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Public Law


  • The Department of Public Law announces the appointment of two new research associates, namely Prof Sam Adelman, an expert in climate change, legal theory, and international development law and human rights, and Mr Phil Snijman, an expert in the field of environmental prosecutions and fisheries crime.


  • The Department of Public Law is proud of Adjunct Professor Lilla Crouse, who in addition to representing the families of the deceased Life Esidemeni victims, is also involved in the following important Constitutional Court case:


    Family: Marriage discrimination case before ConCourt

    Heads of argument filed with the Constitutional Court by Legal Aid SA Advocates Lilla Crouse and Chris Schuring, representing an unemployed mother (47) of two adult children, who is also the ex-wife of a Deputy Minister, say her case highlights the discrimination against women who live in a patriarchal community in the former Transkei. ‘After a marriage of 19 years and raising two children, she will be left destitute after the divorce,’ reads the document, as reported by The Sunday Independent. It notes that according to the papers, no legislation exists to make it possible for women married under the Transkei Marriage Act to seek a redistribution of assets on divorce. ‘Other women similarly situated as the applicant have historically been discriminated against in many respects. They are often poor and nearly always vulnerable to abuse in a patriarchal system,’ her advocates say. ‘Persons married in terms of the Transkei Marriage Act are discriminated against on the basis of race, gender, sex, marital status, ethnic or social origin. This discrimination also violates the applicant’s and similarly situated persons’ constitutional rights to dignity,’ argue Crouse and Schuring. The papers cite the reason for the divorce as the former Deputy Minister ‘ fathering children out of wedlock’. But he insists this does not constitute grounds for divorce. The Deputy Minister, who is an advocate, illegally married another woman by customary rites while he was civilly married to his ex-wife. She has asked the Constitutional Court to refer the matter back to the Mthatha Regional Court to determine her proprietary interests and those of her ex-husband.


  • Nceba Mafa and Katongo Bwalya represented the Nelson Mandela University at the 26th African Human Rights Moot Court Competition hosted by the University of Mauritius. They were accompanied by Dr Joanna Botha, who participated in the very first African Human Rights Moot Court Competition in 1992.


  • Congratulations to Prof Vrancken, the incumbent of the NRF Chair in the Law of the Sea and Development in Africa, on his contribution to the work of the Institute for Coastal and Marine Research (CMR). The CMR was also recognised via receipt of an Engagement Excellence Team Award at the recent university Awards Ceremony.


  • Congratulations to Prof Hennie van As and the FishForce team who received the Engagement Excellence Project Award at the Teaching and Research Awards 2017.