Tendayi Achiume is the second recipient of the Binder Clinical Teaching Fellowship. Her scholarship interrogates how international law and norms, and transnational legal processes, shape domestic equality outcomes. Her work pursues these themes in the context of mass migration. In addition her research studies how international legal institutions manage geopolitical power imbalances in the field of international criminal law. In this area her focus has been the relationship between the International Criminal Court, the United Nations Security Council, and the African Union.
Tendayi Achiume earned her B.A. with distinction at Yale University in 2005. As an undergraduate, she received the Sunrise Foundation, Topol Foundation, and Georg Leitner fellowships respectively, for independent research on land reform in South Africa. In 2008, Achiume received her J.D. from Yale Law School. While at law school, she also earned a Graduate Certificate in Development Studies from Yale, and was a member of the Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic. Achiume served as Managing Editor of Submissions for the Yale Journal of International Law and was awarded the Howard M. Holtzmann Fellowship in International Arbitration and Dispute Resolution for her research on the role of transnational public policy in international arbitration. As a Kirby Simon summer fellow, Achiume worked at Human Rights Watch with the Hissène Habré prosecution team and then worked for a Senegalese human rights NGO.
After law school, Achiume was a Fox International Fellow at the University of Cape Town, conducting research on the relationship between the normative legitimacy of refugee rights laws in South Africa and their effectiveness. She also worked as a law clerk to Deputy Chief Justice Moseneke and Justice Mokgoro on the Constitutional Court of South Africa. Following her clerkship, she received the 2009-2010 Bernstein International Human Rights Fellowship to spend a year working with Lawyers for Human Rights in its Johannesburg Refugee and Migrant Rights Project unit. In addition to providing direct legal services to refugees and migrants from across the continent, she has been involved in other advocacy projects, particularly on issues relating to Zimbabwean refugees and migrants in South Africa. Achiume also designed and taught a semester-long seminar in the International Human Rights Exchange Programme, which is based at the University of the Witswatersrand in Johannesburg and administered jointly with Bard College. After completing her fellowship at the Lawyers for Human Rights, Achiume joined the national law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, where she has been a litigation associate specializing in commercial law. Her publications include “Beyond Prejudice: An Antisubordination Approach to Xenophobic Discrimination Against Refugees,” which is forthcoming (2014) in the Georgetown Journal of International Law; and a co-authored piece, “Prison Conditions in South Africa and the Role of Public Interest Litigation Since 1994” in 27(1) South African Journal of Human Rights 183 (2011).