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Research Portal

Faculty of Law | University of the Western Cape

Research Portal

Faculty of Law | University of the Western Cape

CENTRE FOR LEGAL INTEGRATION IN AFRICA (CLIA)

About us

centre for legal integration

Our history
Our mission
Thematic focus
Our team
Our partners

Our history

The Centre for Legal Integration in Africa (CLIA) was born on 12 October 2020 after its approval by the Council of the University of the Western Cape. With a stellar team of researchers and advisory board, CLIA is designed to be a confluence of interdisciplinary research on the interaction of legal orders in sub-Saharan Africa. Its high-quality research will be disseminated through scholarly publications, workshops, conferences and visiting fellowships, as well as postgraduate teaching and supervision.


Our mission

From the colonial era, the interaction of legal orders, otherwise known as legal pluralism, has been problematic in sub-Saharan Africa. However, history suggests that the laws imposed on African countries through colonial transplants and their accompanying socioeconomic changes will eventually merge with indigenous African laws. While post-apartheid law reforms point towards a South African common law, systematic research on legal integration is missing.

To fill this gap, CLIA pioneers interdisciplinary research, policy engagement and social outreach on legal pluralism in Africa. It uses the innovative concept of adaptive legal pluralism to shift scholarly and policy attention from conflict of laws to dialogue between state laws and indigenous African laws. Through the interdisciplinary expertise of its members and research associates in law, anthropology, history and political science, it targets development practitioners and policy makers such as judges, ministry of justice officials, traditional leaders and law reform commissions.


Thematic focus

Research and publication

  • Research on the interaction of state laws and indigenous African laws, including religious laws such as Hindu and Islamic laws, with the aim of legal integration in South Africa.
  • Convene biennial conferences on themes related to the interaction of laws in Africa.
  • Publications in scholarly outlets.

Intellectual capacity-building

  • Coordinate quarterly seminars on African customary law by staff and postgraduate students from neighbouring universities.
  • Convene regular guest lectures by local and international experts in legal pluralism.
  • Initiate research visits and exchanges.
  • Organise biannual empirical methodology workshops for academic staff and students.
  • Offer internships to postgraduate and undergraduate students in the Faculty of Law.

Teaching and supervision

  • Implement a niche postgraduate programme, Legal Pluralism and Family Law in Africa.
  • Supervise masters and doctoral students on themes related to legal pluralism, African customary law and religious legal systems.
  • Mentor doctoral and postdoctoral fellows.

Outreach and advocacy

  • Engage with law reform efforts.
  • Provide a resource hub for government, civil society, scholars, and international organisations interested in legal integration in Africa.
  • Advise development agents, business entities, and research organisations, in recognition that legal regulation is crucial to development.
  • Engage with organs of the African Union such as the Economic, Social and Cultural Council and the Specialised Technical Committees.
  • Partner with the International Commission on Legal Pluralism (formerly the Commission on Folk Law and Legal Pluralism) and similar organisations that work on legal pluralism.

Our team

Core team

New Dialo

DIRECTOR

Centre for Legal Integration in Africa

Associate Professor

Department of Private Law, UWC Law Faculty

 
Assoc Prof Anthony C Diala  

 

Specialisation

Legal pluralism, indigenous African law, good governance and human rights

Bio in brief

Anthony C. Diala is a legal anthropologist, an advocate, and an associate professor in the Department of Private Law at UWC. His interdisciplinary research focuses on legal pluralism, specifically the interplay of African customary law and state law, and their effect on law reforms and legal emancipation. He has researched, lectured, and advocated across four continents, notably in the International Criminal Court at the Hague, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative, Uganda, the Justice and Peace Commission, Nigeria, and universities in South Africa, Nigeria, Uganda and Somaliland.

Diala is rated as an ‘established researcher’ (C2) by the South African National Research Foundation. He is the 2020 Diaspora Scholar at the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, a workshop leader for the Next Generation in Africa programme of the Social Science Research Council of New York, a member of the Research Quality Plus College of Reviewers of Canada’s International Development Research Centre, and a member of the College of Senior Mentors of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa. He has won grants and held fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Nordic Africa Institute, the Social Science Research Council of New York, the Institute of International Education, the German Academic Exchange Service, and the South African National Research Foundation.

Publication overview

For more information, click here.

Contact

adiala@uwc.ac.za
Profile F Du Toit

FOUNDING MEMBER

Centre for Legal Integration in Africa

Head of Department (Private Law)

University of the Western Cape

 
Prof Francois du Toit  

 

Specialisation

Succession law and trust law

Bio in brief

Francois du Toit teaches and researches in Succession Law and Trust Law. He is an NRF B-rated researcher in these disciplines. He is a former Deputy Dean of the UWC Law Faculty, and is currently the Head of the Private Law Department. Francois held a COIMBRA Scholarship for researchers from Sub-Saharan Africa and South Africa to the University of Groningen (2011); he was a research fellow at the Institute of European and Comparative Law at the University of Oxford (2013); he served as a member of an international peer-review committee for the evaluation of the Onderzoekschool Ius Commune, a research school collaboratively organised by the faculties of law of the universities of Maastricht, Utrecht, Leuven and Amsterdam (2013), as well as for a committee evaluating the Law Faculty of the University of Groningen (2016); he was a research fellow at the University of Melbourne’s Law School (2014); and he was a visiting professor at the Center of Civil Law Studies at the Louisiana State University Law Center (2016 and 2018).

Publication overview

'Remedying formal irregularities in wills: a comparative analysis of testamentary rescue in Canada and South Africa'. Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal, 1-24 (2020)

'The proposed dispensing power regarding formally-irregular wills: lessons from the South African experience with testamentary rescue'. Law Quarterly Review 136 (1), 191-195 (2020)

Fundamentals of South African Trust Law. F du Toit, B Smith (2019) 'Not-for-profit organizations and equality law'. Research Handbook on Not-For-Profit Law, 231-251 (2018)

'The core elements of the South African trust and the remedies of trust beneficiaries'. La Fiducie: Assise Théorique et Applications Pratiques / Trusts in Civil Law … (2018)

'Trusts in mixed jurisdictions - aspects of the Louisiana and South African trusts compared'. Tulane European and Civil Law Forum 33, 1-40 (2018)

For more publications by this author, click here.

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fdutoit@uwc.ac.za
New Mwambene

FOUNDING MEMBER

Centre for Legal Integration in Africa

Professor of Law in Department of Private Law

University of the Western Cape

 
Prof Lea Mwambene  

 

Specialisation

Children and women's rights at the intersection of African customary law and internationally recognised human rights; comparative law, customary law, legal and cultural pluralism

Bio in brief

Lea Mwambene is a Professor of Law in the Department of Private Law at UWC, as well as the Faculty of Law's Deputy Dean: Teaching and Learning. Her teaching and research interests are in the general fields of African customary law and human rights.

Driven by concern about the interaction between law, ideology and social practice, her recent research, in collaboration with national and international experts, includes fieldwork that measures the impact of reformed laws and policies on the enjoyment of human rights by women and children governed by customary rules and practices.

An Honours graduate of the University of Malawi, Lea holds an LLD and LLM from UWC. She was the winner in 2016 of the UWC Law Faculty's Best Emerging Researcher’s Award, and is, among other things, the author of numerous book chapters and journal articles.

Publication overview

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lmwambene@uwc.ac.za
Profile Ashraf Booley

MEMBER

Centre for Legal Integration in Africa

Senior lecturer

University of the Western Cape

 
Dr Ashraf Booley  

 

Specialisation

Islamic Law, Succession Law, Family Law, Procedural Law

Bio in brief

Ashraf Booley is a senior lecturer in the Department of Private Law at UWC. His research centres on the constitutionally based rights and freedoms of women in Islam, including a comparative analysis of the various religious codifications of Muslim personal law in legal systems in Africa with a particular focus on North Africa.

He has presented specialised lectures in International Humanitarian Law and Gender Equality and Women’s Rights at Masters’ level. His doctoral thesis is titled “Women’s Rights and Freedoms in Islamic Jurisprudence pertaining to Marriage and Divorce: Lessons for South Africa from Morocco and Tunisia”. He has published widely and presented numerous papers on the rights of women in Islam. His scholarship is exemplified by a critical comparative engagement with the constitutional work undertaken in Morocco and Tunisia following the Arab spring, with specific reference to the South African legal and constitutional contexts.

Publication overview

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abooley@uwc.ac.za
Profile N Moosa

MEMBER

Centre for Legal Integration in Africa

Senior professor

University of the Western Cape

 
Prof Najma Moosa  

 

Specialisation

Comparative Law, Customary Law and Legal and Cultural Pluralism

Bio in brief

Najma Moosa is a National Research Foundation (NRF) rated researcher and currently holds the position of senior professor of law at the University of the Western Cape, where she was also the ‘first’ alumna to receive a masters and doctoral degree in law.

Publication overview

'Debunking prevailing school views pertaining to the apostasy of alleged descendants of SHAYKH YUSUF of MAKASSAR'. UIN Sunan Kalijaga (2020)

'The Implications of Varying Statutory Minimum Age Thresholds for Child Consent in Respect of Minors Granted Majority Status through Civil Marriage in South Africa'. Int'l Surv. Fam. LI., 493 (2018)

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nmoosa@uwc.ac.za
Profile N Sibanda

MEMBER

Centre for Legal Integration in Africa

Lecturer in Private Law

University of Western Cape

 
Dr Nkanyiso Sibanda  

 

Specialisation

African Customary Law, Law of Property, Law of Contract and Labour Law

Bio in brief

Dr Sibanda is a Law Lecturer at UWC and an Advocate of the High Court of South Africa. He obtained a doctorate in Property Law from UWC in 2017, an MA in International Studies from Stellenbosch University, and an LLB from Fort Hare University. He teaches Law of Property, Land Law and Employment Law.

His research interests include African Customary Law, Law of Property, Law of Contract and Labour Law. In 2019, the South African Journal on Human Rights bestowed on him the “Best Article by an Emerging Scholar Award” for an entry titled ‘Amending section 25 of the South African Constitution to allow for expropriation of land without compensation: some theoretical considerations of the social-obligation norm of ownership’. The article appeared in the South African Journal on Human Rights issue 35/2 (2019).

Publication overview

‘Amending section 25 of the South African Constitution to allow for expropriation of land without compensation: Some theoretical considerations of the social-obligation norm of ownership’. South African Journal on Human Rights 35(2) (2019)

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nksibanda@uwc.ac.za

Associate members

Profile M Abduroaf

ASSOCIATE MEMBER

Senior lecturer

University of the Western Cape

 
Dr Muneer Abduroaf  

 

Specialisation

Islamic Law, Succession Law, Family Law, Procedural Law

Bio in brief

Dr Muneer Abduroaf is a law lecturer at the University of the Western Cape, Department of Criminal Justice and Procedure. He is both an admitted attorney and a sworn translator of the High Court of South Africa. He is also a marriage officer for the Department of Home Affairs.

Dr Muneer Abduroaf is a CRL Rights Commissioner appointed by the President of South Africa to promote and protect cultural, religious and linguistic rights. The CRL Rights Commission is a Chapter 9 Institution.

Dr Muneer Abduroaf has obtained an LLD Law Degree, an LLM Law Degree, an LLB Law Degree, and a Diploma in Arabic Linguistics during his academic career.

Publication overview

Articles

‘Comparing the Application of the Islamic Law of Succession and Administration of Estates in Singapore with South Africa’ (2020) 41(1) Obiter Law Journal 122 135

'An analysis of the Rationale Behind the Distribution of Shares in terms of the Islamic Law of Intestate Succession' (2020) 53 De Jure Law Journal 115 122

‘The Impact of the South African Law of Succession and Administration of Estates on South African Muslims’ (2019) 27(2) Jurnal Syariah 321 366

‘A Constitutional Analysis of an Islamic Will within the South African Context’ (2019) 52(2) De Jure Law Journal 257 266

‘An Analysis of Renunciation in terms of s 2(C)(1) of the Wills Act 7 of 1953 in light of the Moosa NO and Others v Harnaker and Others Judgment’ (2019) 7 Electronic Journal of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law (EJIMEL) 15 21

Chapters in books

(with Moosa N) ‘Implications of the Official Designation of Muslim Clergy as Authorised Civil Marriage Officers for Muslim Polygynous, Interfaith and Same-Sex Marriages in South Africa’ (2017) in Brinig M and Banda F (eds) The International Survey of Family Law Bristol: Lexis Nexis 323 359

(with Moosa N) ‘Islamic Law Mode of Estate Distribution in South Africa’ (2016) in Atkin B and Banda F (eds) International Survey of Family Law United Kingdom: Jordan Publishing 457 479​

For more publications, click here.

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mabduroaf@uwc.ac.za
Profile P Lenaghan

ASSOCIATE MEMBER

Professor of Mercantile and Labour Law

University of the Western Cape

 
Prof Patricia Lenaghan  

 

Specialisation

International trade law, development, regional integration and EU law

Bio in brief

Patricia Lenaghan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mercantile and Labour Law where she specialises in international trade law, regional integration and development as well as European Union law. She also teaches in the International Trade and Investment Law Masters Programme at the University of Pretoria.

The focus of her Master’s thesis is the role of Geographic InProf Lenaghan has written on the field of European Union Law, The Trade and Development Cooperation Agreement entered into between the European Union and South Africa as well as the impact of Trade and Globalisation on the Developing Worlddicators as Brand Names with specific reference to the relationship between the European Union and South Africa and her Doctorate focusses on the right to freedom of religion in the public domain in South Africa.

In addition to her academic interests, she is a non-practising attorney, notary and conveyancer of the High Court of South Africa and practised as such in Gauteng before joining the University of the Western Cape.

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plenaghan@uwc.ac.za
Profile Mancuso

ASSOCIATE MEMBER

Professor of Comparative Law and Legal Anthropology

University of Palermo

 
Prof Salvatore Mancuso  

 

Specialisation

Bio in brief

Salvatore Mancuso was born in Palermo (Italy) on 26 October 1963. He got his Bachelor of Law at the University of Palermo (Italy) and has obtained its Ph.D. in Comparative Law at the University of Trieste (Italy) with specialization on African law. He is a Professor of Comparative Law and Legal Anthropology at the University of Palermo (Italy), and Honorary Professor of African Law at the Centre for African Laws and Society of Xiangtan University (P.R. of China). He is also Visiting Professor at Somali National University in Mogadishu (Somalia) and Adjunct Professor at the Loyola University Chicago – John Felice Rome Center.

He has been the Chair, Centre for Comparative Law in Africa, University of Cape town, Professor of Comparative Law and Legal Anthropology at the University of Macau, Adjunct Professor at the University of Trieste, Visiting Professor at the Universities of Paris I, Panthéon-Sorbonne (France), Limoges, Réunion and Lisbon, and has given lectures, among the others, at the Universities of Milan, Turin, Trento, and Salerno (Italy), Asmara (Eritrea), Bissau (Guinea-Bissau) , Hargeisa (Somalia), Omar Bongo (Gabon), Ghana – Legon in Accra (Ghana), Mauritius, Eduardo Mondlane in Maputo (Mozambique), Instituto Superior de Ciências Jurídicas e Sociais (Cape Verde), National Taipei University in Taiwan, China University of Political Sciences and law in Beijing, and East China University of Political Sciences and law in Shanghai (P.R. of China).

He has published and edited some books and several articles on Comparative and African Law. He is a member of the International Academy of Comparative Law, and Vice President (Events) of the Juris Diversitas group. He is co-coordinator of the TWG on Rule of Law & Justice Reform at the World Bank GFLJD. He is a member of the editorial board of several law journals focused on comparative law and African law.

Publication overview

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salvatore.mancuso06@unipa.it
Profile S Ngombane

ASSOCIATE MEMBER

Associate lecturer in Criminal Justice and Procedure

University of the Western Cape

 
Adv Sithe Ngombane  

 

Specialisation

Criminal law and procedure

Bio in brief

Advocate Ngombane is alumnus of both Walter Sisulu University and the University of the Free State. He joined the Faculty of Law, University of the Western Cape, in 2018 and has since lectured Law Criminal Procedure, Introduction to Legal Studies and Advanced Civil Procedure.

Advocate Ngombane is a member of the Cape Bar subsequent to his passing his pupillage at the same bar. He obtained his LLM degree at the University of the Free State. He obtained his LLB Degree at Walter Sisulu University. Advocate Ngombane is an admitted Advocate of the High Court of South Africa.

His practice includes various branches of law including criminal law, commercial litigation, environmental law and administrative law, companies and contracts. He has previously worked at Legal Aid South Africa in Bloemfontein criminal justice department.

He also worked as an in-house Counsel at the Department of Environmental Affairs for a short stint. Adv. Ngombane’s research interests include international criminal justice, Africa’s co-operation with the international community in criminal matters, criminal procedure and law of evidence.

Adv. Ngombane was part of Student for Law and Social Justice, a non-political organisation that advocates for social justice and advancement of fundamental human rights.

Publication overview

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sngombane@uwc.ac.za
Main Default Bw

ASSOCIATE MEMBER

Associate Professor at Centre for Humanities Research

University of the Western Cape

 
Prof Suren Pillay  

 

Specialisation

Bio in brief

Suren Pillay is an Associate Professor in the NRF-DST Flagship on Critical Thought in the African Humanities, Centre for Humanities Research at UWC. From 2007-2010, he was seconded to the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) of South Africa as a Senior Research Specialist in the Democracy and Governance Programme. From 2003-2004, he served as a Programme Officer at the Centre for African Studies at Columbia University. He held a position of senior lecturer in the Dept. of Political Studies, UWC, from 1995-2010. Prof. Pillay holds an Mphil, and a PhD in Anthropology with distinction, from Columbia University in New York (2011). He also has a Masters (cum laude) in Development Studies from the University of the Western Cape (UWC).

While at the HSRC, Pillay led a research team on violence. In 2008, he helped co-ordinate a team of researchers from the HSRC in response to the xenophobic violence which broke out in South Africa. He served as Acting Director in the Centre for Humanities Research in 2011. Pillay also served as Editor of the journal Social Dynamics, published by Centre for African Studies, University of Cape Town between 2009 and 2012. He has published extensively in the press, including the Mail and Guardian, Cape Times, Ugandan Monitor, Jerusalem Post, and Al Jazeera international online. His awards include a prestigious Wenner-Gren Foundation Dissertation Award for Anthropological Research, a CHOICE Award from the American Publishers Association for Outstanding Book title (2011), and a Special Mention for authoring one of the ten most downloaded articles in African Studies by the African Studies Association (USA) in 2010.

Publication overview

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spillay@uwc.ac.za
Profile Emily Wills

ASSOCIATE MEMBER

Associate Professor of Comparative Politics

University of Ottawa

 
Prof Emily Regan Wills  

 

Specialisation

Bio in brief

Emily Regan Wills is an associate professor of comparative politics at the University of Ottawa. She is the co-director of the Community Mobilization in Crisis project, which develops and implements innovative multilingual digital pedagogical tools for teaching community mobilization skills in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Her first book, Arab New York: Politics and Community in the Everyday Lives of Arab Americans was published by NYU Press in 2019. Her articles have appeared in Contention, Journal of Borderlands Studies, Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, Constellation, and Middle East Journal, among others.

Her current work focuses on the effects of transnational linkages between Middle East and North America on everyday politics in the Arab world, with a particular focus on Palestinian transnationalism.

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emily.wills@uottawa.ca
Clia Zenker

ASSOCIATE MEMBER

Professor and Chair at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology

Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

 
Prof Olaf Zenker  

 

Specialisation

Bio in brief

Olaf Zenker is Professor and Chair at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (Germany). After earning master’s degrees in Social Anthropology (LSE) and Linguistics & Literature (University of Hamburg), he obtained his PhD at the Integration and Conflict Department at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology and the Martin Luther University in Halle in 2008, and subsequently became a post-doctoral fellow in the Max Planck Fellow Group Law, Organisation, Science and Technology (LOST).

In 2009, he joined the Institute of Social Anthropology at the University of Bern as Assistant Professor, where he also held an Ambizione Research Fellowship (SNSF) and received his Habilitation in Social Anthropology in 2015. Apart from Visiting Fellowships at the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa), the University of Cambridge (UK), Harvard University (USA) and the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies (South Africa), he held Professorships at the University of Cologne, the Freie Universität Berlin and the University of Fribourg (Switzerland), before joining the Martin Luther University in 2019.

Focusing on Southern Africa, Northern Ireland and Germany, his research has dealt with political and legal issues such as plural normative orders, statehood, bureaucracy, the rule of law, customary law, traditionality and modernity, inequality, justice, conflict and identity formations, as well as sociolinguistics and anthropological epistemologies. Besides numerous articles, his recent co-edited and authored books include: The State and the Paradox of Customary Law in Africa (Routledge, 2018); South African Homelands as Frontiers: Apartheid’s Loose Ends in the Postcolonial Era (Routledge, 2017); Transition and Justice: Negotiating the Terms of New Beginnings in Africa (Wiley-Blackwell, 2015); Irish/ness Is All Around Us: Language Revivalism and the Culture of Ethnic Identity in Northern Ireland (Berghahn Books, 2013); and Beyond Writing Culture: Current Intersections of Epistemologies and Representational Practices (Berghahn Books, 2010).

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Advisory board

Main Default Bw

BOARD MEMBER

Advocate

Private legal practice

 
Adv Msizi Elphas Mbambo  

 

Specialisation

Bio in brief

Msizi Mbambo is a practising advocate based in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. From 1999 to 2013, he was a senior family advocate in the Department of Justice and Correctional Services. As a member of Advocates for Transformation, he has served in its various committees. He is also a member of the Black Lawyers Association (BLA), which seeks transformation in the attorneys’ profession.

Mbambo is involved in a local community non-profit organisation that assists young people with career guidance. He is engaged in extensive public interest litigation, particularly litigation for indigent clients in the Durban Legal Resource Centre. Advocate Mbambo obtained a Master of Laws degree from the University of South Africa in 2004 and law degrees from the University of Natal, Durban in 1996 and 1997.

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Profile E Nwauche

BOARD MEMBER

Head of Department of Private Law

Nelson Mandela School of Law, University of Fort Hare

 
Prof Enyinna Sodienye Nwauche  

 

Specialisation

Bio in brief

Enyinna Sodienye Nwauche is a professor of law at the Nelson Mandela School of Law, University of Fort Hare, East London, where he is Head, Department of Private Law. He previously taught at Rhodes University Grahamstown, the University of Botswana and the Rivers State University of Nigeria.

He is a rated NRF scholar and has held fellowship and visiting positions at the Max Planck Institute for Public International Law Heidelberg, the Max Planck Institute for Tax Competition and Intellectual Property Munich Germany, the AHRC Research Centre for IP and IT Law at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland and the South African Institute for Advanced Constitutional, Public Human Rights and International Law (SAIFAC).

Prof Nwauche is a member of the editorial boards of the Constitutional Court Review, Scholarly and Research Communication (SCR) and Speculum Juris. He is acting chair of the Coordinating Committee of the African Network of Constitutional Lawyers (ANCL), member of the African Union (AU) Working Group on a Model Law for the Protection of Cultural Goods and Heritage and former Director General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission.

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Profile C Rautenbach

BOARD MEMBER

Professor of Law

North-West University

 
Prof Christa Rautenbach  

 

Specialisation

Legal pluralism, customary law, mixed jurisdictions, cultural diversity, judicial comparativism and the law of succession

Bio in brief

Christa Rautenbach has over 30 years of experience as a legal scientist. She has the degrees B Iuris (cum laude), LLB (cum laude), LLM and LLD. She was a public prosecutor in the Department of Justice before she joined the Faculty of Law, North-West University (Potchefstroom), where she holds an appointment as Full Professor.

She also holds a number of other positions such as the honorary treasurer of the Society of Law Teachers of Southern Africa, board member of the Commission on Legal Pluralism, advisory board of the African-German Network of Excellence in Science, secretary of Juris Diversitas and Ambassador Scientist of the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation, Germany.

She has published extensively on subjects dealing with legal pluralism, customary law, mixed jurisdictions, cultural diversity, judicial comparativism and the law of succession, and also presented numerous papers on these subjects globally.

She is co-editor and co-author of two leading books in South Africa, namely Introduction to Legal Pluralism in South Africa published by LexisNexis (5th ed) and The Law of Succession in South Africa published by OUP (2nd ed). She is the editor-in-chief of the peer reviewed, open-access electronic law journal, the Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal.

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Profile J Ubink

BOARD MEMBER

Professor of law, governance and development

Van Vollenhoven Institute, Leiden University

 
Prof Janine Ubink  

 

Specialisation

African law and governance, with a primary focus on customary law and its relation to state law, traditional authorities, land law and policy, gender, transitional justice and rule of law reforms and legal empowerment

Bio in brief

Janine Ubink is professor of law, governance and development at the Van Vollenhoven Institute for law, governance and society, of Leiden University. Her research centers around African law and governance, with a primary focus on customary law and its relation to state law, traditional authorities, land law and policy, gender, transitional justice and rule of law reforms and legal empowerment. Her regional focus is on Africa, particularly Ghana, Namibia, Malawi, Somalia, and South Africa, but she has also been involved in comparative research in Asia and Latin America.

She is the President of the international Commission on Legal Pluralism, and also works as a consultant in this field, most recently as an advisor to the Ministry of Justice of Somalia.

Ubink has taught at the law schools of University of California Irvine, New York University and Australia National University as well as at the FHR Lim A Po Institute for Social Studies (Paramaribo, Suriname). She studied law at Leiden University (1995-2000) and acquired her PhD in legal anthropology from Leiden University with her thesis “In the land of the chiefs: Customary law, land conflicts, and the role of the state in peri-urban Ghana” (2008).

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Statutory board members

Prof Burtram C Fielding - Director of Research Development , University of the Western Cape

Prof Jose Frantz - Deputy Vice Chancellor: Research and Innovation, University of the Western Cape

Prof Tyrone Pretorius - Rector and Vice-Chancellor, University of the Western Cape

Dean: Prof Jacques de Ville - Faculty of Law, University of the Western Cape

 

Research associates

 

Clia Cotton

RESEARCH ASSOCIATE

Doctoral candidate

Sutherland School of Law, University College Dublin

 
Sonya Ruth Cotton  

 

Specialisation

Legal pluralism and critical theory, spatial justice and human rights

Bio in brief

Sonya Cotton is an interdisciplinary socio-legal scholar and a PhD candidate at University College Dublin’s Sutherland School of Law. Her research is part of the Property [In]Justice project funded by the European Research Council, which examines the role of international law in facilitating spatial [in]justice.

She possesses a Master of Laws in China Studies from Peking University and a Master of Philosophy in Comparative Law in Africa from the University of Cape Town (UCT). She also has an honour’s degree in linguistics from UCT and a Bachelor of Arts in Xhosa communication and linguistics from UCT. Her research interests include legal pluralism, spatial justice, critical legal studies and human rights.

Publication overview

“Do equality and non-discrimination apply to polygamous African customary marriages? A constitutional and statutory analysis of 14 African Commonwealth states” (2020) 9(1) Global Journal of Comparative Law 87-116.

(with Diala, A) “Silences in marriage laws in Commonwealth Africa: Women's position in polygynous customary marriages” (2018) 32(1) Speculum Juris 18-32

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Sonya.cotton@ucdconnect.ie
Profile N Nyembezi

RESEARCH ASSOCIATE

Researcher and activist

Private practice

 
Nkosikhulule Xhawulengweni Nyembezi  

 

Specialisation

Constitutional law, human rights law, and electoral politics

Bio in brief

Nkosikhulule Nyembezi is a researcher, human rights activist and respected political and economic commentator. He is the civil society convenor at the National Anti-Corruption Forum SA, as well as the chairperson of the Western Cape Language Committee and the Social Change Assistance Trust. He serves as an analyst and columnist for Ukhozi FM, Umhlobo Wenene FM, TruFM and I'solezwe lesiXhosa. Previously, he served on programme committees for the XIII and XIV International AIDS conferences.

His research interests are mainly on constitutional law, human rights law, and electoral politics. He has contributed articles for the Compendium of the Electoral Advancement Institute of South Africa. Nyembezi was an associate researcher in the access to justice programme of the Democracy and Governance Research Unit at the University of Cape Town. His involvement in reforms in the paralegal sector and the training of judicial aspirants is evident in the improved quality in recent years of candidates interviewed for appointment by the Judicial Service Commission.

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Graduate students

Profile J Eboh

DOCTORAL STUDENT

Graduate student

University of the Western Cape

 
Nnenna Joy Eboh  

 

Specialisation

Legal pluralism, human rights and information technology

Bio in brief

Nnenna Joy Eboh is an advocate of Nigeria’s Supreme Court, a fellow of the Barak Obama Young African Leaders Initiative, and a research fellow at the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), where she coordinates the Investment and Sustainable Development module. She has published extensively in her specialised areas of legal pluralism, human rights and information technology.

Eboh has been active in the Global Action on Cybercrime and Electronic Evidence, which is powered by the Council of Europe, as well as the UNODC Training of Trainers workshops on cybercrime. She was Lead Coordinator, Information Technology Law training workshop and seminar series at NIALS. She was also the North-Central supervisor on Gaps in Cloud Computing, a NIALS/Microsoft West Africa project and lead discussant at the NIALS/University of Cape Town partnership on Energy Deficit in Nigeria. At NIALS, she has been a Special Assistant to the Director General, Secretary (North-Central) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act Judicial Training in Kaduna State, and Chief Secretary of the NIALS/MacArthur Foundation Training for judicial officers in Imo.

Publication overview

‘The National Biosafety Management Agency Act 2015: A Review’. NIALS’ Food security and Biotechnology book project, 2019 (published September, 2020).

‘Rethinking The Legal Education Curriculum In The Fight Against Corruption In Nigeria’, accepted for publication in the Journal of Public Law, University of Benin, 2020.

‘Revisiting Customary Dispute Settlement In The Quest For A Peaceful Africa’, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Law Journal, Vol. 3 no 1, 2019.

‘Jurisdictional Challenges For Litigating Social Media Violations In Nigeria’, Rivers State University Law Journal, Vol 3, 2019.

‘Right To Human Dignity: Identifying Safeguards For The Awaiting Trial Inmate In Nigeria’, Miyetti Quarterly Law Review, Volume 3 issue 2, June, 2018.

‘Energy, Disability And The Law In Africa'. In: Ending Africa’s Energy And The Law- Achieving Sustainable Energy For All In Africa, Oxford University Press, 2018

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Main Default Bw

DOCTORAL STUDENT

Graduate student

University of the Western Cape

 
Adv Ebi Ocheng  

 

Specialisation

Bio in brief

Ebi A. O. Ebi is director and principal attorney at Ebi Okeng Attorneys Inc. His doctoral research investigates service delivery in South Africa in the context of the social contract theory. He holds LLB and LLM degrees from the University of South Africa. Ebi is a member of the Legal Practice Council of South Africa and the Law Society of South Africa, with right of appearance across all courts in South Africa. He is also a Director of True Legal Media Pty Ltd, an online magazine. He has published two works of fiction (Illusions of grandeur 2012 and The street professor 2014) and an academic article.

Publication overview

Illusions of grandeur (2012)

The street professor (2014)

‘The Judicial Contribution to Constitutional Obligations to Deliver Basic Services in South Africa’ (2020) 21(2) Economic and Social Rights Review pp. 10-14.

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ebiattorneys@yahoo.com
Profile T Akande

MPHIL STUDENT

Graduate student

University of the Western Cape

 
Titilayo Akande  

 

Specialisation

Bio in brief

Titilayo Akande is a solicitor and advocate of Nigeria’s Supreme Court, a graduate lecturing assistant at UWC, a Bible teacher and a motivational speaker.

She has worked in law firms in Nigeria. She has worked in many churches and non-profits in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Gabon, Guinea, Congo DRC and South Africa. She was a member of the legal team that sourced 530 acres of land for Covenant University, Nigeria, where she also worked as a Senior Assistant Registrar under the Endowment Programme and the Department of Student Affairs.

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Our partners

 

 Partner Clp 
  International Commission on Legal Pluralism  

 

About

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 Nials 
  Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies  

 

About

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.