Christina Murray

Emerita Professor

Christina Murray (Emeritus Professor) is currently living in London, serving a third term as a senior member of the Mediation Support Standby Team of the United Nations’ Department of Political Affairs with a focus on constitutions and power-sharing. Before this Christina worked on the constitutional support team of the Special Advisor to the Secretary General of the United Nations on Yemen.

In 2012 Christina was a member of the Constitution Commission of Fiji. Between February 2009 and October 2010 she served as a member of the Kenyan Committee of Experts appointed by the Kenyan Parliament to draft a new Constitution of Kenya. That Constitution became law in Kenya on 27 August 2010.

Prof Murray's first experience in constitution-making was serving on a panel of seven experts advising the South African Constitutional Assembly in drafting South Africa's 'final' Constitution between 1994 and 1996. Since then she has advised a number of government departments in South Africa on the implementation of the new system of multi-level government and worked with South Africa's national Parliament and many of its nine provincial legislatures. In addition to Yemen, Kenya and Fiji, her most recent constitutional work outside South Africa has concerned Somalia, Egypt, Libya, Sudan, South Sudan, Nepal, Zimbabwe and Pakistan.

Christina has taught and written on human rights law (and particularly issues relating to gender equality, violence against women, constitutional rights for women and African customary law), international law, and constitutional law (including systems of government, multilevel government, fiscal federalism and traditional leadership). Between 1992 and 2004 she was director of UCT's Law, Race and Gender Research Unit (now the Centre for Law & Society). LRG's main work was in the field of judicial education on social context issues, especially on race and gender. She was head of the Department of Public Law at the University of Cape Town from 2002 - 2008 and Deputy Dean of the Law Faculty from 2000 - 2002.

She has held fellowships at the Woodrow Wilson School in Princeton and the United States Institute for Peace, among others.

Recent publications 

‘Presidential term limits and the African Union’ (with Micha Wiebusch) (2019) 63(S1) Journal of African Law 131-160. doi:10.1017/S0021855319000056 open access available at

‘Presidential Term Limits and the International Community’ (with Eric Alston and Micha Wiebusch) in Alexander Baturo and Robert Elgie (eds) Politics of Presidential Term Limits forthcoming 2019, Oxford University Press.

‘The reform of South Africa’s security sector in the context of the transition to democracy’ (with Richard Stacey) in Security Sector Reform and Constitutional Transitions, forthcoming 2019, Oxford University Press.

‘Power-sharing in Kenya: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea’ (with Nic Cheeseman) in Power-sharing: Empirical and Normative Challenges ed Allison McCulloch and John McGarry (Routledge, London: 2017) 36 – 62.

‘International agencies, constitution-making and gender’ (with Cindy Wittke) in Gender and Constitutions ed Helen Irving (Edward Elgar, Sydney: 2017) 107 – 131.

National Dialogue and Constitution-Making, National Dialogue Handbook Background Paper No. 2. Berlin: Berghof Foundation February 2017. Online at:

‘Constitutional Design in Africa: Is Mix and Match OK?’ (2016) 15 Ethnopolitics pp 528.

‘Constitution-Making in Anglophone Africa: We the People?’ (with Coel Kirkby) in Growing Democracy in Africa: Elections, Accountable Governance, and Political Economy ed Muna Ndulo and Mamoudou Gazibo (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne: 2016) 86 – 113.

South Africa International Encyclopaedia of Laws – Constitution (with Coel Kirkby – editor and contributor) 2014

‘National Dialogues in 2013’ (2014) Constitution Building: A Global Review 2013 (International Idea) pp 11 – 15. Online at:

‘Systems of government’ (with Denis Baranger) Handbook on Constitutional Law ed mark Tushnet, Cheryl Saunders and Thomas Fleiner (Routledge 2013) 73 - 84

‘Kenya’s 2010 Constitution’ (2013) 61 Neue Folge Band Jahrbuch des offentlichen Rechts 747 – 788.

Yemen’s National Dialogue Conference’ Anayasa Hukuku Dergisi/Constitutional Law Review (Turkey) 2013

"South Africa : Promises Unmet, Multilevel Government in South Africa" (with Richard Simeon) in Rekha Saxena (ed) Varieties of Federal Governance (2010 Foundation Books, Cambridge University Press)

Fostering Constitutionalism in Africa (ed with Charles Fombad) (Pretoria University Law Press: 2010)

'Reforming multilevel government in South Africa' (with Richard Simeon) (2009) 43 Canadian Journal of African Studies 536 - 571.

'Learning to Lose, Learning to Win: Government and Opposition in South Africa' Transition to Democracy' (with Richard Simeon and Antoinette Handley) ed J Wong et al Political Transitions in Dominant Party Systems: Learning to Lose (Routledge 2008).

'Subnational Constitution-Making in Southern Sudan' (2006) 37 Rutgers Law Journal 1203-1234 (with Catherine Maywald) 

'South Africa' in Legislative, Executive and Judicial Governance in Federal Countries ed C Saunders and K le Roy (McGill-Queens University Press) (2006) 258-288.

'Traditional Leaders' (with Tom Bennett) in Constitutional Law of South Africa eds Woolman & Roux (2006) pp 26-I-26-67.

'South African's Troubled Royalty: Traditional Leaders after Democracy' Law and Policy Paper 23 (The Federation Press in association with the Centre for International and Public Law, Faculty of Law, the Australian National University) 2004

"Provincial Constitutions in South Africa: The (non)Example of the Western Cape" (2001) Neue Folge Band 49 Jahrbuch des offentlichen Rechts 481 - 512.