Howard Varney. Photo by Matt Rhodes, Wayamo.
Howard Varney. Photo by Matt Rhodes, Wayamo.

Africa Group Justice Talks: ICTJ’s Howard Varney

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Howard Varney speaks about the transitional justice in South Africa, reflecting on the rainbow nation, successes, failures and mistakes in the 1990s and today.

Varney is a senior program adviser with the International Center for Transitional Justice, and a practicing advocate at the Johannesburg Bar. 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 organised 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.

Varney 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

On 18-19 October 2016, the Africa Group for Justice and Accountability and the Wayamo Foundation hosted International Symposium on the theme, “Towards a System of International Justice” in Arusha, Tanzania, where Varney was a panellist.


The Africa Group Justice Talks are a series of interviews about justice and accountability in Africa and beyond, featuring experts and leaders from the fields of human rights, international criminal law, politics and civil society.

For more videos from the Africa Group for Justice and Accountability, visit our YouTube channel.