The inspirational keynotes by Paul Van Zyl draw attention to the persistence of human rights violations. Zyl addresses the critical need for justice, especially where disputed political situations such as Guantanamo Bay are concerned. His unrelenting commitment to the topic has brought about new levels of interest, shining light upon events that are often swept under the rug.
Zyl's interest in human rights stems from his birth in South Africa where he vehemently opposed apartheid. In 1996 he graduated from Johannesburg's University of the Witwatersrand with a law degree. He continued his studies at the Netherlands' University of Leiden, finishing with an LL.M. in 1997. His eastern pursuits were followed up on in the west with his 1999 graduation from NYU's School of Law Hauser Global Law Scholar Program.
The keynotes by Paul Van Zyl are reflective of his 2001 foundation of the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ). The organization does an excellent job of dealing with mass human rights abuses via its New York office. Zyl's dedication to this noble field has been acknowledged several times over with his receipt of the Young Global Leader award in 2008 and by way of his 2009 NYU Law Recent Graduate Award.