Heinz Klug

John and Rylla Bosshard Professor of Law

Heinz  Klug


Room 8109, Law School

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S.J.D. University of Wisconsin Law School, 1997
J.D., University of California - Hastings College of the Law, 1989
B.A., University of Natal, 1977 (Honours in Comparative African
Government and Administration, 1978)


Heinz Klug is the John and Rylla Bosshard Professor of Law at the University of Wisconsin Law School. He is a member of the California Bar (inactive) and is admitted as a Advocate in South Africa. Growing up in Durban, South Africa, he participated in the anti-apartheid struggle, spent 11 years in exile and returned to South Africa in 1990 as a member of the ANC Land Commission and researcher for Zola Skweyiya, chairperson of the ANC Constitutional Committee. He was also a team member on the World Bank mission to South Africa on Land Reform and Rural Restructuring. He has taught at Wisconsin since September 1996.

Professor Klug taught law at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg from 1991-1996, offering courses on Public International Law, Human Rights Law, Property Law, Post-Apartheid Law and Introduction to South African Law, among others. He also worked as a legal advisor after 1994 with the South African Ministry of Water Affairs and Forestry as well as the Ministry of Land Affairs on water law and land tenure issues. In 2013 Professor Klug was awarded a Doctor Honoris Causa from Hasselt University in Belgium.

Professor Klug has presented lectures and papers on the South African constitution, land reform, and water law, among other topics, in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Ethiopia, Germany, South Africa, the Netherlands, and at several U.S. law schools. His research interests include: constitutional transitions, constitution-building, human rights, international legal regimes and natural resources. His teaching areas include Comparative Constitutional Law, Constitutional Law, Constitution Making, Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Property, and Natural Resources Law.

Professor Klug has published a number of books: on South Africa's democratic transition, "Constituting Democracy" Cambridge University Press in 2000; on the "The Constitution of South Africa" Hart in 2010; on "The New Legal Realism: Studying Law Globally" (with Sally Merry) Cambridge University Press in 2016; and the Research Handbook on Modern Legal Realism (with Shauhin Talesh and Elizabeth Mertz), Edward Elgar in 2021.

Scholarship & Publications


Law Repository


  • Sumudu Atapattu, Joshua Braver, Heinz Klug and Mark Sidel spoke on global perspectives on civic health at the UW-Madison Center for Community and Nonprofit Studies conference on civic health on April 16, 2024.

  • Heinz Klug presented "Between Principles and Power: Water Law Principles and the Governance of Water in Post-Apartheid South Africa" during Hydropower, Water Insecurity and Law in Southern Africa Jan. 24, 2022. Watch the presentation

  • Heinz Klug gave the following lectures in Chile in November 2021: Universidad Diego Portales, Santiago, Chile: Jorge Huneeus Public Law Lecture, Cátedra de derecho constitucional Jorge Huneeus Zegers: Configurando imaginarios constitucionales; and Centro de Estudios Publicos, Procesos constituyentes en contextos de polarización: lecciones desde Sudáfrica.

  • Heinz Klug presented "Democratic Erosion in South Africa" as part of the Federal University of Minas Gerias (Brazil): UFMG Constitutionalism and Democracy Seminar Series on Oct. 19, 2021, via Zoom.

  • Heinz Klug is chairing the search-and-screen committee to find a new UW Law dean. Other committee members include: Michelle Behnke, Roman Gierok, Erica Halverson, Alexandra Huneeus, Richard Monette, Yaron Nili, Kim Peterson, Howard Schweber, Mitra Sharafi, Susannah Tahk, Janice Toliver, Kathryn VandenBosch, Steven Wright, and Jason Yackee.

  • Heinz Klug was elected to the board of trustees of the Law and Society Association. As a member of the LSA Trustee Class of 2022, he will serve a three-year term on the board.

  • João Daniel Resque is a visiting scholar through the Global Legal Studies progrm through May 2019. Resque's home institution is Pontificia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro, UW Law School's exchange partner. His faculty advisor is Heinz Klug.

  • Heinz Klug presented his paper, "Achieving Rights to Land, Water and Health in Post-Apartheid South Africa," at the 2011 conference on "Rights and Their Translation into Practice: Toward a Synthetic Framework" at the Rogers College of Law, University of Arizona.

  • In 2010, Hart Publishing has released "The Constitution of South Africa: A Contextual Analysis," by Associate Dean and Professor Heinz Klug. Part of the Hart's Constitutional Systems of the World series, the book presents the South African Constitution in its historical and social context, providing students and teachers of constitutional law and politics a resource through which to understand the emergence, development, and continuing application of the supreme law of South Africa.

Teaching Areas

  • Comparative Law
  • Constitutional Law
  • Human Rights Law
  • International Law
  • Property Law

Recently Taught Courses

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