Research Portal

Faculty of Law | University of the Western Cape

Research Portal

Faculty of Law | University of the Western Cape


About UWC Law Faculty

uwc law faculty

Our teams
Journal editors
Faculty members
Our partners


Steeped in a culture of human rights and constitutionalism, the Faculty has a proud tradition of socially engaged research and publication. This research portal highlights our continued engagement with some of the most critical issues our time -- from climate threats and corruption to far-reaching changes in the employment landscape, the situation of children and families in Africa, the way that legal-political systems can be engineered for liberation or enslavement, and more.

The Faculty consists of research niches, centres and institutes, as well as departments; we also publish two peer-reviewed journals, in addition to a range of other works.

Faculty structure

Research niches
    • Global Environmental Law (GEL)
      Global environmental degradation in the Anthropocene is a pressing issue that requires an innovative and radical legal response.
    • Labour Law in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (LL4.0)
      This niche area focuses on a question presenting fundamental challenges for labour and social security law internationally: the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ (platform work, artificial intelligence, automation, robotification) and its impact.
Centres and institutes
    • Dullah Omar Institute for Constitutional Law, Governance and Human Rights
      The Dullah Omar Institute , formerly the Community Law Centre, at the University of the Western Cape, established in 1990, works to realise the democratic values and human rights enshrined in South Africa’s Constitution. It is founded on the belief that our constitutional order must promote good governance, socio-economic development and the protection of the rights of vulnerable and disadvantaged groups. Given the need for regional integration to encourage development in Africa, the Centre also seeks to advance human rights and democracy in this broader context. Based on high quality research, the Centre engages in policy development, advocacy and educational initiatives, focusing on areas critical to the realisation of human rights and democracy in South Africa and Africa in general.
    • Social Law Project
      A dynamic research and training unit staffed by a core of legal professionals specialising in labour and social security law. It provides training services in labour and social security law with a focus on client-specific training needs, and conducts applied research supportive of the development of employment rights and rights-based culture in the workplace.
    • South African-German Centre for Transnational Criminal Justice
      Set up in 2008 as one of the five Centres of Excellence in Africa, supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) with funds from the German Foreign Office. The Criminal Justice Division of the Centre is based in the Law Faculty and runs the LLM and PhD programme ‘Transnational Criminal Justice and Crime Prevention - An International and African Perspective’ in conjunction with the Law Faculty of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.
    • Criminal Justice and Procedure
      The Department of Criminal Justice and Procedure offers a select menu of highly sought-after elective courses in criminal law, child justice, conveyancing, legal process, and comparative criminal justice. The Department also conducts and publishes internationally recognised research in these subject areas.
    • Mercantile and Labour Law
      The Department of Mercantile and Labour Law introduces students to the world of commercial and business law. The Department’s focus is on developing student and staffs’ critical thinking skills and supplying them with practical, transferable capabilities to positively contribute to the legal profession or corporate field.
    • Public Law and Jurisprudence
      The Department of Public Law and Jurisprudence prides itself on the extensive variety of courses it offers, both at undergraduate and postgraduate level, as well as its strong record of high quality research. In addition to the courses that are traditionally regarded as falling within public law and jurisprudence the Department presents a diverse menu of elective courses including, among others, Advanced Public Law, Environmental law, Gender Law, Immigration and Refugee Law, and the South African Bill of Rights.
    • Private Law
      The Department of Private Law continues to offer academic programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate level on a range of topics including Legal Systems, Customary Law, Family Law, Property Law, Intellectual Property Law, Muslim Personal Law and Law of Trusts. Members of the Department also offer high level expertise and research in these specialist subjects.
    • Law, Democracy & Development (LDD)
      LDD focuses on the way that the law regulates important aspects of the economic process such as trade and industry, labour, the environment, education, training and culture; the protection and extension of rights which drive and mould socio-economic development such as political rights, gender rights, children's rights, labour rights and other rights which enable the individual to participate in civil society; and the influence of international and regional developments in the areas of policy and law on socio-economic development.
    • Journal of Anti-Corruption Law (JACL)
      Corruption is a major problem in all parts of the world and its calamitous effects are well documented. JACL is a project of the Department of Criminal Justice and Procedure in the Faculty of Law. It is an open-access, peer-reviewed journal which publishes articles, case notes and comments on any issue relevant to corruption in particular and to economic crimes in general, including money-laundering, racketeering and fraud.

Our teams

Research niche: Children's Rights and Family Law in the African Context

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Research niche: Global Environmental Law

 New Scholtz 130 X130 New Kasker 130 X130  Profile Duncan French 130 X130  Profile Alexander Gillespie 130 X130  

Prof Werner Scholtz

Dr Muhammad Sameer Kasker
Prof Duncan French
Research associate
Prof Alexander Gillespie
Research associate 


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Research niche: Labour Law in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

 New Benjamin 130 X130 New Collier 130 X130  New Dutoit 130 X130  New Beukman 130 X130  

Prof Paul Benjamin

Prof Debbie Collier
Research associate
Prof Darcy du Toit
Ratula Beukman


 New Booys 130 X130 New Davids 130 X130  New Kondo 130 X130  New Mullagee 130 X130  

Ernest Booys

Sedica Davids
Dr Tinashe Kondo
Fairuz Mullagee



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Centres and institutes: Centre for Legal Integration in Africa (CLIA)


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Centres and institutes: African Centre for Transnational Criminal Justice (ACTCJ)

 Actcj Iyi Mj 130 X130 Actcj Mezmur B 130 X130

Assoc Prof John-Mark Iyi
Acting Director

Prof Benyam D Mezmur

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Journal editors

Law, Democracy & Development

The editors of Law, Democracy & Development are:

Radley Henrico (Associate Professor, University of the Western Cape): Editor-in-Chief

Riekie Wandrag (Associate Professor of Law, University of the Western Cape)

Kitty Malherbe (Professor, Faculty of Law, University of the Western Cape)

Ebenezer Durojaye (Coordinator, Socio-Economic Rights Project, Dullah Omar Institute, University of the Western Cape)

Tinashe Kondo (Lecturer, University of the Western Cape)

Robert Nanima (Post-doctoral research, Dullah Omar Institute)

Sarah Fick (Senior lecturer, University of the Western Cape)

Windell Nortje (Senior lecturer, University of the Western Cape)

Yeukai Mupangavanhu (Associate Professor of Law, University of the Western Cape)


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Journal of Anti-Corruption Law

The editors of the Journal of Anti-Corruption Law are:

Prof Lovell Fernandez, Faculty of Law, University of the Western Cape

Prof Raymond Koen, Faculty of Law, University of the Western Cape

Prof Jamil Mujuzi, Faculty of Law, University of the Western Cape

Prof Abraham Hamman, Faculty of Law, University of the Western Cape

Dr Norman Mugarura, Makerere University Business School, Uganda


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Faculty members

Click on the links below to view the profiles of current and former members of faculty.

Our partners

 Arbeidsmarketresearch Logo2 
  Arbeidsmarketresearch UvA BV 



Arbeidsmarketresearch UvA BV (ARR) is affiliated with the Labour Law department of the University of Amsterdam and was founded in 2010 by Professor Evert Verhulp. ARR develops digital, legal knowledge systems in the field of labour law. Its main goal is to make the law more accessible and give users insight into their legal position.


 New Westerncapecolab 
  CoLab for e-Inclusion and Social Innovation 



Since the inception of the CoLab for eInclusion and Social Innovation at the University of the Western Cape (2009) and the establishment of the partnership with national government, it regarded its role as providing research-based thought leadership in terms of the national and provincial discourse and action agenda towards equitable digital inclusion and competitiveness in the digital economy.

To this end, the CoLab participated in national and especially provincial processes to further the digital skills agenda and to develop research outputs, learning content and products for the benefit of the national network of CoLabs and in support of the national digital skills agenda.

Over the past 6 years the CoLab has actively developed its ecosystem of entrepreneurial digital inclusion intermediaries all over the province. The CoLab has invested in the development of this network of trusted delivery partners in order to build our capacity to more sustainable scale our interventions.

The most important role fulfilled by the CoLab is that of catalyst and change agent role, engaging with various stakeholders to elicit support for the human capital development (digital skills) interventions that will contribute towards a digitally inclusive and sustainable society.


 New Fairwork 



There are now tens of millions of digital platform workers that live all over the world, doing work that is outsourced via platforms or apps.

Platform work provides essential income and opportunities to many. However, lacking protection from employment law or collective bodies, many platform workers face low pay, precarity, and poor and dangerous working conditions.

Fairwork is committed to highlighting best and worst practices in the emerging platform economy. We have brought together platforms, workers, trade unions, regulators, and academics to set global principles for fair work in the platform economy. Those principles have been revised in a series of tripartite workshops in South Africa, India, and Germany. Using those principles, we give every platform a ‘fairness’ score.

Fairwork draws on the expertise of staff at the Universities of Oxford, Cape Town, Manchester, and the Western Cape in work practices and working conditions on digital labour platforms. Project staff work to translate our principles into measurable thresholds, conduct rigorous research to evaluate platforms against those thresholds, and publish our results in a transparent manner.


 New Hsi 
  Hugo Sinzheimer Institute for Labour and Social Security Law 



The Hugo Sinzheimer Institute for Labour and Social Security Law (HSI) is a research institute of the Hans Böckler Foundation based in Frankfurt am Main (Germany). In the spirit of Sinzheimer, the HSI cultivates an understanding of labour and social security law research that integrates different aspects and includes sociological, legal policy, international and comparative law elements. International law plays a special role, especially the Europeanisation of labour law.

The Institute's fields of work cover the entire field of labour law, with a focus on collective and international labour law, as well as related social security law. It does not only want to pursue fundamental questions and conduct research, but also to deal with topics of current and practical importance for employees, trade unions and works councils in general. It makes an active contribution to the legal policy debates and aims to make the discussion more objective with scientifically substantiated arguments. To this end, the HSI organises conferences and commissions expert opinions from renowned legal scholars. In addition, it participates in scientific and legal policy discussions by giving lectures, issuing statements, participating in various committees and workshops, and publishing its own papers.


 New Iej 
  Institute for Economic Justice 







 Partner Clp 
  International Commission on Legal Pluralism  



The Commission on Folk Law and Legal Pluralism -as it was originally called- was established in 1978 by the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES), and affiliated with the International Association of Legal Science (IALS), on the initiative of professor G. van den Steenhoven, of the Institute of Folk Law, Nijmegen University, the Netherlands.


 Partner University Antwerp 
  Law and Development research group, University of Antwerp 



The Law and Development research group studies whether and how law can enhance human dignity and global justice, in particular for those adversely affected by economic and other forms of globalization. This question is addressed through the prism of both structural inequality between states in North and South (‘developed’ versus ‘developing’ states), and within states.


 New Leiden University 
  Leiden University 



Leiden Law School is one of Leiden University’s seven faculties. Its research is not limited to one single spearhead; rahter, it strives to conduct cutting-edge research across the full breadth of the law.


 Partner Nials 
  Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies  



The Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies is Nigeria’s apex Institution for research and advanced studies in law. It was a brainchild of the legal academic community established in March 1979. One of the main ideas in founding the Institute was to establish it as the centre for advanced legal research for all the Nigerian universities with Faculties of Law, so that all postgraduate work could be undertaken there under the joint auspices of the most experienced and learned academic lawyers available in the country, whether indigenous or foreign.


 New Oxford Hub 
  Oxford Human Rights Hub 



The Oxford Human Rights Hub (OxHRH) aims to bring together academics, practitioners, and policy-makers from across the globe to advance the understanding and protection of human rights and equality. Through the vigorous exchange of ideas and resources, we strive to facilitate a better understanding of human rights principles, to develop new approaches to policy, and to influence the development of human rights law and practice.

OxHRH is based in the University of Oxford Faculty of Law and is directed by Professor Sandra Fredman, the Rhodes Professor of the Laws of the British Commonwealth and the USA. The Hub is managed by a team of dedicated academics and students.

The Oxford Human Rights Hub strives to build a global community around human rights issues by enhancing the understanding of human rights law and practice.

We harness the power of technology to create a rich and freely accessible body of research and learning tools for students, teachers, academics and advocates of human rights both in Oxford and beyond.