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Penelope Van Tuyl

Woman smiling with hands in pockets in outdoor breezeway

Penelope Van Tuyl

Associate Director
Handa Affiliation(s): 

Penelope Van Tuyl is an American human rights lawyer.  She received her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, and is admitted to practice in the state of California. She has worked closely with Professor Cohen since 2006 on human rights and rule of law projects in Southeast Asia, West Africa, and Europe.

For the last several years, as Deputy Director for the Handa Center's predecessor institution (the War Crimes Studies Center) Van Tuyl has overseen several key initiatives, including the Virtual Tribunal project, the Center's trial monitoring programs at international criminal tribunals in Cambodia, Sierra Leone and Bangladesh, and the annual Summer Institute in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. She has also been the primary point person at the Center for student engagement, managing oversight of student research projects, and matching interested and qualified students with internship opportunities at project sites overseas. Van Tuyl has authored and edited numerous reports and articles on international criminal law and procedure. She has also taught undergraduate courses in human rights and international law at UC Berkeley.

Her research interests touch on substantive, procedural, and administrative aspects of international criminal law practice; in particular, she focuses on Joint Criminal Enterprise (JCE) liability, standards of pleading in international courts, and the institutional accountability mechanisms that are meant to support the effective and efficient administration of justice. Van Tuyl graduated Summa Cum Laude from Amherst College, with a BA in International Relations and Latin American Studies.