Andrew Novak

Andrew Novak

Andrew Novak

Assistant Professor

Death penalty, comparative constitutional law, Sub-Saharan Africa, international criminal law

Andrew Novak is a specialist in international and comparative law and teaches courses related to international criminal justice and human rights.  He was previously an adjunct professor of law at American University Washington College of Law, where he taught African Law.  A lawyer by training, most of his research has been on the death penalty and comparative constitutional law, especially in common law Africa. Currently, his research focuses on comparative executive clemency and litigation against anti-sodomy laws. He has also written on sport history, international criminal law, LGBT rights, and African politics. He is licensed to practice law in New York and the District of Columbia, and served as a law clerk to the Chief Administrative Law Judge in the United States Department of Labor. 

Selected Publications

With Daniel Pascoe, ed. Executive Clemency: Comparative and Empirical Perspectives (Routledge: 2020).

Transnational Human Rights Litigation: Challenging the Death Penalty and Criminalization of Homosexuality in the Commonwealth (Springer: 2019).

The African Challenge to Global Death Penalty Abolition: International Human Rights Norms in Local Perspective (Intersentia: 2016).

Comparative Executive Clemency: The Constitutional Pardon Power and the Prerogative of Mercy in Global Perspective (Routledge: 2015).

The International Criminal Court: An Introduction (Springer: 2015).

The Global Decline of the Mandatory Death Penalty:  Constitutional Jurisprudence and Legislative Reform in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean (Ashgate Law: 2014).

The Death Penalty in Africa:  Foundations and Future Prospects (Palgrave Macmillan: 2014).


Expanded Publication List

“Toward a Critical Criminology of HIV Criminalization,” Critical Criminology (forthcoming December 2020).

“Rhodesia and FIFA: Racial Discrimination, Political Legitimacy and Football, 1960 to 1980,” Soccer & Society, pre-publication DOI:

“The ‘Judicial Dialogue’ in Transnational Human Rights Litigation: Muruatetu v. Republic and the Abolition of the Mandatory Death Penalty in Kenya,” 18 Human Rights Law Review 771 (2018).

“Capital Punishment in Precolonial Africa: The Authenticity Challenge,” 50 Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law 71 (2018).

“Using International and Foreign Law in Human Rights Litigation: The Decriminalization of Consensual Same-Sex Relations in Belize,” 10 Journal of Human Rights Practice 346 (2018).

“Toward a Global Consensus on Life Imprisonment without Parole: Transnational Legal Advocates and the Zimbabwe Constitutional Court’s Decision in Makoni v. Commissioner of Prisons,” 62 Journal of African Law 315 (2018).

“The Role of Legal Advocates in Transnational Judicial Dialogue: The Abolition of the Mandatory Death Penalty and the Evolution of International Law,” 25 Cardozo Journal of International and Comparative Law 179 (2017).

“The Abolition of the Mandatory Death Penalty in Bangladesh: A Comment on Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust v. Bangladesh,” 15 Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal 277 (2016).

“Comparative Perspectives on Pardon Reform: Global Lessons for Federal Clemency in the United States,” 49 University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform 101 (2016).

Courses Taught

Law and Justice Around the World

Human Rights and Justice

Social Inequality, Crime, and Justice

Capital Punishment (Special Topics)

Honors Seminar

Values, Ethics, and Criminal Justice Policy

War Crimes Trials: From Nuremberg to The Hague

Study Abroad


Ph.D., Middlesex University London School of Law

J.D., Boston University School of Law

M.Sc. (African Politics), London School of Oriental and African Studies

B.A., International Affairs, George Washington University