Professor Cephas Lumina

LLB (with Merit) (Zambia); LLM in International Human Rights Law (Essex); PhD in International Human Rights Law, GradCertHEd (Griffith) AdvDipIntHR (Abo Akademi); Advocate of the High Court of Zambia
Research Professor
Telephone Number: 
+27 43 704 7526
Teaching Responsibilities: 

Postgraduate (masters and doctoral) research supervision; fostering research environment in the Faculty


Professor Cephas Lumina has close to 30 years’ legal practice, research and university lecturing experience in several countries. From March 2008 to May 2014, he served as the United Nations Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt and other related international financial obligations of States on the full enjoyment of all human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights – one of the “special procedures” of the Human Rights Council. In that capacity, he undertook numerous country visits, conducted analytical thematic studies, engaged in advocacy, raised public awareness, consulted with various stakeholders (including UN bodies, governments, international and regional organizations and civil society organizations), provided advice for technical cooperation concerning the effects of foreign debt and related financial policies on the realization of human rights, presented annual reports to the UN General Assembly and Human Rights Council and contributed to the development of international human rights standards, notably the UN Guiding Principles on Foreign Debt and Human Rights which he wrote and were endorsed by the Human Rights Council in July 2012.

His work, particularly the Guiding Principles on Foreign Debt and Human Rights, is considered as having changed the political and legal landscape in the field of sovereign debt and human rights. Professor Lumina is considered one of the foremost experts on debt and human rights internationally and is regularly called as a consultant by the UN and other international organisations, development agencies and states. His statements on issues of sovereign debt and human rights have been invoked by a wide range of actors including the British Houses of Commons and Lords, the Federal Parliament of Australia, the Group of 77 nations and China, and non-governmental organisations. In 2015, he was appointed by the President of the Hellenic (Greek) Parliament as a member of the Greek Truth Committee on Public Debt – a body of international and Greek experts established to assess the legality, legitimacy and sustainability of Greece’s public debt. In June 2016, he was elected by the 196 States Parties to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to serve on the 18-member UN Committee on the Rights of the Child for a four year term effective March 2017.

Professor Lumina has served as a Visiting Professor at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at Lund University, Sweden and the University of Lusaka, Zambia and as a Visiting Lecturer at Makerere University in Uganda. Since 2010, he has served as an Extra-Ordinary Professor of Human Rights Law at the University of Pretoria. He is currently a member of the prestigious Institut International des Droits de l’Homme (International Institute of Human Rights), the Executive Committee of the African Network of Constitutional Lawyers, the academic representative of Sub-Saharan African on the Steering Committee of the Extra-Territorial Human Rights Obligations (ETO) Consortium, a member of the Academic Advisory Group of Jubilee Debt Campaign, Managing Editor of Speculum Juris (journal of the Nelson R Mandela School of Law, University of Fort Hare) and a member of the editorial boards of the African Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law and the International Human Rights Law Review. Professor Lumina has co-authored a book (with Tshepo Mongalo and Fahreen Kader) with the title: Forms of Business Enterprise: Theory, Structure and Operation (2004) and published several articles, book chapters and official reports on various areas of law, particularly on human rights and presented at numerous international conferences. He has featured in international news media (radio and television), including the BBC, Al Jazeera and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.