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UCT Research Report '11
Dean’s report
The faculty comprises three
departments: Commercial Law,
Public Law, and Private Law.
These departments incorporate
nine research entities, under
the auspices of the Centre for
Legal and Applied Research
(CLEAR) and numerous individual
researchers. Under our present
governance structure, the Director of Research
facilitates the smooth running of the research
enterprise within the departments and the
research units.
2011 has been a year of growth, development and great
success in research-orientated scholarship and teaching
for the Faculty of Law.
The faculty has seen an increase in NRF-rated researchers.
We now have a total of 21 NRF-rated researchers,
comprising two A-rated researchers, eight B-rated
researchers, seven C-rated researchers and four Y-rated
researchers. 2011 also produced an increased number of
master’s (129) and doctoral (eight) graduands.
The faculty hosts a newly appointed Chair of Comparative
Law in Africa (Professor Salvatore Mancuso) as academic
head of the similarly named Centre for Comparative Law
in Africa (CCLA) and Centre Director (Dr Ada Ordor)
as manager and fund raiser. Ongoing social, political,
and economic challenges in Africa highlight the need to
address African issues with African solutions. The chair and
centre combine to form a bold initiative to foster African
scholarship and bolster African expertise in the area of
comparative law. With support from the Vice-Chancellor’s
Strategic Fund, the centre is in full pursuit of its goal to
build research and teaching capacity while encouraging
vigour in internationalisation. The Department of Public Law
continues to forge research links with foreign universities in
Africa and elsewhere, such as the South-North partnerships
with the Universities of Warwick (United Kingdom) and
Dar es Salaam (Tanzania). These research alliances are
addressing one of the key issues of governance confronting
emerging democracies in Africa: how to implement the
constitutional choices made during a period of democratic
transition. The department also plays a leading role in the
African Network of Constitutional Lawyers.
Our research units within the faculty have
had a productive year. One highlight
was the Law, Race and Gender (LRG)
Research Unit’s Rural Women’s Action
Research Project, which received
the UCT 2011 Distinguished Social
Responsiveness Award. The Democratic
Governance and Rights Unit (DGRU)
was also proactive in its submission
to the National Assembly’s justice and
constitutional development committee to
amend the Constitution on judges’ tenure.
Another highlight, reflective of the
faculty’s icon, the chameleon attached
to the statue of the alma mater towering over UCT’s
middle campus, which represents movement and
change, was the Jubilee Conference on Legal Pluralism.
The title of the conference was
Living Realities of Legal
. The Jubilee Congress brought together a
range of international scholars and practitioners from
many countries, in particular, those from various African
regions, who are grappling with the realities of plural
law. When the Commission on Legal Pluralism invited
the Centre for Legal and Applied Research to host the
15th Jubilee Conference on Legal Pluralism in Cape
Town, CLEAR saw it as an opportunity to further its goals
of promoting excellent legal and applied research,
fostering global partnerships and attracting world-class
scholars to UCT. Simultaneously, it saw the chance to
promote two of the research ventures at the faculty,
namely the DST/NRF SARChI Chair in Customary Law,
held by Professor Chuma Himonga; and the Chair of
and Centre for Comparative Law in Africa.
Equally successful was the conference hosted by the
Refugee Rights Project, in conjunction with the Agency
for Refugee Education, Skills Training & Advocacy
(ARESTA) and the United Nations High Commissioner
on Refugees to mark World Refugee Day 2011. This
conference focused on legal and social protection
perspectives on migration in South Africa and was
aimed at continuing the dialogue, initiated in 2010,
between academics, policy makers and practitioners
involved in this field.
I would like to pay tribute to the inspired leadership
of the permanent academic staff in the three
departments, who, despite grappling with heavy
teaching commitments, were able to contribute to
research in the faculty through their outstanding
publications. As well as publishing in a wide range of
national and international journals, and contributing
book chapters, this cohort of researchers was involved
in the publication of 10 books in 2011.
Faculty of