Faculty News Round-Up July 2019

24 Jul 2019 - 13:00

UCT’s Law Faculty is never quiet!  Whether it’s our staff, students or alumni in action, there is always something exciting, interesting and innovative on the go.  To keep you posted on some recent news we have compiled a quick listing of news and developments from the broad Faculty community.

You will no doubt have read about, or perhaps attended, the public lecture on Spatial Justice organised by Professor Jaco Barnard-Naude and delivered by Professor Andreas Philoppopoulos-Mihalopoulos on 15th July 2019.  This co-hosted by DVC Prof Feris and the Dean of Law, Prof Chirwa, lecture was part of 12 days of events related to Prof Barnard-Naude’s research project undertaken in his position as the British Academy’s Advanced Newton Fellow.  UCT News wrote a great article on the lecture, the Fellowship and spatial justice.

The Faculty is very proud that two of our number were recognised amongst the 2019 M&G 200 Young South Africans.  Livashnee Naidoo (34) is a lawyer in the shipping industry; and a lecturer in commercial, shipping and insurance law at UCT. She is also a PhD candidate at the University of Southampton. Livashnee’s M&G profile is available at https://200youngsouthafricans.co.za/livashnee-justice-2019/. Nondumiso Phenyane (28) is one of the youngest black law lecturers in Stellenbosch University’s law faculty. She holds a Bachelor of Social Science in international relations and organisational psychology and a postgraduate LLB from UCT.  Nondumiso’s profile is available at https://200youngsouthafricans.co.za/nondumiso-phenyane-education-2019/

Congratulations are also due to Shamila Mpinga, LLM student in mineral law and a Mandela Rhodes Scholarship recipient, has been selected as one of News24’s 100 Young Mandelas of the Future, and the category “Resilience”.  Shamila’s story can be read at https://mandela100.news24.com/shamila-mpinga/index.html

Silindile Buthelezi, lecturer in Commercial Law and currently on leave to participate in the Stanford Program in International Legal Studies at Stanford Law School, has been accepted into Stanford’s JSD programme (Doctor of Science of Law) – and was recently featured in the Stanford Law School Magazine.  Congratulations on your great achievements!

Gloria Chikaonda - who completed her UCT LLM in 2018 in Comparative Law in Africa and is pursuing a PhD focusing on African legal theory, legal pluralism and customary law - recently penned an important piece for Daily Maverick on what it means to decolonise the LLB curriculum. Gloria is an incoming Stanford International Legal Studies Fellow and is a recipient of the Stanford University Knight-Hennessy Scholarship (2019 cohort).  Watch this space!

Remy Ngamije, UCT LLB Class of 2013, has published his first novel!  After graduating with his LLB, Remy knew that writing was his passion. Since leaving UCT Remy has worked as a columnist, essayist, short-story writer, poet, and photographer. His short stories have appeared in a number of reputable publications such as Litro Magazine (UK), AFREADA (UK), The Johannesburg Review of Books (RSA), The Amistad (US), The Kalahari Review (Botswana), and American Chordata, amongst others.  We will shortly be sharing details of a UCT launch event of this new title, The Eternal Audience Of One.  Remy's book is published by Blackbird Books and is now available across South Africa. With hugely positive early reviews, the book has a wide audience which would definitely include UCT's student body, especially those studying law.  The story follows a law student called Séraphin as he embarks on his final year of law school. The novel deals in part, with university life, friendship, studying law, and life in Cape Town.  Follow Remy on twitter @remythequill

The rule of law in Africa relies on effective access to the letter of the law. The African Legal Information Institute, AfricanLII, recently launched the beta version of a first-of-its-kind Pan-African automated legal citator and summariser for African caselaw - the Citator. The Citator is software that automatically generates summaries of cases and tells users if a case has been overruled or upheld. The Citator also shows how often the case has been cited. Following swiftly on this success, AfricanLII has now launched its Commercial Law Index! Visit africanlii.org/commercial  to test-drive this new addition to the AfricanLII offering, covering five African countries. Absolutely free!

This week has seen the official launch of the Black Lawyers Association Student Chapter at UCT – with a week of meetings, lectures and celebration events.  This new law student organisation is on Twitter @BlascUCT – so follow them to keep posted on activities and initiatives.

The Centre for Comparative Law in Africa has launched a new LLM/ MPhil programme in Comparative Business Law in Africa.  The programme offers two core courses, in Comparative Law & Business in Africa, and Law, Regional Integration & Development in Africa; as well as a basket of electives including Chinese Law & Investments in Africa, and Resource Revenue Law.  The CCLA is very pleased to be able to offer this programme, ensuring the development of knowledge and skills in African trade instruments, navigating the landscape of business law in Africa, and the role of law in economic integration in Africa.

The Refugee Rights Unit under Assoc Prof Fatima Khan has successfully represented (with Advocate Suzanna Harvey) Scalabrini Centre in Cape Town in a matter taken to court in 2016.  On 19th June 2019, the day before World Refugee Day, the Western Cape High Court handed down a landmark Court Order that should radically improve the lives asylum-seeking families nationwide. Many asylum applicants have experienced severe barriers when trying to apply for status and documentation along with a principal applicant. This has meant that partners, children, and other dependents of asylum applicants and refugees have been left with no way to document themselves in South Africa, being forced into an undocumented state and placed in positions highly vulnerable to exploitation and detention. According to Scalabrini Centre, this judgement means that asylum-seeking and refugee families can now fulfil their right to access documentation in South Africa. With documentation, these families no longer need to fear arrest and detention, can work legally, and can enrol their children in school without administrative barriers. Great work by the Faculty’s Refugee Rights Unit!

And what did the Law Faculty get up to for Mandela Day 2019? We produced and packaged a bunch of goods for new mothers and their newborns at Mowbray Maternity Hospital. It was a great event, and the goods were delivered on the morning of Weds 24th July.

If you have news, achievements, events or other information you would like to share with the broader UCT Law community, please send information to gaby.ritchie@uct.ac.za