applying this process of legal transformation as a paradigm, the author applies this model to Afghanistan. These two societies serve as counterpoints through which the book engages, in a nuanced and novel way, with the many broader issues that flow from the attempts in newly democratic societies to give effect to the promise of gender equality. Developing the idea of “conditional interdependence”, the book suggests a new approach based on the communitarian values which underpin newly democratic societies and which would allow women’s rights to gain momentum and reap greater benefits.

    Broad in its thematic approach, the book generates challenging and complex questions about the achievement of gender equality. It will be of interest to academics interested in gender and human rights, international and comparative law.

    Order a copy of From Cape Town to Kabul from the publisher

    "Andrews asks the hard questions that should cause us to re-examine our assumptions about the freight attached to the language of human rights, political and legal strategies for achieving substantive equality, and the contestation within the feminist discourse and legal theory. Beautifully written, this book is a fabulous resource for academic institutions and communities."

    --Val Napoleon, University of Victoria, Canada

    "The author analyses the obstacles to achieving gender equality in two very different countries and concludes that there is not 'a one size fits all' solution. The book is a fascinating read. And its message is timely: we cannot give up, we must continue to seek ways to meet the challenge of gender inequality."

    --Kate O’Regan, Justice of CCT of South Africa​

     

    Dean Andrews appeared on WAMC's The Roundtable to talk about From Cape Town to Kabul: Rethinking Strategies for Pursuing Women’s Human Rights on Jan. 10, 2013.

    Dean Andrews appeared on The Capitol Pressroom to talk about From Cape Town to Kabul: Rethinking Strategies for Pursuing Women’s Human Rights on Jan. 18, 2013.

    Dean Andrews appeared on WNYT's Forum 13 to talk about From Cape Town to Kabul: Rethinking Strategies for Pursuing Women’s Human Rights on Feb. 3, 2013.

Bo​oks

 

 Books Content Query

 
  • From Cape Town to Kabul

    From Cape Town to Kabul: Rethinking Strategies for Pursuing Women's Human Rights (Ashgate, 2012)0754679969

Publications

  • From Cape Town to Kabul: Rethinking Strategies for Pursuing Women's Human Rights (Ashgate, 2012)0754679969

  • Sixty Years on: The Human Rights Movement Today, 24 University of Maryland Journal of International Law, (2009) 47papers.cfm

  • Who's Afraid of Polygamy? Exploring the Boundaries of Family, Equality and Custom in South Africa, 2009 UNIVERSITY OF UTAH LAW REVIEW, No. 2, 351

  • "Democracy Stops at My Front Door": Obstacles to Gender Equality in South Africa, 5 Loyola Chicago Journal of International Law 15 (2007)

  • Big Love? The Recognition of Customary Marriages in South Africa, 64 Washington and Lee Law Review 211 (2007)

  • Learning to Love After Learning to Harm: Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Gender Equality and Cultural Values, 15 Michigan State Journal of International Law 41 (2007)papers.cfm

  • The South African Judicial Appointments Process, 44 Osgoode Hall Law Journal 565 (2006) papers.cfm

  • Some Middle-Aged Spread, A Few Mood Swings and Growing Exhaustion: The Human Rights Movement at Middle Age, 41 University of Tulsa Law Review 101 (2006) papers.cfm

  • Women's Human Rights and the Conversation Across Cultures, 67 ALBANY LAW REVIEW (2003) 609

  • From Gender Apartheid to Non-Sexism: The Pursuit of Women's Rights in South Africa, 26 North Carolina Journal of International Law and Commerical Regulation 694 (2001)

  • The Constitutional Court Provides Succor for Victims of Domestic Violence: S v Baloyi, 16 South African Journal of Human Rights (2000)

  • Affirmative Action in South Africa: Transformation or Tokenism Law In Context Vol. 2, 15 (1999)

  • A Resource for Justice: South Africa's Legal Resources Centre, East Africa Journal of Peace and Human Rights No. 1, 2 (1995)

  • "A Small, Sweet Victory" An analysis of the Transvaal Court MAJESTIC TOWERS judgment involving the rights of Black domestic workers to receive visitors; and public interest law in South Africa, Legal Services Bulletin No. 5, 14 (October 1989)

  • Autonomy and the Miskito Indian Community of Nicaragua, Aboriginal Law Bulletin No. 32, 2 (June 1988)

  • Corporate Codes of Conduct Under Apartheid: An Assessment, Trans Africa Forum No. 3, 3 (Spring 1986)

  • The Legal Underpinnings of Gender Oppression in Apartheid South Africa 3 Australian Journal of Law and Society (June 1986)

  • South African Labyrinth: A Study of the Migrant Labour System in South Africa, Los Angeles Weekly (November 1984) with Anne McDonald
    Also published in Journal of Black Students' Society, University of California, Los Angeles (December 1984)

  • Perspectives on Brown: The South African Experience, 49 New York Law School Law Review (2004-2005) 1155papers.cfm

  • Reparations for Apartheid's Victims: The Path to Reconciliation, 53 DE PAUL LAW REVIEW (2004) 1155papers.cfm

  • Transitional Perspectives on Women's Right, 14 Interights Bulletin (2004) 143

  • Two 'Colored' Women's Conversation About the Relevance of Feminist Law Journals in the 21st Century, 11 COLUMBIA JOURNAL OF GENDER AND LAW (2003) (co-author Taunya Banks) 498papers.cfm

  • Critical Challenges: A Conversation on Complicity and Civility in Legal Education, 1 Seattle Journal for Social Justice 601 (2003) with Sharon Hom and Ruthann Robson

  • Evaluating the Progress of Women's Rights on the Fifth Anniversary of the South African Constitution, 26 Vermont Law Review 829 (2002)

  • Making Room for Critical Race Theory in International Law: Some Practical Pointers, 45 Villanova Law Review (2000) 855papers.cfm

  • Globalization, Human Rights and Critical Race Feminism: Voices from the Margins 3 JOURNAL OF GENDER, RACE AND JUSTICE (2000) 373papers.cfm

  • Violence Against Women in South Africa: The Role of Culture and the Limitations of the Law, in 8 Temple Civil and Political Rights Law Review Vol. 2 (1999) 425papers.cfm

  • Striking the Rock: Confronting Gender Equality in South Africa 3 Michigan Journal of Race and Law 307 (1998)papers.cfm

  • Violence Against Aboriginal Women in Australia: Redress from the International Human Rights Framework, 60 Albany Law Review (1997) 917papers.cfm

  • Spectators at the Revolution: Gender Equality in a Post-Apartheid South Africa, in Law and Anthropology: International Yearbook for Legal Anthropology, Volume 7 (1994)

  • Justice in a Post-Apartheid South Africa, 15 Legal Services Bulletin No. 3 (June 1990)

  • Some Observations about Lawyering for the Poor in a Changing South Africa 12 African Studies Association of Australia and the Pacific Newsletter No. 1 (June 1990)

  • Legal Education in a Changing South Africa 1 African Law Review No. 5 (March 1990)

  • Apartheid: The Legal Death of the Black Worker, HUMAN RIGHTS No. 2, 14 (Spring 1987)

  • Apartheid: The Road to Disaster, Black Heights No. 2, 6 (Spring 1985)

Forthcoming Publications

Selected Achievements

  • President and Dean Penelope (Penny) Andrews was recently named to Lawyers of Color's Third Annual Power List, which bills itself as a compendium of “the most influential minority attorneys in the country.”
  • Dean Penelope (Penny) Andrews delivered the Valerie Gordon Human Rights Lecture at Northeastern University School of Law on Thursday, April 17, 2014.
  • President and Dean Penelope (Penny) Andrews was recently named to Lawyers of Color's Third Annual Power List Issue, which bills itself as a compendium of “the most influential minority attorneys in the country.”
  • President and Dean Penelope (Penny) Andrews gave a talk on "Rethinking Strategies for Pursuing Women's Human Rights" as part of the Berkshire Human Rights Speaker Series at Bard College at Simon's Rock on Feb. 26, 2014.

  • Dean Penelope (Penny) Andrews delivered the keynote address "Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela: The Long Arc of Justice" at the Troy, N.Y., campus of The Sage Colleges on Feb. 24, 2014.
  • Dean Penelope (Penny) Andrews is an editor of the newly launched African Law eJournal, distributed by the Social Science Research Network and sponsored by The University of California Irvine School of Law.

  • Dean Penelope (Penny) Andrews was honored by the Albany Common Council at a Black History Month event, held at City Hall, that recognized African-America residents of the City of Albany for their contributions to improving life for all residents and visitors to the city.
  • Dean Penelope (Penny) Andrews delivered remarks at New York state’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Observance, held at the Empire State Plaza in Albany on Jan. 20, 2014. She spoke to a congregation in Schenectady, N.Y., on Jan. 19, highlighting similarities in the philosophies of Dr. King and Mandela. On Jan. 24, Dean Andrews spoke to another congregation at a synagogue in Schenectady to commemorate the birthday of Dr. King.
  • Dean Penelope (Penny) Andrews was one of five women selected out of more than 200 nominations for a Women Who Mean Business award from The Business Review.
  • President and Dean Penelope (Penny) Andrews was recently appointed as a member of the Test Development and Research Committee for the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), the organization that administers the LSAT and helps facilitate the law school admission process.
  • President and Dean Penelope (Penny) Andrews delivered the keynote address at the Early Care & Learning Council's 2013 Annual Meeting & Luncheon, held June 5, 2013.

  • Dean Penelope (Penny) Andrews delivered the keynote address at the Annual Meeting and Volunteer Recognition Reception for Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood, Inc., on May 22, 2013.
  • Dean Penelope (Penny) Andrews gave a talk at the conference "Lawrence and Goodridge at 10" to be held at Suffolk University School of Law on April 5, 2013. The conference will facilitate reflection on the decade since the landmark decisions of Lawrence v. Texas and Goodridge v. Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
  • Dean Penelope (Penny) Andrews delivered a presentation for the Zonta Club of Albany at its annual Status of Women dinner on March 13, 2013.

    Dean Andrews also gave a talk to The Women's Club of Albany to celebrate International Women's Day on March 10, 2013.

    Dean Andrews delivered the talk "From Cape Town to Kabul: Rethinking Strategies for Pursuing Women's Human Rights" at Siena College on March 8, 2013.
  • Dean Penelope (Penny) Andrews delivered The 2013 Paul Robeson Lecture, "A Champion for African Freedom: Paul Robeson and the Struggle Against Apartheid," at Columbia Law School on Feb. 28, 2013.
  • President and Dean Penelope (Penny) Andrews was named to the list of the top 100 most influential black attorneys working in government, academics, and the public and private sectors. This is the second consecutive year Dean Andrews has been named as a Power 100 honoree by the organization On Being a Black Lawyer.

  • President & Dean Penelope (Penny) Andrews was elected to the board of directors for the Center for Economic Growth (CEG) at the organization’s annual member meeting in Schenectady, N.Y., on Oct. 24.

In the News

  • President & Dean Penelope (Penny) Andrews was profiled in the spring 2014 issue of Columbia Law School Magazine.
  • Dean Penelope (Penny) Andrews participated in a PBS NewHour roundtable to discuss "How Mandela forever changed South Africa" on Dec. 6, 2013.

  • President & Dean Penelope (Penny) Andrews' book From Cape Town to Kabul was reviewed by CUNY Law Professor Ruthann Robson on JOTWELL, an online journal for legal academics to identify, celebrate and discuss the best new legal scholarship.

  • Dean Penelope (Penny) Andrews discussed Nelson Mandela's legacy for a segment that aired on WAMC on July 7, 2013.
  • Dean Penelope (Penny) Andrews was interviewed for WNYT's "Today's Women" series on May 2, 2013.
  • Guest speakers during a luncheon at the Radisson Hotel-Utica Centre are: Attorney Frances E. Cafarell, Utica native and clerk of the Appellate Division, Fourth Department; and Penelope Andrews, president and dean of Albany Law School.

    From the article "Law Day celebration features women and the law" in the Utica, N.Y., Observer-Dispatch April 30, 2013.
  • Dean Penelope (Penny) Andrews appeared on WNYT's Forum 13 to talk about her new book From Cape Town to Kabul: Rethinking Strategies for Pursuing Women’s Human Rights on Feb. 3, 2013.
  • Dean Penelope (Penny) Andrews appeared on The Capitol Pressroom to talk about her new book From Cape Town to Kabul: Rethinking Strategies for Pursuing Women’s Human Rights on Jan. 18, 2013.
  • Dean Penelope (Penny) Andrews appeared on WAMC's The Roundtable to talk about her new book From Cape Town to Kabul: Rethinking Strategies for Pursuing Women’s Human Rights on Jan. 9, 2013.

  • President and Dean Penelope (Penny) Andrews was the subect of a profile titled "Long road to law dean" in the Albany Times Union on Aug. 24.