Director of Research
“I draw deep satisfaction from working on issues that deal very directly with fundamental rights while also engaging in questions of how to build a peaceful society”.

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Hugo van der Merwe is the Transitional Justice Programme Manager at the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation in South Africa. Since joining CSVR in 1997, he has developed and managed numerous research projects evaluating the work and impact of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and managed various research, advocacy and intervention projects relating to transitional justice in South Africa and the African continent.  Hugo is the Co-Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Transitional Justice.  He is the co-editor of “Assessing the Impact of Transitional Justice” (USIP Press, 2009), “Truth and Reconciliation in South Africa: Did the TRC Deliver?” (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008), and “Conflict Resolution Theory and Practice” (Manchester University Press, 1993). Hugo received his doctorate in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University (1999) and a BSc from the University of Cape Town (majoring in Statistics and Sociology).  Hugo was previously employed at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (Johannesburg)Centre for Conflict Resolution (Cape Town), Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (USA) and the National Institute for Dispute Resolution (USA). Hugo specialises in research design and management, and his content expertise extends to transitional justice, conflict resolution, DDR, restorative justice, rule of law, and reconciliation.  He teaches courses on Post-conflict Justice and Justice and Transformation in Practice in the University of Cape Town’s MA programme in Justice and Transformation.

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